Tuesday, 2 August 2016


watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper 
7"x 5" inches

 I created this painting from a sketch I did earlier in July.  I sketched on site and painted at home. It worked out well because the reference photos were not very helpful, without the sketch I would have  had to abandon the project. 


my plein air sketch 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

If Life Gives You Lemons

watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper
30 x 23 cm

Now that it is summer, Amalfi lemons are in season at my local market. They are grown on the hills of the Campania  region, around Sorrento and Amalfi. They have a characteristic sweetness, a consequence of the volcanic soil, year-round warm temperatures, and perfect amounts of rain.

After rinsing the lemons, I set them on a kitchen towel to dry. As I went about, I would pause often to take in the soft delicate pastel colors. My purpose became to convey the soft light that comes in, with many variations of whites and neutrals to highlight the sunny yellow skin of the lemons.

It has also been helping me to do a warm up sketch before painting. I keep this sketch beside me to test colors before actually applying them.

 my warm up sketch

When all of this is over, I have a whole book of baking recipes devoted to the fragrance of these lemons ... I need to get to work!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

I've been Doodlewashed!


I am really honored to have been invited by Charlie O'Shields to be a guest on his website, doodlewash.com . You can read my interview by clicking here .

He is also behind  World Watercolor Month  which begins tomorrow!! It's  an official, month long celebration of my favorite medium. Simply tag any art that uses watercolors (or gouache) with #WorldWatercolorMonth during the month of July! Try the ultimate challenge of 31 watercolors in 31 days, or simply post when you can (which is what I will be doing).

This first year of the celebration is also raising awareness for children in need of supplies and education about the Arts around the globe! Simply click here to read more...so lets get painting!!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Nightfall Blooms

Nightfall Blooms
watercolor study on paper
26 x 18 cm.

The inspiration for this flower is drawn from a beautiful  John Livzey photograph (painted with permission). It is for the monthly challenge for my online art group.

The gorgeous photographic image was a delight to work from. I did many washes of blue to get the nocturnal feeling and to keep the middle area light I sprayed out the color with a spray bottle. To regain some of the whites I went over the petals with white watercolor pencil. 

Thank you for stopping by! I hope every one has a wonderful week!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

White Hibiscus Blooms

White Hibiscus  Blooms
watercolor on paper
30.5 X 23 cm.

I love the delicate contrast between the pink and white of this hibiscus. As an added bonus a little bee flew into my frame right when I snapped the photo.

I did a preliminary sketch. White flowers are tricky in watercolors...I feel like I say it about every flower. It really helped me to get out my ideas about the colors in a rough sketch first.

I added many layers of color in the background before working on the flower itself. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


My collage of  sketches

I would like to share my sketches for the month of May. I followed the topics provided for sketching  by the "Every day in May" group. It is always a fun challenge to sketch things I would not normally think of, such as a suitcase or a bucket. It is especially inspiring to see other participants come up with inspiring sketches on the same theme.
Crazy springtime weather that felt more like winter got us all sick in my household, I missed a week as I was trying to catch up; I still managed to finish most of the sketches nonetheless.

My favorite sketch from the month

The sketch that was the most frustrating and took me hours! 

The sketch that took me the shortest time but still happy about it.

I didn't want to sketch a suitcase but in the end it was fun. Great lesson in keeping an open mind!

My personal goal was to be quicker about my sketching, abandoning the pencil for the pen and ink sketches.  I felt that by the end of the challenge I had managed to improve and grow.

 I am in the middle of a work in progress and hope to be able to share it soon! 
Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Constable's Cottage

watercolor on paper
26 x 18 cm
 value study

The inspiration for this painting came from a lucky art friend who recently visited John Constable country and shared  her photos. It is the house on the bend from the Hay Wain painting. I thought it would be a good time to keep things simple and do a value study.  I used only Ultra Marine Blue and only a little Indigo to deepen the color.

Now that it is May, I have started the "Every Day in May" challenge. It is a fun activity to be in, each day is dedicated to a different topic. Joan Tavolott is also participating, she has posted a nice description of the project in her blog which can be seen here.  This year I have (to be honest, I am in the process of finishing) a dedicated journal for the purpose. I have included a mix of papers, HD press, cold press, Fabriano, etc. with the hope of branching out into other mediums. 

My sketchbook cover is a collage from calendars, my daughters' old notebooks, cards, paint and glue.

I glued the list to the back cover because last year valuable time was wasted  looking for it!

I won't be uploading my daily drawings into my blog until the very end, I am planning a collage of some kind. If you would like to keep updated, my Instagram feed is the first place I upload my daily sketches (click here to see what I have completed so far).

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