Making Connections

Here’s a basic contour sketch of a yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia), lightly drawn so pencil lines are not distracting. Supporting background branch shapes are far enough from its face so the bird has room to “move” into it. Before the photo above was taken, background branch and leaf shapes are painted right across the subjectContinue reading “Making Connections”

Uniting Different Values

When my subjects are of two different values or of opposite colors, I plan ways to unite them. The double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) at left, a female, is much paler than the one at right, a male. A mid-value background in this case is an easy solution to make both stand out. I use pigmentsContinue reading “Uniting Different Values”

Smile more!

Here’s my brown tabby, who follows me everywhere. He’s happiest when he knows where I am and likes to occasionally let me know how sharp his teeth are with what I’d like to believe are “love bites.” To create this portrait completed in a few hours, I first loosely paint the pale shadows across hisContinue reading “Smile more!”

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2021 is a better year for all, especially for those who suffered immeasurable loss this year. Many THANKS to those who gave and continue to give help to others.

Not Just Paintings…

Though the holidays kept me busy, I also managed to work on creative projects in some down time, before and during the preparations. These are quite different from painting. Above is an almost-complete, close-up example of a beaded pendant (or ornament) created entirely intuitively. Below are others with a penny for scale. So much funContinue reading “Not Just Paintings…”

Winter Color

The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a favorite North American backyard bird, especially in the winter landscape, because of the male’s bright red color; it’s also a popular visitor to bird feeders. These birds are particularly charming on very cold days: they fluff up like little balls with pointed caps. Above, highlights on branches andContinue reading “Winter Color”

Blue Jays, Blue Days

A few days ago, I painted the above in about an hour and a half as a demonstration via Zoom, a safe way for groups to “meet” and share ideas these days. One question that came up was whether I use frisket, a masking agent that resists watercolor paint; it was not used in thisContinue reading “Blue Jays, Blue Days”

Post Season “Sunshine”

Photographed only after two to three layers were first applied to this painting, the washes are nevertheless straight-forward: A thin layer of yellow is quickly painted across most sketched shapes. When dry, saturated yellow in a creamy consistency establishes specific petals and the local color of the flower’s interior, and finally, warm and cool shadowsContinue reading “Post Season “Sunshine””

Holiday Fun

My “artist palette,” whose outside shape was specially cut by my husband from a scraperboard to fit the dimensions of standard artist palettes that decorate four Artist Trees at the Florence Griswold Museum’s Krieble Gallery (, joins a permanent collection of over 200 other artist palettes this year. The Museum, on the Lieutenant River inContinue reading “Holiday Fun”


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