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Showing posts from 2015

Urban sketches

balcony with column watercolor on paper sketched plein-air
I have focused on my neighborhood, outfitted with my sketching supplies, this month. I find myself feeling better while sketching on location on trial and error.  I also fine tune what works, what to avoid, what to bring, best time of day, etc. I really enjoy sketching this way. One never knows what to expect, ideas are always challenged by changes to the environment. The "cafe sketching" experience was more successful this time. I went with a friend, as had been suggested, it is surely more fun! Have to admit, I do have more enjoyment scoping out interesting architectural areas. I find myself looking at people's laundry, hanging over windows, in a different way.

I thank everyone for your kind visits to my blog throughout the year. I wish you all a wonderful, Happy New Year!

the pink house on a hill watercolor on paper sketched plein-air

morning tea break sketchbook page

A Call for Artists to Help

 Morning  Stream 21cm x 29,5 cm watercolor on paper  Available as a print
I have donated my painting "Morning Stream" to be auctioned off (here) as a limited print. Donations will be benefiting Marilyn who has a progressive muscle disease - muscular dystrophy. Donations are needed to help fund Marilyn's "Tram" - a device  for transfers from wheelchair to bed, etc. Without it, she would need the services of a caregiver. You can read more about her story here.

Kim Tysse, Marilyn's cousin, is organizing everything through a blog in order to find a way to help achieve enough donations to help her with this purchase. She is looking for artists to donate their artwork to be offered up as prints. There is no need to send the original art, just a good file that she can make prints. Any kind of support is nevertheless welcome! If anyone would like to help Marilyn, please  send your file here .

Marilyn is someone who has always tried to help others and continues to m…


Still-life study watercolor on Fabriano paper 28cm. x 12 cm.
My daisy lasted a good two weeks, I couldn't resist painting it one more time. I painted this in one sitting, observing the colors' set up from life. I feel I over worked it and lost some of the freshness the previous painting had. A good lesson in patience. Anyone who understands the medium will understand how important it is to wait and let the washes dry, evaluating what the paint does on its own. It is nevertheless fun to experiment, there are always good lessons to be learned.

Thank you for stopping by!

My work in progress...


Fall Harvest watercolor on paper 30.5 × 23 cm  Available

The rich vibrant colors of the season inspired me to paint this still life set up. I am unifying the objects by using similar colors, trying to work them together as a whole.


GERBERA FLOWER STUDY watercolor on paper 15cm x 15cm

I picked up a few gerbera flowers recently, it cheers me up to see their bright colors. A couple didn't last, presently I am left with two. I added a pear, I was then given squash from a relative's garden, now I have the makings of a very warm, autumn still life. I drew out my composition, decided to add some masking fluid. While waiting for the masking fluid to dry I painted a quick study of the flowers. I want to keep it for reference, because I have a feeling it won't be much longer before I will need to throw them away as well. The yellows almost seem to fuse together, a fun mix of warm and cold yellows. I'm just happy to get my brushes wet again. It feels like it's been a while...where did November go?

... work in progress ...

I hope everyone is having a nice day, thank you for the visit!

Urban Sketching

To the victims of the recent tragedy in France, peace, prayers and blessings!


Breakfast at the bar
This is my first experience of coffee shop sketching, I've been wanting to try for a while. I imagined a happy scenario, and many sketches would come out of it. Unfortunately the waitress cleared my table before I was able to say anything, oh well... people smoking and sitting with friends are allowed to linger longer. My sketch above is what I was able to get down. I'm happy with the gestural line and the few colors I managed to capture. I wanted to go back in and work on the cup more but it being an exceptionally foggy morning, nothing was drying.

A "quiet" side street in Rome
Afterwards I transferred to a side street. I wasted valuable time finding an out of the way place to sketch. It is not an easy task in Rome.  Parked cars leave, people constantly walk around you. It seems no matte…

Autum on the Farm

Autumn on the Farm watercolor on paper 30 x 23 cm Available

This was painted as part of the October "All media challenge" for the Artist Daily Friends group I belong to on Facebook. I was attracted by this photo (kindly provided by Karen Duncan) because it brought me back to my childhood, to the long car rides to view the autumn foliage. It seems sights like this are quickly disappearing to make room for strip malls and housing developments.

Thank you as always for taking the time to visit my blog!

Morning Stream

 Morning  Stream 21cm x 29,5 cm watercolor on paper 

My husband found a perfect spot for kayaking. Last week I accompanied him, I enjoyed bringing my paints along. I tried to capture the light streaming in from behind. I also wanted to focus on the rocks.  I worked on it some more at home but tried to get down as much information as I could while there. The light moves quicker than I can paint. Great for pushing me to keep my brushwork loose.
My work in progress, my subject and a little visitor wanted to come home with me.
All in all a fun day!  Thanks for stopping by.


CLOUDS AND SEA watercolor on paper 29cm X 21cm
I had the oppurtunity to paint plein air at the beach this weekend. I know many people speak about art for its therapeutic effect. Now that the summer crowds have left, I really felt that way.

Thank you for the visit!

Spider Plant Studies

Spider Plant Study I watercolor on paper 12,5 cm x 18 cm
I enjoy studying leaves on plants. Because of this, I found the stripes on Spider plants to be an interesting subject. In my first study, I limited my palette to Quinacridone Magenta, Quinacridone Gold and Ultramarine Turquoise, all from Daniel Smith.

