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Showing posts from 2016

From My Garden

From My Garden watercolor on paper 8" x "8"
Here are the last two paintings part of the gift to my parents. This is the final bloom from my Hibiscus bush, it is hard to believe it has kept blooming as far as December. The pink tones have a bluish hue in the autumn light.

"August Window" is from a photo I snapped during the Italian holiday of Ferragosto , celebrated the 15th of August. It is a very hot part of summer, it is very uncommon to see an open window in the midday sun. I attempt to convey this feeling from a special, rather quiet time of year.

August Window  watercolor on paper 8" x 9"
This is the final project: what it will look like on display....

all lined up and finished!

My friends, I wish you much joy and happiness this Christmas!

Vine Ripe

Vine Ripe  watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper 9" x 12"/ 23 x 30,5 cm

This is an older painting I reworked. I felt I could have pushed it more, I feel better about the result now.
Thank you for stopping by!

Sweet Renewal

Sweet Renewal watercolor on Arches paper 8" x 8" / 20 x 20 cm

 This painting is the second in a four part gift I am preparing. You can see the first one by clicking here.

I painted this set up from life completely except for the macaroons, which  I made up.  I am trying to keep the theme in the four paintings light and airy in color.


watercolor on Fabriano paper
30 cm x 23 cm/ 12 " x 9"

This painting is based on a photo provided by art friend, Geri Berkenstock, painted with his permission.  I really love the warm colors of the season. It took me quite a bit of effort to build up the strong oranges, glazing my colors with many layers.

This is a fun time of year, especially for kids. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!

Preserving It Fresh

 Preserving It Fresh watercolor on Arches paper 17 cm x 17 cm NFS

I started this still life painting from freshly bought flowers I purchased during the summer. Even if I had to put the painting aside for a while, I was finally able to finish it last week from some photos I had taken. It is one of four paintings I am working on for a series which I will be presenting as a gift.

The painting went through a series of scrubbing off and paint reapplying. I normally don't prefer to use masking fluid but found it necessary to preserve the various areas of color and build up the hues. I was always worried I would end up tearing the paper when rubbing but it handles it well ...I sweated bullets, as can be imagined, in the process.

(below, various stages of my work in progress)

Portrait of Wilson

Portrait of Wilson watercolor on Arches paper 11 x 7 inches

I painted this back in July but have not had a chance to share it here. It was painted for the monthly art challenge of my on line art group. The photo was kindly provided by Geri Berkenstock: it is his handsome rooster, Wilson. I had a lot of fun trying to convey his personality. It is something I always wished for, to have a farm! 

Thank you for stopping by!

A Rose Aglow

A Rose Aglow watercolor sketch on paper 18 x 26 cm

The rose in this painting is situated in front of my daughter's high school. As I was walking past it, the sun was hitting it in a way that made it seem it was glowing with a beautiful mix of yellows and pinks.  I recently purchased some paints from the Ecoline liquid watercolor line. I enjoyed playing here with the pleasant intensity they possess. With this type of liquid ink there is the possibility of degradation of its properties over time, I will keep it for sketching purposes only.

 work in progress

Morning Stream

Morning Stream II watercolor sketch on paper 18 x 26 cm
I recently went plein air painting. I painted this same scene last year, about the same time of year and hour ( you can view it here).
I am hoping to catch the feeling I see of the early morning light coming from behind the trees and onto the water. It is very suggestive, hopefully one day I will manage.
I apologize for my absence from this blog. I have missed visiting your blogs and hope to be around to catch up soon!


Poppies watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper 7"x 5" inches available
 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 

If Life Gives You Lemons

 IF LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper 30 x 23 cm available
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!

Oatmeal Lemon Bars

I've been Doodlewashed!

I am really honored to have been invited by Charlie O'Shields to be a guest on his website, . 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 lets get painting!!

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!

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!


