Friday, August 29, 2008

Workshops and wonder!

These are the flowers from the back yard.... Black Eyed Susan's ....... Love them!!

I spent the morning presenting a workshop on nature journaling.  It was fun to share and present new ways of drawing and painting, to friends.   Surprisingly, with so much information to present, we never got outside... but we plan to do that in the future.  I realized that I can go for weeks and months sometimes, without working in my journal.  I miss taking that time out to sketch the beauty around me - I must remind myself to do it more often.   

Okay.... "Do it more often!!".     There, maybe now, I will pay attention.  

Enjoy this Labor Day weekend... I hope that it is "Labor Free" for you and filled with all of the fun things that the last days of summer can bring.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Boos.....

I love the 'baby boo' pumpkins and so I planted them this year, in hopes of having some fun Fall painting.  Nothing much has happened all summer... but when we finally got our rain a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to see little buds growing.  Now, I have three or four "babies' on my vines.  I thought you might like to see them.  I can't wait for them to start changing to that wonderful deep orange.  I will keep you posted.

Frames, frames, frames.....

No photos today.... maybe I will have time to take some later.  I have spent the last two days framing 10 pieces of my work.  Yup... it was time.  The Credential is complete, and they all deserved to be in frames.  
So with that done, I can start cleaning .... my studio, the layers of dust in the house, and the yard.  Everything needs a "freshening up" around here.  I don't even think I will see the drawing board today.  If I see something fun, as I work my way around the house and yard.... I will add a post this afternoon.
Hope that your day is an "industrious" one.  I am just working on Labor Day... early.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Colorado skies

Can you believe the beauty of these skies?  We are enjoying perfect weather here this week.  The skies are so very blue, the air is comfortably warm, and the nights are cool.  It's that blissful weather, that makes one love Colorado.  I am not a 'native' Coloradan, but I have been here a mighty long time, and it still amazes me, just how perfect a day can be.  I KNOW that this is true for every area of the country.  They each have their 'perfect' days and weeks. 

So, wherever you are, I hope that this is a 'perfect weather week' for you.  If not, be patient - good weather will come.... and when we are having some cold gray days, you will no doubt, be having something perfect, in your neck of the woods.

What ever it is, enjoy today!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Caribou Ranch...

If you head west, out of Boulder, and head up into the foothills, past Nederland towards Ward, there is a lovely "Open Space" hike at Caribou Ranch.  It's not a long hike... only about three miles, but the aspen groves and wild flowers always seem to be at their best for the season.   This "Open Space" project is one of Boulder County's best treats.  It has a trail that meanders through the trees, to an open meadow... down to the original ranch house.  It's just a fun place to head on a cooler day (and that would be anything below 80 degrees).  

We couldn't resist a quick break from all the 'have to's" around the house, to drive up and enjoy a breath of fresh air.  It's definitely not a crowded place to hike either.  We only met about 6 people, coming and going.  So, if you are in the area.... say, the Democratic National Convention, in Denver, don't hesitate to sneak away and see the real beauty of the area.... at Caribou Ranch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I think I'm done....

I have been plugging away all week on this one, and I think I am done.  I am in the process of  'observing' it for a week or two... then I will see if I need to add or subtract anything.  

I am having a lot of trouble with my cameras.... yes, plural.  One needs a new battery and the other is not focusing.  I took the 'other' one in and the Camera fixer said that it was fine... just fine.  Well, it's not fine, because it won't focus..... so you get a fuzzy print.  Sorry about that, but until I can get something fixed or new batteries, I will have to settle for a bit fuzzy.

It's 5:15, and I am calling it a day.  I have worked most of the day, and I am 'done'!  I need some food and relaxation.  I hope that you have good food this weekend... and lots of relaxation.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Splashing about with color

I just had to splash about with some color after working on the birds nest and assorted tasks.  This painting is far from done... but I thought you would get a kick out of it.  It's a big splash of Red, with a big paint brush, and lots of water .  I don't often do that... more likely, I would choose a fine brush and something with tons of details.  This was just an exercise to get me out of the "norm".  

Sometimes, I have to take a left turn, and try something so different.  It keeps life a bit more interesting and a lot more fun.  Maybe today, you can do something totally out of your comfort zone.  It might not turn out great, but who cares.  Celebrate the "Reds" in life.  

