Sharing Some Love (World Watercolor Month, 26/31)

I feel the need to share some love today. I think if two colors as different as red and blue can come together effortlessly and make purple, then the world can come together in love and unity, and drive out hate and division.

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As an artist, I see my role as a recycler: taking negative events, emotions, etc. and using them as fuel to create a fire inside of myself which allows me to transform it all into a painting or a sketch that can touch someone’s heart, bring them a smile, or a peaceful moment.

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We are all creators. We all have this ability. Some turn out a beautiful story or verse; some produce a lovely photograph; some grow flowers; some, a meal; some make music; and still others make a child feel comforted and loved. We are all recyclers. We have work to do, but we are up to the challenge. Peace.

Let’s Celebrate our June Draw a Bird Day artists! (100 Face Challenge #64)

I want to thank Michael Emberson of A-Wing and A-Way, who informed the WordPress community about the April 8 Draw a Bird Day holiday just over a year ago. Many of us have been celebrating birds on the eighth of every month since!    A special thanks to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd for her tremendous photos, including this recent one I’ve rendered with a 4B pencil below.   Kathy, you’ve spoiled me.   And kept me very busy with your many amazingly detailed (and often sassy) images, thank you!    In case you missed anyone’s bird art, here are the links to our participants’ artwork this month:


The ladies at Method Two Madness contributed a verse and a mockingbird (Kerfe) and a parrot (Nina)

Judith at Artistcoveries contributed a watercolor scarlet tanager

I recently found Dawn at Brush of Dawn through Judith, and she’s done some lovely bird paintings – here is her owl and the raven I fell in love with (and not just cause I’m a Ravens fan)

Deborah at Circadian Reflections contributed a watercolor killdeer

Carol at Carol’s Creative Papers posted her watercolor pelican, inspired by a recent trip

Jodi at Life in Between painted a blue heron in watercolor

Susan at Susan Feniak’s art contributed a watercolor heron too!

Jeanette at Lunanista contributed a cardinal as part of an altered book

Teresa Robeson contributed a palila in watercolor marker

Teri at Teri2Creations contributed a bat in watercolor and pastel

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal contributed three mixed media whimsical birds

OutsideAuthority contributed a textile bird

Myriam at Myr’s Bites contributed an ink and marker Anna’s hummingbird

CavePainter contributed a robin in mixed media

Carolina at Yesterday After contributed a girl with a bird in watercolor

Charlie at Doodlewash doodlewashed a duck in watercolor for us

Ann at Ann Christina contributed a bluethroat in watercolor

and last but by no means least, Quinn Creative contributed an incredible minimalist word collage of a crow

I want to thank all of my talented friends for helping WordPress fly once again!   I hope you all enjoyed the artwork from my talented friends this month! If you posted bird art and do not see a link to your work here, then I did not have a link to you or your work underneath my June 8 bird post in the comments section. Please add a link in the comments here, though, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!

Next month, July, is now World Watercolor Month, thanks to the magic and amazingness of our friend Charlie at Doodlewash! Let’s give Charlie a round of applause! So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to post a few things I’ve learned about watercolor, experiment with some different colors, surfaces, brushes, etc. and share some of the wonderful YouTubers I’ve discovered that helped me out in my quest to learn the watercolor dance. I’m by no means an expert, but I really want to help Charlie promote World Watercolor Month (because isn’t it just amazing he got this done?!). He paints one watercolor each and every day and is nearly up to 365 days in a row of doing this, a feat all its own, but he’d like us to join him by posting a watercolor painting each day this July. I will try, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself, can’t risk strangling the muse, but I know he would love it if we could join him in the fun next month. *waving my pom poms on Charlie’s behalf*

Happy Almost Weekend to all, and enjoy the birdies today. Peace.

Draw a Bird Day May: Bird Art Roundup (and Face Challenge #59-61)!

DABD May JayI want to thank Michael at A-Wing and A-Way for telling us in April 2015 about the holiday for drawing birds, which falls each year on April 8!    Some of us like to celebrate our fair and feathered friends each month on the 8th by posting our bird art on our blogs and encouraging each other in our work.   It’s fun, and we hope you’ll join us next month!

