Thursday, April 9, 2020

Redbud and Old Seeder

Yay!!  The redbuds are beginning to bloom - and for a change, I am in town to see it happen!  I hope to paint many of these beauties dotted all over the homeplace.  With the fabulous sunlight popping in and out, I drop in those highlights quick and loose.  I find I am only using a few favorite brushes each time I paint - I think it is time to clean out my supplies again!  I am always quick to add them to my boxes, but not so quick to remove the extras!  Beau loves it that I'm painting so much at home - as you can see!  Painting number 2653 in 2653 days!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rip Van Winkle Narcissus

I have admired these beautiful blooms my whole life.  Grandma Frank planted them farther back than I can remember, and I've spread them around the yard.  They are vigorous and showy, and a perennial favorite.  I am painting them as the wind is giving them a beating, I sure hope they remain a little longer.  Painting number 2652 in 2652 days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Crossing the Mississippi in Dubuque

I found this bluff top view strictly by accident while looking over another house for a commission.  When I came around the curve and saw this - of course I had to stop for a quick watercolor!  I was on my way out of town, so this ink and watercolor has not been seen.  I will definitely return to this spot next year to paint this beauty in oil!  Painting number 2651 in 2651 days.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Delta Pansies

The gorgeous weather drew me outside early.  Intending to share a cup of tea with the wildlife, I moved right on to gardening!  Days like this are a gift, so I took full advantage!  Between the various yard chores, I took time for a quick sketch before planting these beauties.  I had my eye on them all morning, and it is so hard to stop working to paint!  I stayed out until dark - so now I'm taking my photo inside!  Can't wait to see how these birthday pansies grow!  Painting number 2650 in 2650 days.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Milk Barn Forsythia

Though I love my oils for this landscape, I thought I'd just try my ink and watercolors today for this favorite scene.  Of course, The ink is very natural as I sketch out the lines first.  As I add the watercolor, I like the amount of light that comes through those translucent colors.  That is the real benefit of watercolor.  I can allow as much light to shine through as I want.  Another benefit?  This media is so fast to execute - I can get right back to my chores without missing a beat!  Painting number  2649 in 2649 days.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Peace on the Winding Creek

What a difference a day makes!  From 70s to the 30s - we now rain freezing on the trees!  The cold and rainy day has me longing for yesterday, but at least the atmosphere is saturating those colors.  That is always the silver lining of a dark, rainy day!  I love how the new spring grass pops against those old fall leaves, adding so much interest to the landscape.  Spring is still here, though it sure feels like winter today!  Painting number 2649 in 2649 days.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Forsythia by the Corral

I can remember climbing over the rails of this corral when I was little.  My brother and I would wait for the cows to move to the back pasture, then run out to play here!  The cows are no longer here, but I've planted forsythia and lilies around this area.  I just knew these scenes would be perfect for painting one day!  Painting number 2648 in 2648 days.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

West Light on the Milk Barn

Oh my, how I love to paint this place!  I planted the forsythia years ago, looking forward to painting it one day.  I found another plant on the  opposite corner - but it was only emerging from the ground.  Could deer have totally mowed it down?  The light out here was amazing - golden hour, and it had to be painted!  I'm normally too busy this time of day, but made it happen.  Dinner is overrated anyway.  Painting number 2647 in 2647 days.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Osage Orange

Oh my!  What a hard day's work I've had!  Too tired to haul another limb, I grab my small sketch bag from the car and start drawing!  I thought I had brown black ink in this pen, but I didn't.  So, I decided to add a bit of watercolor at the end.  I could only see a little color at last light, so this is minimal.  I love all the birdsong as night rolls in.  The frogs are beginning to sing now, too.  I love spring!  Painting number 2646 in 2646 days.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

First Tulips

It seems so early, but my first tulips are up and shining brightly in the sunshine!  Even though this day has been completely full of hard yard work, I just had to take a few minutes to capture this!  The ink around the edge is my new Robert Oster ink - Great Southern Ocean - and wow!  What a cool color and spread it has when wet!  I actually thought I had another color in this pen, and didn't intend to use this, but I did not have time to run into the house, so I just used what I had.  I like the pleasant surprise!  Painting number 2645 in 2645 days.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lock and Dam II

When asked by a patron for any Dubuque pieces I might have left, I searched and found this one of the iconic Lock and Dam II, drawn off a bluff at the Eagle Point Park.  I pre-sketch almost every painting in the field before I start in the destined medium, which was the case here.  I painted a large, long painting, changing the format after completing this ink study.  I had run out of frames, so this one was not framed for the show, and came back home in my paper tote.   Such a unique place!  Painting number 2645 in 2645 days.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Forsythia by the Barn

