Thursday, February 29, 2024



Sending Love
9 x 12" watercolor
Arches 100% hot press

This one is better in person, but you'll just have to trust me 0n that, as I can't seem to get a better photo.

Thursday, February 15, 2024



Outside Gilroy
8" x 8" watercolor
Arches 100% cotton hot press paper

Sadly, I do not think this one will make the cut in my series of mid-view compositions with flowers in the forefront. I like the initial composition better that I painted last year in May, 2023.  

I remember how seeing these flowers against the tree and hillside that day at a garlic shop outside of Gilroy That scene left me so breathless. So I'll likely try it again sometime. 

But for now, the May 2023 version is the clear winner. 

At the time, I didn't want to cut that one out of my sketchbook, but since then I've decided my sketchbooks don't have to be so sacrosanct. If something in them wants to jump out and be framed, so be it. 

Final Product (?)


Poppies at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach
10" x 10" watercolor
Arches 100% cotton hot press paper

Earlier this week I posted preliminary notes and sketches I made in preparation for this painting. This final painting is not what I envisioned, but I have taped it to the wall of my studio, and it's growing on me. The oranges are a tad brighter in the actual painting, but not as bright as in my color study. 

I think I'm calling this one done unless it tells me otherwise. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Poppy Process


Poppy Study
8" x 8" watercolor 

So it's poppy season in Northern California, and that means new poppy paintings in the works. My process, for better or worse, seems to be shifting somewhat. 

Instead of starting right in on a painting, I've gravitated to making initial sketches that show values and colors in a spiral-bound notebook full of drawing paper. I make notes about the sketch. See the initial sketch-with-notes below. 

Second stage is a quick color study such as the above, usually in a sketchbook with watercolor paper. Sometimes the quick color study makes me decide not to proceed with a stand-along painting; other times, it gives me fuel for going for it. This color study does give me the fuel I need to move forward.

Sometimes I find I like the quick color study better than the finished painting. 

Stay tuned and wish me luck. I'd sure like a stand-alone 10"x 10" painting to accompany the canna painting I finished last week.  

Friday, February 9, 2024



Canna Show
10" x 10" watercolor
Arches 100% cotton cold press

I have tried painting this scene several times over the past few years. Cannas and begonias near Millenial Park, Chicago. The orange and red flowers next to the bright yellow-greens of the canna leaves stopped me in my tracks and made me sing inside. I think I finally captured the melody in my heart that day. 

Good Neighbors


Last month I was in Iowa, house-sitting for a relative and visiting my elderly mother. I'm thankful for the good neighbors who helped scoop me out of two snowstorms--in sub-zero temps, no less. I captured their lovely home the day after one of those storms. I hope it helps them know how much they're appreciated.  

More About the Sally Project

I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...