Here is a round up of our May participants:

Moon in Capricorn at Artistcoveries contributed her lovely colored pencil work of a snowy white egret

Jodi at Life in Between posted a joyful watercolor of a goldfinch after taking her own photo, which she used for inspiration

Charlie at Doodlewash wins the prize for most creative post this month with this watercolor of chicken drumsticks (and they look scrumptious!)

Sharon at Monday Tuesday Wednesday painted a Say’s Phoebe that was a new sighting for her, and illustrated it also as part of a lovely watercolor painting

Deborah at Circadian Reflections painted a delicate Anna’s hummingbird in watercolor

Michelle at Michelle Kogan Illustration painted a lovely Cotorra volando

Judith at Curious to the Max posted her whimsical “Irritated Birds” in mixed media with a haiku

Kerfe posted an incredibly intricate stitched parakeet while her blogging partner, Nina, posted a sweet painting of a turkey

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal posted an amazing piece of collage art of a woodpecker

Cavepainter of Too Much White Paper contributed a wonderful killdeer painting in acrylic

Corinne at Corinnebekker contributed a lovely mixed media bird painting

Beverly at The Art Prescription also added a sweet mixed media bird, a blue-gray gnatcatcher to the mix

Stephen J. Quirke contributed his watercolor painting of a guinea-fowl feather as one of a collection of daily paintings he is creating this year

Susan of Susan Feniak’s Art added a wonderful mixed media painting of some chickadees at a feeder

Myriam at Myr’s Bites contributed a lovely bird illustration, also in mixed media

Snehal Kank posted a gorgeous watercolor cardinal surrounded by flowers, inspired by Kathy’s photo at Backyard Bird Nerd

A round of applause, please, for all of our participants this month!   I hope you all enjoyed them.   If you posted bird art and do not see a link to your work here, then I did not have a link to you or your work underneath my May 8 bird post in the comments section.   Please add a link in the comments here, though, and we’ll add you to the flock!

I’m going to take some artistic license and add a few other links as well:

Lance Weisser at Weisser Watercolours posted this junco a few days before the 8th this month – and please check out his site for more adorable bird miniatures in watercolor.

Cynthia at Sand Salt Moon painted her neighbor’s chicken in acrylic paint a few days prior as well

J. M. Landin of Red Newt Gallery created an amazing picture of a young gosling at a recent carbon dust workshop, and you’ll find that artwork here

DABD May grumpy bluebird babyKathy at Backyard Bird Nerd posted the sweetest collection of photos of a bluebird family from her yard and I couldn’t resist these photos.   I stayed up much too late sketching them, and wanted to include a couple quick sketches of my own (apologizing in advance that I do not erase while drawing, as practice for working in pen, so they’re far from perfect).   Please check out her blog if you love birds as we do; her skills are top-notch and her commentary is always amusing!    I also want to thank Kathy for the terrific photo of the “too cute” blue jay with personality plus that I couldn’t resist drawing that appears at the top of this post.

If you’re interested in waterbirds, Donna’s site at Bay Photos by Donna is always a wonderful place to visit.   You’ll find birds of all kinds, but if you’re interested in waterbirds, you’ll find tons of them in her prior posts, and more variety in the upcoming months, as she begins her new life as a roving wanderer!  😀

robins robins finchRobin at Robin’s Robins is always posting delightful photos of birds, and I tried a recent photo of a house finch from this link.   (I’ve been drawing birds like crazy recently!)


I want to thank my very talented artist and photographer friends for helping WordPress fly once again in May, and stay tuned for June 8, when we will open all the cages and let the birds fly free once more! Peace.

Cormorant for Denis! #52: 100 Face Challenge

Denis at Haiku Hound saw my recent artwork of a cormorant getting ready to take flight and kindly directed me to some wonderful images on his blog of a cormorant with wings up!


I am so drawn to these images, and have been having lots of fun drawing them, mostly in 2B graphite. Thought I’d share the only Neocolor II version I’ve come up with so far.   Thanks so much, Denis, and to all of you who inspire me daily with your poetry, photography, and artwork of all kinds.   I just soak it all up like a sponge!   Really enjoying it.

Happy Sunday! May it be a day of restoration and peace for us all!

