Another small watercolour, this one more pencil than watercolour.
Took pictures of Katie (who has the most wonderful red hair) and painted the first of (I hope) many portraits of her. Actually, I did one of her and her mother when she was a tiny baby, so this is the second, or maybe the third. I tried to be loose, but it is hard to be loose. Looked at Charles Reid’s Painting Portraits in Watercolor for inspiration but I am just not able to let go! I think the more you paint, the more able you are to let the pigment flow! Wish I were able to paint more, but now is the time for architecture.
I spent the evening reading old journal entries. I couldn’t keep a journal until I decided I would write it for one special person, my future (maybe?) great grandchild. That made it easy to think of what to write. I wrote things that I wish I knew about my great grandparents. My aunt recently told me that she wrote her memories of her children and grandchildren and gave them as birthday gifts this past year. How clever of her to think of such a wonderful gift! I am always surprised that my kids don’t remember things from their early days, or when their memory is flavored with the telling and retelling of stories. But isn’t that the way it is for all of us.
My mother talked a lot of memories during her last months. She didn’t share memories (she shared plenty over the years), rather she talked of what memories were, of how our perspective of an event so totally affects a memory. My memory of an event from childhood may be very different than my sister’s memory of the same event. But both of them are true, who is to say your memory is wrong?
The other writing I do is note taking while listening to sermons in church. Those notes include lots of doodling. Sometimes a sermon inspires very visual notes, other times not so much. I am not sure what inspired this fish! Can’t remember from the notes!
Here is another watercolor portrait I worked on last weekend. Added some finishing touches tonight, mainly to keep me up past 9 pm!
This is on aquabord, 8″x8″.
Have you ever heard the phrase “’til the cows come home?” I haven’t heard it in years (or even thought about it and now you are thinking if that is what’s on my mind, I have a very boring life indeed! And yes, I do.) Seems to me that we used to have and use more idioms than we do now but maybe the idioms have just changed and I am no longer “with it.”
When I was a kid, my parents would “drag” us up to Ellijay, Georgia every weekend. Drag was the word we used then, now going to Ellijay is a pleasure as it was for my parents back then. Ellijay is in the mountains of Georgia, a back woods kind of country. At least back then. Lots of family lore and land, dirt roads, barn cats, corn rows, snakes, grassy meadows, stinky hogs, swimming holes and cows. We would hear my great-uncle Glen calling his cows home each evening. That is a sound I would love to hear again.
This is an 8″x8″ watercolor with some white acrylic ink in the background. I was trying to make the cows pop. Can you imagine someone with limited knowledge of English wondering about why I wanted the cows to pop? Or any of the strange idioms we may use/used to use regularly? But don’t they make talking and listening much more enjoyable?
I am a bit behind, but… Merry Christmas! I hope your holidays have been lovely. My month has been busy, and I am sorry I have removed myself from this blog for so long. I have not even checked it since my last post! But I have done some art and since Christmas is past, I think I am free to show you some commissioned work.
a pencil drawing –
another pencil drawing –
and a watercolor of the same cute girls (not a very good photo, though) –
And a watercolor portrait done a few months ago that I never shared with you. Was holding off until the big reveal and then just didn’t… until now. I am pleased with this, actually I am pleased with them all. I force myself to look critically at my work and when I see my errors and able to fix them (based on learned knowledge), I am a happy camper.
My daughter introduced me to QI, a British TV show with Stephen Fry. It is very funny although extremely crude (by American ‘Southern States’ standards anyway) and one episode shows what is called “the Thatcher Effect.” I think this is the same idea of turning your portraits upside down and viewing them for errors. (There is a post somewhere in this blog that talks about that.) Watch QI on youtube for a good laugh when you have time but if you are offended easily, be forewarned!
My title was taken from an old joke. Do you know it?
I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and I pray you have much to be thankful for. The last few years have been difficult ones for my family culminating with my mother’s short illness and death this summer. The economy has taken its toll on all who work in the development/construction industry including designers and architects. My husband and I would never have dreamt that development would just totally stop like it did a few years ago. And I am amazed that we have survived intact through what I hope is the worst of it. Counting my blessings over the last few years would not be a difficult task. And lately, thankfully, we have both been busy and I pray that it continues into the next few years. (At least for Ken, I wouldn’t mind spending some days in the studio!) Even after difficult times, we have much to be thankful for. I watched Ken Burns latest documentary on the Dust Bowl this week on PBS. My hardships don’t even compare to those days of hell on earth. But that decade passed and times improved even as they seem to be for us. It was also evident in the show that we are prone to forget and will quickly repeat mistakes when we let greed take over.
Tomorrow, may we remember and be thankful for what we do have, being satisfied and content at least for the moment.
I painted the pumpkin watercolor a couple of years ago after visiting a patch in North Georgia. I am not sure there is a much more lovely fruit than a huge pumpkin (I looked it up and it is a fruit, at least Wikipedia said it was!). And I so look forward to the pie the canned variety will yield tomorrow!
Imagine this face inspiring me to do a watercolor for the first time in several days.
It reminds me of another “beautiful” bird, the turkey. I was driving in the mountains recently and slowed for a small flock of turkeys in the road. The turkeys were really interested in me or my car and, just like a country dog, chased me down the road, staying right at my side for 200 feet or so. Is that typical behavior for a turkey?
Having a little fun with leaves tonight. These were drawn (okay, honestly? I just traced them) onto watercolor paper and painted with pan gauche I found in my mother’s studio. I then painted words on them with acrylic ink and varnished them. I like the way they look.
These would be great tags for presents if I ever put that kind of effort into wrapping presents!!
The leaves are pretty this year here. Hope you are enjoying them!
A companion piece (although they are so totally different) to Ethan. His beautiful little sister, Lily.
Her father, my nephew Daniel, sent me this photo with scarf around her head. She looks like a tiny Jewish mother in the photo, not sure I captured that look!
What do you think, Daniel?
I have some close friends who offered to let us stay at their house on Panama City Beach this past week. It was nice to get away and while I have always found the Atlantic Coast more interesting because of the marshes, the beach and weather here were perfect. I spent a lot of time watercoloring, avoided a rattlesnake in my path, crossed a red river (Inlet really. Deep, deep beautiful red) and survived biting flies (yes, it felt like living through the plagues of Egypt, but luckily, it stopped there). Here are some quick sketches (done while son and husband were waiting on me).
Rosemary Beach green. First time I had gone to Rosemary Beach. Beautiful architecture, would love to design a house there, if you are thinking of building one. It did feel a bit claustrophobic to me though. Great bookstore. Didn’t go to Watercolor. Wonder if there are great spots to watercolor there??? Wonder who chose the name Watercolor for a development???
Sitting on the porch of a house built in 1890 something (now a state park), looking at the fountain. Nothing about this sketch is good, showing it to you anyway. Wish I were a little better at quick landscapes and live oak trees.
Another rooftop view. I spent longer working on this one. Hope you can tell! Left out about 9 high rises. I think that is why I like the Atlantic Coast. No high rises. My husband worked for the firm that designed of few of these omitted buildings. Still don’t like them.
Thank you, Blanch, Mike and Peggy!!! Nice to have such generous friends!