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 manage…

Constable's Cottage

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…

Riverside Grasses

Riverside Grasses sketchbook page watercolor, colored pencil, white pen

My husband and I had a fun outing recently. I guess it might seem normal to most but we have spent the last few months somewhat boxed in. We were therefore very happy for the opportunity to be outdoors. He brought his kayak and I brought my sketching supplies. The best part was waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the sun rise. 
 I  sketched the grasses growing by the river. The light changes very quickly. I lost my whites because the paper wouldn't dry, making it impossible to pick up the color. The paint has difficulty drying near the river because of the humidity, even if the sun is present. I went back into the painting back home with colored pencils and white pen to gain back the feeling of the light hitting the grass.

who wants to dive in?!

 Thanks for the visit!

Evening Calla....

Evening Calla
watercolor on FABRIANO Artistico paper
12,5 x 18cm/ 5" x 7"

I drew inspiration to paint from my little grocery store calla plant once again. I think I might have over-watered it because the flowers keep flopping down. I discovered afterwards that they don't require much water. It is funny how we, responding to the urge to nurture, have a tendency to hurt houseplants by over-watering. They actually do very well outdoors in this part of the world, I hope to start a pot full of them. 

I decided to add a darker background to hopefully bring the pinks out from the flower. Even if I didn't paint it during the night, it has a nocturnal feeling.

Thank you for stopping by!


Colorful Callas

Colorful Callas for Mom watercolor on paper NFS
I was asked by VIDA to design a scarf with my mother in mind. I prepared a design to be printed on a square silk scarf. My mother loves balance and colors. She is also aware of color undertones which bring out the undertones in one’s skin, as when picking out a lipstick or blush (I highly recommend going with her when you need one!).  She is particularly fond of a shade of greenish teal, I wished to include it in my design. She has even introduced it in her interior design, walls, chairs, etc . Callas are her favorite (you might recall I painted callas for her here). I purchased a plant to have inspiration but mostly painted from impressions, keeping my mother in mind. This is the result, a scarf is already making its way to my mother's home.

The Mending

The Mending watercolor on paper 20 x14 cm The inspiration for my painting is loosely based on a photo from an on-line art friend for our monthly art challenge. The tomato pin cushion brings back warm memories of my grandmother who always lovingly mended everything on demand for us. Basic sewing skills can be crucial to important relationships.

Winter Fruit

Winter Fruit watercolor on paper 20 cm x 20 cm

A ripe pomegranate with its deep red, round shape is the inspiration for this painting. I added the pears for contrast. A quick sketch while I still had the fruit in front of me with the idea of painting it at a later time. I  redrew it to proceed with my painting. I then stopped, feeling stuck, the painting format looked too plain.

 My work in progress ... I replaced the pomegranate with an apple, the former needed to be eaten.

I decided to set it aside ... ended up being for a couple weeks. In the mean time I had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Vatican Museum.
 Pattern, colors, details everywhere!! Incredible history, very glad to see many frescoes restored since my last visit...over 20 years ago!! 
yet more patterns and incredible works of art..."The School of Athens" takes my breath away every time!! Photography is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel, I think if I would have a favorite work of art, it would be …

Pine Horizon

Mediterranean Pine Horizon Study watercolor on paper 30 cm x 14cm NFS
 This week I have worked on a landscape based on a photo I have taken in a nearby park. I liked the high horizon line with the Mediterranean pines dotting the landscape. I first started out with a loose warm up exercise (pictured below). I began painting without drawing and allowed myself a 15 minute time limit.
For my formal painting I wanted to play up the colors from my own imagination. I chose to work from a black and white photo to give myself the possibility to explore different color schemes instead of what is really in the landscape. It was a fun exercise to stimulate my imagination.
 I ended up cropping away half the painting because the path and grasses was competing with the tree line. It is great to experiment, I love the learning process inherent in each work, whether good or bad.

I drew a line where I felt I needed to crop.
 30cm. x 20 cm. my warm up sketch

Thank you for your support!