I need to do more of that.  How about You?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More to do..

There is more to do on this, but I thought that I would share the changes with you.  With a class critique (more like a mutual support comment time),  the idea that came out was to add a leaf and extend the stem... which I worked on today...  However, I do not like the stem ... so back to the drawing board.   I need to let it rest for a week or so, and then come back to it.  I seem to do better that way.  Also, it wouldn't hurt to focus the camera when taking the next photo... this one really turned out fuzzy.  Oh well ...

Next up, I will share the tomato, which also needs a bit of work... but I just had to paint a big red heirloom.  I used cold press paper, which was a gift from my son.  I really enjoy it's texture, and it takes a lot of water.  

I am tired.... worn out from too many late nights reading and watching the Olympics.  Whew, it's been fun, but I need a catch up nap.  How about you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sun's Out!...

The rain never lasts too long in Colorado.  Today was just a perfect day with perfect temperatures and sunshine.  The flowers were positively 'glowing'  after the long cool drink they had this weekend.  

Let's see, I haven't had time to scan or photograph work (maybe, tomorrow), but I do have this little piece that I did awhile ago, and I am working on getting it into a frame.  So, think "Spring", instead of late August, and you can enjoy these grape hyacinths.

I bought some new 'toys' today..... colored pencils in new colors! .... and pan pastels (these are just plain awesome... and so much fun to play with...but pretty pricey, so I only bought the basics).  I LOVE going to the Art Store (ANY art store!).  To me, it's just like buying school supplies at the beginning of the year, and counting the colored crayons in the really big box!

Today was just a great day, all around!  

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rain, Rain's come to stay....

Colorado is known more for it's dryness than it's rain... but we are having rain... lots and lots of rain!  It's planning to stick around for a few days, to green up the grass, water the flowers and clear out the dust.  
You have to love the blue of the sky, the beige of the land, the majestic mountains, and lots of sunshine,  if you live here, because rain is not a common ingredient in our area.  
So, people are generally pretty happy about the much cooler temperatures, gray skies, and wet weather that is here.   I put on my sweater today (first time all summer) and worked in my studio with lots of artificial lighting. 
 I am ready to pick up the wonderful book that I am reading - "Modoc" - and snuggle down for some good relaxing time.  I hope that you can spend this weekend, doing just what you enjoy most.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Study of an Eggplant

I was cleaning up my studio, which needs to be done frequently....Otherwise, I get lost under piles of 'stuff'.  

I found this study, done last year, of an eggplant, from our garden.  It was small, as eggplants go, but the practice of sketching it first and then painting in the color, gives one the idea of the process of painting the plant.  A lot of attention if given to the botany of the plant, before the actual painting starts.  I will keep this in my 'eggplant' file, in case I decide to paint an eggplant some day.  

I hope that you can find a moment this weekend, to just look at something in nature... observe the details, and realize how intricate it can be.  All of life is intricate, and interwoven, and sometimes, just studying nature gives you a perspective on the intricacy of life.  Be well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Good Morning
After a nice walk in the much cooler air, yet a day filled with sunshine, I am ready to get back to my 'homework' for my colored pencil class.  It has been an fun and interesting class.  We have been experimenting with putting our base colors down with pastels and solvent... or pastel and water.  We have used several different products in the area of pastels.  They cover a large area with vibrant color, so that the need for so much layering with the colored pencil is avoided.  

If you look on the left side of the flower, it is just a pastel base... but on the right, it has been worked with colored pencil.  I will show you the finished product when it is completed.  It is a 6x6 square... also, something different for me to try.

Okay... to work, to work.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Slo Mo"

I am working in 'slo mo' these days.  With class all day on  Monday, and details of survival, taking up most of today  (you know... groceries, laundry, dental appointments, etc.), it is taking me a very long time to finish this bird's nest.  I am enjoying the process, but wish that it could move a bit quicker.  Patience, patience, patience.  A bird's nest is not built in a day..... right?  (please tell me they don't get all this work done in one day). 

I took a bunch of photos today of finished and unfinished work... which I will share later  this week.  

Until then, I will work daily, be patient with myself, and enjoy the Olympics every evening.... because every moment is precious.... (and the Olympics are a very special moment in all of our lives).  Have a good one.

bird's nest..... in progress.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fresh Produce!