Smiling to Life

I’ve been very fortunate to find many kindred spirits here on WordPress who love art, photography, flowers…and Beth, of Beth’s Floral Photography and Smiling to Life ( loves all three, and is a lovely person, to boot!  Beth graciously gave me permission to paint an image of poppies she photographed from her own garden. The images can be found here. Beth has over 100,000 images (!!!) in her collection, and you can find her work for sale at this link, as well. These are amazing images, truly. Thank you most kindly, Beth!


I’m still working on my florals, and particularly in watercolor, they present a challenge. I was about to sign this one off as an art fail, but Hub said I should post it. So here it is. I hope to improve on it next time out!

Happy Friday to one and all, and do I need to mention tail feathers?! I didn’t think so. Peace, and Happy Weekend ahead!   Don’t forget Draw A Bird day tomorrow, for anyone who’d like to join in!

Help me decide?

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I was feeling uninspired yesterday….

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until I watched a video lesson by Charles Reid on painting flowers,

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and all of the sudden I was stoked! And these paintings were the result.

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Do you have a favorite?

I was so in the zone that I missed our local Open Studio, the first we’ve had in some time.   Hopefully, we’ll be meeting again next week.   I just couldn’t stop!   I’m starting to be happy with some of my florals in watercolor, and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.    I want to thank Jodi for the wonderful example she sets on loosening up.   Jodi, you inspire me constantly.    You all do, actually, but as I painted, I kept hearing Jodi whispering in my ear to let the water drip, keep it loose……and it worked!

Thanks again to all of you for visiting, for commenting, for encouraging me in this crazy art journey.    I appreciate you all so very much!  Happy Fourth of July week to my American friends!   Maybe I’ll paint more Fireworks at Dusk (thanks, Kirk).   Peace and puddly painty goodness to you.


My attraction for watercolor is unquenchable! Ironic, huh?

It challenges me, it inspires me, it sometimes frustrates me, but when it works, in my mind, there is nothing more beautiful.    I thought I’d have a more detailed, larger landscape ready by this time, but I wound up going in a different direction (shocking, I know), so instead, here is another tiny painting inspired by this photo that I took the other day by the side of the road.

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I’d hoped to get some gesture drawings of a small bunch of cows who used to hang out here, but they were all gone.       No moos in sight!    Barn was still there though, and there was a lovely thistle just begging to be included in the composition.

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I knew I wanted the barn closer in the painting than in the photo, but I think this little (2″ x 3″) sketch may have it a bit too close.   The thistle didn’t turn out quite as I’d wanted either, but that’s the nice thing about working small:  you can test out composition and color, and then decide what might work in the finished painting.  I think what I need is a larger, more detailed thistle to give the painting more depth.  I think in my case, I may need more miles on the paintbrush to make this work in a larger painting, but I’ll give it another try, hopefully soonish.

Have a happy Tuesday.     Smile like a cow in a meadow!     Chew thy cud like you mean it.   😉 Moos and peace.

(Quick &) Mountain Quest

               “The Poet Dreams of the Mountain”

Sometimes I grow weary of the days with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old grey mountain, slowly, taking
the rest of my life to do it, resting often, sleeping
under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
that we have smothered for years now, forgiving it all,
and peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency!  Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.

~Mary Oliver

I finally completed the third mountain landscape I was after the other day when fireworks exploded at dusk instead. But first! Some extremely quick, extremely furtive sketches of random strangers at the library the other night.

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I know, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s hard to draw someone a) that’s moving b) in less than 30 seconds c) and somehow make it so they have no clue you’re drawing them! I’m a shy person with a (quiet) outgoing side.   So this was a personal challenge for me.   I did it, but it was tough. If I could sit up against a wall and look forward, sure, but there’s nowhere like that to really sit….and so….yeah.  I encourage you to try it.  🙂  Anyway, I told a few people I’d include this, so, voila!   Now for the mountain painting:

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I want to thank Kerfe at for sharing her photos of Western Carolina yesterday.   I don’t know what it is about North Carolina, but it feels like home to me.   The first photo of the mountains at the link above was just what I needed to inspire my third painting, and it was a pleasure to use as a reference.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  I believe it was meant to be, as I’d searched my own photos and others online, and Kerfe’s photo was “just right”, said Baby Bear.

Who’s dancing?  I know I am.  The day we’ve been waiting for is here!  Make the most of it.   Let’s hope the watercolor gods bless me with something good this weekend.  And all of you too!  *flings Friday joy to all*   Peace.  Art.   Happiness.