Sunrise At The Vineyard

8″ x 10″ watercolor on Arches 300lb. watercolor paper.

Is it the ‘norm’ to have a few paintings in progress as well as a stack on the side of your desk with many ideas for future projects? I also wonder how many artists have their entire day(s) to paint or try desperately to fit the time in here or there? My time is limited, so when I get a few hours, I turn my music on and shut the world out. Today I planned to take the entire day to paint, however, life got in the way. The first half of the day was taken up by “must do’s” so when I finally got home, it was an absolute pleasure to paint and finish up this small watercolor painting!

Stay cool with all this summer heat.

From Sketch To The Final Piece

It is so nice to be finished with a couple of recent watercolor paintings but they weren’t without their obstacles. I generally make a working sketch when a project is complicated but I did not examine my sketch of the “Ocean Painters” carefully enough to work through the difficult shade areas or take a good look at the “bench” when beginning the painting. Artists who have worked with watercolor know, once the color is down, it is difficult to make changes afterward. I took my chances and made some changes anyway and for the most part, it worked out.

The palm tree painting was straight forward but my “Ocean Painters” will need a bit of tweaking here and there but is basically done.

I continue to learn something new every day and definitely with these two paintings.

Working With A Deadline

Deadlines are so uninspiring but they do cause me to schedule my days to make the most out of the time I do have to be creative.

As a rule, I try to stay away from deadlines but I am working on two paintings for a show in Oceanside, CA – due date: June 30th. No pressure – HA! My watercolor paintings have layers and layers of color and right about this stage, I am having doubts and being super critical of my work. I have no idea why, but it’s a battle I have with each watercolor painting.

Here is the progress of both paintings plus another painting set aside until later:

Small Watercolors and Working Ideas

Now that I am back in my studio, it is time to finish up a couple of watercolor paintings and work out the details for a couple of more. From early in my high school days to now, I have always loved working in the controlled environment of my own room as opposed to “En Plein Air”. Painting outside is fun and though I am getting to paint outside more, the illustrator in me needs to work on paintings at any hour of the day without worrying about the changing light. I also tend to work on several paintings at a time and below is a sketch of a painting I plan to do in watercolor as well as oil.

Blessings🎨

Scribbles From the Road (Part 3)

My husband and I began our road trip starting in Southern California and traveled through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and back home south through the south-eastern corner of Oregon and Nevada. The landscape was so varied and even though it was all beautiful in it’s own way, we loved Idaho the best. Besides Coeur d’Alene, we spent time in the mountain resort town of McCall, Boise and Caldwell. Here are some highlight photos of the different areas…

Our hike in Ponderosa State Park, view Payette Lake

We continued on Lily Marsh Trail

Strolled through the Ann Morrison Park in the city of Boise

Onward home through the Jorden Valley, mountain areas and deserts…

Dove Springs is a favorite area for so many So Cal people to motorcycle ride and as we made our final stop before getting home, we were able to watch the Memorial Day crowd of weekend warriors get themselves settled for what promised to be an amazing time to be out in the desert.

Though we spent a lot of time exploring the many different areas with our two Boxers, I managed to get in a few more “scribbles” in my sketchbook

As we enter the summer months, I wish you all a safe and blessed time no matter where the days find you.

Scribbles From The Road, Part 2

Fields of Canola Flowers

Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.

Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.

We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…

As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…

White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!

We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.

In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.

Scribbles From The Road (Part 1)

Ballpoint pen sketch while traveling

RV traveling is great to see the countryside and stay at “off the beaten path” places but can also seem long as the miles roll on and on. So this year, instead of letting myself drone out while my husband drives, I decided to make the time profitable and sketch. I’m not sure if any of you have ever tried to sketch while traveling in a vehicle, but it is not the easiest thing to do, so I figured that a scribble technique with a ballpoint pen would be my best option.

With our usual, familiar landscape, my first sketch was of the artichokes grown locally

As we traveled through Northern California and Oregon, the landscape inspired me to do a couple more sketches but since the landscape changes so quickly, these are just quick impressions.

Here are some photos of the areas we traveled through…

Mount Shasta

A small inlet of Lake ShastaCooper and Luna

Klamath National Forest

Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Pend Oreille, Bayview, Idaho

So much more to see and many more sketches to do, so stay tuned for Part 2

Happy and safe travels!

Taft Gardens

Ojai, CA

Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve is a local treasure with acres and acres (264 acres to be exact), of plants, trees and paths to meander. There were so many beautiful areas to explore but since time was of the essence to start painting, my friend and I chose a place relatively close to where we parked to start painting.

There are over 20,000 different species of plants and trees and I only captured a very small percentage of them.

The recent California fires were devastating and it seems like no area was left untouched but firefighters were able to save so much of the gardens. The surrounding hills and nature preserve was a different story but thankfully new growth has already begun with the recent rains.

Tomorrow we are suppose to get another few days of rain so I plan to head back there soon to see even more wildflowers and green hills before the summer months turn it golden.

Until next time, take care and take time to enjoy your surroundings wherever that might be.

Vasquez Rocks Park

Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA

Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.

Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.

This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.

I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.

There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!

The Thing About Posting and Boasting

Harbor Village, Ventura CA

Some days just go into a 180 degree direction….

I met with a new group to paint the Tall Ships at Harbor Village. It was cold but beautiful and so I posted to share my day. I had planned only to be there a few hours so that I could get to my “chores”. Heading over there on the freeway, I ran over something metal that hit my car with quite a racket but by the time I got to the harbor all seemed well. So imagine my disappointment when I got back to my car and one of the tires was completely flat. I called and waited for AAA to help. The young man changed the tire and left and as I barely got 10 parking spaces away, my spare went flat! Ugh. Another call to AAA and more waiting then I was towed to a tire place to wait, yet again, for the tire to be replaced. It was a really long day but on the positive side of things, while I was waiting, I found a cute UV hat for my outdoor painting adventures, the tire was able to be fixed – costing only $10 and I made it home safely.😊

A couple of lessons were to make sure I don’t post just to boast and to take the good with the bad gracefully. Stay safe everyone!