Here is a 'beet' that I have been working on.  I almost framed it... but brought it home to work out a few more details.  I am glad that I did... not that they are very noteworthy, but sometimes, just a line here and there can make such a difference.

I am also working on 'the nest'  which is proving to be a challenge right now.  I will put it on the blog next week (after a bit more work).  I need to put it up on the easel for a day or so... then come back to it.  It's all a process.

Enjoy your weekend, and the opening of the Olympic games.  I love the Olympics and what it does represent.  It's always exciting to watch the best of the best compete.  

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heirloom Tomatoes

The joys of August are the fresh vegetable stands that are so abundant with produce.  The Farmer's Market is aflutter with excitement, as the heirloom tomatoes arrive.  Can't you just taste the flavor, that only a home grown tomato can provide.  Yum...I want to create a sketch and a drawing of this wonderful treat.
I still haven't downloaded photos of work, so you will have to wait until tomorrow.  I just took a photo of the beet... which I worked on some yesterday.  I am moving around from drawing to drawing, so that each drawing gets some attention every day... however, this tomato may pop up in a quick watercolor... can't help myself. 

Head to your local Farmers Market today and have a wonderful meal from the bounty of the fields... I guarantee it will make you smile!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It could be snowing!

Sometimes, when the summer heat seems endless and we are a bit weary, we wish for snow.  So, today, I thought you might enjoy a photo of Rocky Mountain National Park, on a February day.  
I realize that 20+ days of 90 degree weather, can make people crabby, but it HAS cooled down to the mid-80's now.   But, if the heat is getting to you, just think of winter and appreciate the fact that it is not March... when it seems as if the cold  and gray weather will never end.
I must admit, that there is much beauty in the winter, but oh, how I love the flowers of summer.
I am back at work on several projects.... a 'black eyed susan' for class,  the birdsnest, and an older piece (a beet), that I am perking up, so that I can frame it.  I will share one with you tomorrow (depending on how far I get with drawing today).

Okay... so THINK COOL!   

Monday, August 4, 2008

a 'blatant theft'

Today is Monday, and I have been in class all day.  Despite 'graduating' on Friday, I had a chance to take a great class with a great instructor (in colored pencil).  How could I resist?  Most of the students had already 'graduated' from the program, which made it really fun.  I am learning lots of new 'tricks' of the trade.

So I have committed a 'blatant theft' from my son, who took this photo on his recent visit.  I thought that his photography of this subject was amazing.  I see a budding photographer here, don't you?
As you can tell, there is just a hint of change taking place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  This was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Aspen are starting to change... just a touch.  It's still mighty hot here, but with some cloud cover, it's starting to cool a bit more in the late afternoon.

So thanks to "G.R.R." for the use of the photo.  I promise to go back to my own stuff tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Do over" Columbines

My final entry to my portfolio was the Colorado Columbine.  It was done in colored pencil (prismacolors).  I found this wonderful specimen on a hike above Boulder, CO.  It was a hiking trail outside of Nederland, that started at Hesse Trailhead and headed up to Lost Lake (I think I got that right).  It's truly a beautiful hike, and at the right time of the year, the Columbine are amazing.  I created this composition from photographs and from using the Columbines in my back yard as study models.  I, originally, painted this in watercolor... only to muddy the dark areas.... so I decided to re-do it in colored pencil.  I am much more pleased with this one.

Sometimes, "do overs" do make a difference.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Playing with a paint brush.....

Well, I am officially done with the Botanical Illustration credential.  The Portfolio review  went well.  All of my teachers were kind and filled with praise.  Wow... it was a joyful experience, and it will sustain me for many months to come.  Again, I am so grateful for this experience... and I can feel my Mom... smiling down from heaven at me... happy that I did this for myself.

Today, do something just for you... that you love... that brings you joy.  You deserve it too!

Oh.. this is the watercolor that I presented.  To my surprise, it was a 'hit'!!.  Everyone liked it and praised it, for composition, creativity and detail.  I took a chance with this one.. but worked with my strengths (I love details).  Tomorrow... I will show you the last one in the portfolio.

Today, it was 104 degrees in Colorado.... so hopefully, where ever you are .... you are staying cool.