Spider Plant Study II watercolor on paper 16cm x 24 cm

 For the second study I used my regular colors because I wanted to focus more on the leaves.


Pears In a Bowl watercolor on Hot Press paper 22cm x14cm / 8"5' x 5"5' 

I painted this still-life set up from life. I was attracted by the shapes, it is always great to paint such bright yellow colors.   I am working on not covering all of the paper with watercolor, hopefully allowing certain areas to breathe. It is always a challenge to put the brush down.

I wish everyone a wonderful week, I hope all of you are enjoying the end of Summer!


Left side of my painted with the old paint/ Right side painted with fresh professional grade watercolors
This week I have been doing a little housekeeping. I replaced the paints in my Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketchers' Box which I use for my sketchbook with fresh replacements. I was feeling frustrated by the colors in my sketches, I couldn't achieve the brightness and values I wanted. I finally decided to clean the palette and start over with a clean slate. The sketch on the left was painted with the old palette, the one on the right with the new. I feel like it gained some luster.

Fresh clean colors

Presently I need to get back to painting. I have a few projects in development which I hope to share soon!
Thanks for the visit!

Red Roses, Pink Roses

Red Roses, Pink Roses Too 29,5cm x 21cm/ 11".5' x 8" watercolor on paper AVAILABLE
I was given some lovely roses from a friends' garden some time back. I set out to paint it from life, started a few washes. The flowers quickly wilted, I was forced to set the project aside momentarily. I fortunately had taken some reference photos which came to the rescue: obviously I know myself well.

sketch of a rose

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a visit to one of my relatives' beautiful garden. I sat under a plum tree, made many new ant friends and sketched this amazing rose. It sparked my desire to finally finish my painting.

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend!  Thanks for the visit!

The Room in Amsterdam

The Room  watercolor in my sketchbook
The sketch above is of our hotel room in Amsterdam, this past week we took a family vacation there. Our favorite place is The Van Gogh Museum.  A strong recommendation to anyone who visits is to purchase advance e-tickets. They allow you to skip the very long line.

The museum has three floors. It is the largest existing collection of his paintings and drawings and includes many  letters written to his brother Theo. It is an incredible insight and understanding into the artist's life. I've never quite experienced a museum like this. To see his paintings up close is amazing. No book will ever get close to reproducing what he has achieved on canvas.

No photography is allowed in the museum, I've added this video to hopefully give an idea of the place. I really like how they have made it so interactive to the point that little kids run around interested: it is not your usual boring museum visit. Vincent would be surely pleased to see so man…

Fresh Produce Market

 Apricots for Sale watercolor on paper 5" x 7" / 12,5 cm x 17,5 cm

Rome is a city that wakes up early. My local market is open for business by as early as 6:30am. At that hour, the early morning sunlight warms up colors. When it hit these fresh summer apricots, the colors intensified as if it were a glow. Well, that is what I wish to convey: it is always a challenge to convey impressions on paper.

What is your favorite summer fruit? I don't think I can pick just one. 
Have a wonderful week! 

Catching a Wave

Catching a Wave Sketch I watercolor on paper
Catching a Wave Sketch II watercolor on paper

Catching a Wave Sketch III colored pencil in my sketchbook

Sitting by the seaside I can't help but be inspired by the beauty provided by waves and light. I have been trying to capture my impressions as the waves break in front of me. These are done on site only and are intended as observational practice, not as finished works of art. The ocean has my full respect, it is a very challenging subject. Constant change is a hard concept to grasp on paper.
I have also been busy filling up some of  my older sketchbooks. The warm weather makes it easy and I carry my supplies whenever possible, even on quick errands. I rely on my homemade sketchbooks the most. I prefer to choose the paper according to my needs, not always for watercolor. My daughter requested one as well! She loves to draw using graphite and colored pencil. She had very specific paper and size requirements, not an easy customer, the on…

Challenge Over

I finished the last drawings and paintings from the "Every Day in May Challenge". I haven't been able to upload them here. I apologize for clumping so many together.  I did not complete just a few of them. It has been a wonderful experience which I hope to repeat next year.

DAY 23. An interesting detail of a building.
DAY 24. Keys
Day 25. An apron, or something you wear during messy activities.
Day 27. Something furry or fuzzy.
Day 28. A yard ornament. 
Day 29. A faucet.
Day 30. A bird-feeder or bird house.
Day 31. Eggs.
Day 14. Something I use everyday.
Day 15. Something I could throw away.

If you braved it to the end, I can't thank you enough for your continued support! Have a wonderful weekend!

A Sketch a Day

17. Something used for measuring. Took me a while, did it without a ruler! LOL

18. Lipstick/lip gloss. Something I never use and should throw away.

Day 19. A Cupcake.

Day 20. Your Wallet  My always empty wallet.

Day 21. The Spot You Regularly Sit to Read. My little corner of the house where I find peace and quiet. Love to read before falling asleep. If a book manages to keep me awake, it's got to be good! Any  suggestions for summer reading welcome.
22. Something That Hangs From a Wall in Your Home This is my utensils' rack, it hangs above my cooking range.

Thank you for your support! Wish me luck, I am off to find an interesting detail of a building... Have a wonderful weekend!