Friday, December 13, 2013

Lama on the job

 A neighbor's lama stands guard over his sheep. He gets a great deal of respect from the sheep, but little affection, as they seem to stay a good distance away from him at all times. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gingerbread Houses

 We are getting into the holiday spirit around here! These are Gingerbread Houses that my sons and niece and nephew created recently-- with some help from Grandma and my Brother.
 My eldest son's Pentagon house.
Youngest son's house sitting on it's roof!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A sneak peek at some watercolor paintings I've been working on. They are part of a series of animal themed art that will be made into prints. More about each to come in later posts.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow Ponies

If there is one animal I could mind meld with it would be Sidney. She is full of all kinds of attitude and always makes me smile. Every look she gives me speaks a thousand words.
 JD is my friend's horse and a sweet guy.
 JD's beautiful coat. He is a morgan and his coat is soft and teddy bearish.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

 Another digital/printmaking image. The color combination has grown on me.
As an Ipad skin @ Society6

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


 Late autumn sunflowers in the garden, waiting for the hungry birds passing south.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Raven watercolor painting

 I have been finishing up the Raven painting I began a while ago. The colors look vibrant - I couldn't see making him all black and dreary- he is way too full of sass for that. I included some work in progress from from another post below.
 I know- the raven has too many toes- five here in my painting although you can't see the back toe. I wanted them to look more like hands-- John Howe did it best-- the more human number just seemed fitting.

What did I learn from this painting: Test all your colors first before you start laying down washes. I chose a magenta color that was highly staining, when I ran into some trouble with a misplaced wash I had difficulty lifting the magenta. Also use a large water container, or better yet use two- one to rise brushes and one to lay down washes. It sounds obvious and simple, but I found myself muddying things up because I used dirty water, or running back to the sink time and again to refill my water container.

A walk in the woods

 Raccoon Creek near Lobdell Reserve in Alexandria, Ohio
More lovely fungus 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


 I have been working on a colorful raven. Here are a few in process images. I am not sure if I will continue on with this high key triad, or if I will tone it down a bit.
I have upgraded the bulbs in all my studio lights-- it is making a terrific difference- no more yellow cast to everything. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to changing the lights until after these photos.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Several weeks ago my family and I attended the annual Swapper's Day Flea Market in Johnstown, Ohio.  It began as an opportunity for local sportsmen to have their dogs compete in timed trials, then as the event grew in popularity, participants brought items to swap, trade, or sell.

You can find everything from socks to antiques and guns for sale.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sanibel Seashells watercolor in progress. 
In order to create texture for the background, I used some tracing paper and tape to create a mask to protect the shells so that I could apply paint splatters to the background using a toothbrush. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Late Summer Garden Visitors
This Black and Yellow Garden Spider spun her web in our sunflower patch. She is a member of the orb weaver family of spiders and will lay her eggs in a sack on the edge of the web where the baby spiders will hatch and over winter until next spring.

Not sure, but I would call these guys love bugs.  The spider set up in a good location right beneath them.
 This little guy fell into a bucket in the barn. Lucky that I noticed him while I was clearing a few things out or he might have been there for a while. I let him spend the afternoon in the kids aquarium, so they could take a good look at him when they came home from school.
 Midland Brown Snake - great news- they never bite!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

 Autumn has arrived- at least according to the calendar. I am still reminiscing about summers past. These shells were collected on the southeast side of  Sanibel Island, Florida. We visited Sanibel in late November when the crowds of summer had gone, and the weather was perfect for shelling. In order to get my shelling fix now, I often visit .  A great blog, with more terrific photos of shells and shellers.
This watercolor has been taped to my desk for a couple of days now. I am trying to work out a few problems with the edges on the bleached out shark's eye shell at the bottom. The choice to stick to a high key color palette was easy, but making it work has been challenging. I have been relying on using warm and cool colors to help shape the forms - cool on edges moving away, warm on advancing shapes.
 Tiny Sanibel treasures. These are my favorite to collect, and they are easier to transport.
Washed up on the beach after a storm.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

While I was out running errands a couple of weeks ago, I came across this beautiful guy. He had been hit by a passing car, but was still in good shape for making some nature studies from. He is a Black Rat Snake, fairly common in central Ohio. 
 He measured not quite three feet long, not full sized for a Rat Snake. They typically grow from four to six feet long, although some have been known to exceed eight feet.
 I love the iridescent reflections on his belly. Rat snakes can discharge a foul smelling substance from their musk glands when alarmed.
 This closeup shows the beautiful scales on his back and the subtle brown rings around his body. Most eastern Rat Snakes freeze in position when threatened in order to blend with their surroundings. I hope to use these photos for reference for some paintings.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 These butterflies in rainbow hues were inspired by all the winged visitors to the garden this summer. The purple cone flower I planted a few years ago has spread itself around and the butterflies seem to love it.
 This is a close up of the original. I like how the layers of texture worked out, and the color gradations.
This is the cropped image on an iphone skin at Society6
These two textures helped the give the final image more depth.