After the crazy storms we had during the night, I was SO relieved to see blooms still on this forsythia by he barns!  We had so much marble sized hail, the ground was white like snow afterward!  I kept thinking that I had missed my chance to catch their beauty, and they would be stripped in the morning.  I was wrong!  These beautiful bushes still shine on this overcast day, with more storms expected tonight!  Oh, how I wish I could have painted them all day long!  But alas, this is real life and I had much to do around the homeplace today!  Perhaps I can revisit the forsythias tomorrow!  Painting number 2644 in 2644 days!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Getting Acquainted

This sweet lab is such an affectionate boy!  He thinks he's a lap dog, but at 110 pounds, he can absolutely squish me!  My painting companion in the field, he is always very near.  Whether I am gardening or painting, he sticks to me like glue.  Very accident prone, he has lived through some harrowing experiences!  Like a cat - he certainly must have 9 lives!  Painting number 2643 in 2643 days.  This painting is now showing at the Buttonwood Art Space - though I'm pretty sure it is closed due to the "stay at home" order. Stay safe and healthy out there, my friends!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


I love how this drift of daffodils is blooming in profusion, heralding in spring!  A time of renewal and rebirth, these beauties are certainly a sign of hope!  With gorgeous weather and even sunshine this afternoon, it was sheer joy to capture this in ink and watercolor.  I can't wait to spend the next few days outside with my flowers - and maybe the cows, too!  Painting number 2642 in 2642 days.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Spring Daffodils

The rain has moved out, leaving heavily overcast skies in it's wake.  I was hoping to see a little sun, so I waited until late in the afternoon to paint.  Today, I chose a white panel to paint on, which I rarely do.  I would much rather have another color down, that white is so bright in the field.  Any color to tone is better than white.  Since I don't use turp or mediums, I just block in with the mid tones. I jump to the palette knife pretty early,  pushing the lights.  So relaxing to breath in their fragrance as I work.  Can't wait for the beautiful days to follow!  Painting number 2641 in 2641 days.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Opening Clouds over the Creek

Painting along this creek offers many rewards.  The chatter of birds and singing of frogs is my accompaniment, and gentle breezes keep the new mosquitoes at bay.  Simply standing in this spot and REALLY observing the landscape, takes me out of myself.  There are no worries and the chores of the day drift out of my mind.  There is only this time, this space, and my very tactile oils.  Stroke by stroke the painting unfolds, and just as I am finishing, the clouds begin to open up, showing a little blue sky.  Another day with a run and a paint, certainly a day well spent.  Painting number 2640 in 2640 days

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Creek in the Woods

When I come to a place like this, with pen and ink in hand, the outside world fades away as I draw.  The very act of drawing is very therapeutic, and stroke by stroke I slip into my "zone".  The frogs and crickets keep me company, singing all the time.  I love having so much extra time to relax in the field.  There is nothing better than immersing myself in nature.  With a run and a sketch, all becomes right with the world.  Painting number 2639 in 2639 days.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Camp Fire

As I sat by the fire, after a day's work hauling branches, I thought this would be the perfect thing to sketch.  I've not drawn nor painted a fire before, so why not?  With boots too muddy to go into the house, I grabbed my sketch bag from the trunk.  This palette fans out, with many colors to choose from.  It has remained in my car for over a year, and I can see that a few of the paints have cracked.  Perhaps from the extreme temperature fluctuations?  It does not affect their performance, and they were actually perfect for capturing this scene!  I love sitting by a fire, watching the dancing flames as the smoke rises.  A hot mug of tea, and chili awaits.  Painting number 2638 in 2638 days.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Old Hay Rake and Daffodils

So good to see the sun today - even though the winds are blustery!  Oh what a difference a day makes!  I sat out for hours after sunset on the balcony last night, just soaking up that gorgeous weather and watching the stars.  Oh, how I loved that!  Then today, I have my winter coat on as I paint!  With the hard freeze expected tonight, I thought I had better capture these blooms in oil in case they get nipped!  The old hay rake behind the daffodils is the one used on this farm when my grandma and grandpa were first farming the land.  Love that old machinery!  Painting number 2637 in 2637 days.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

First Day of Spring

On this first day of spring, I am celebrating amongst my first daffodils to bloom!  This variety is called Ice Castles, and I planted them many years ago under the windmill, and down by the road.  Their blooms never fail, even though these are very shaded now.  The theme from Ice Castles was playing during the Shawnee Mission West Homecoming announcement on the football field, played by the band, as my name was called.  I remember sweetly the big, big hug my father gave me, and long to feel those strong arms around me again.  So therapeutic to immerse myself in spring, capturing these blooms with paint and brush.  Love these moments with no news, no chatter beside the crickets, frogs and birds!  Painting number 2636 in 2636 days.