Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Recent Sketches + Maine Preview!

It was a beautiful sunny day when I painted at the first annual garden party at the historic David Bradford House in Washington, PA. People strolled through the gardens, listening to live guitar music and nibbling on tasty hors d'oeuvres. I set up on the lawn where I had a perfect view of the old well and the purple irises that had just begun to bloom.  

9-1/4" x 7", ink & watercolor, Canson 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook

I was there to demonstrate how I paint with watercolor, but I'd been a tiny bit concerned that I'd feel self-conscious when people stopped to watch me paint. The whole experience turned out to be a great deal of fun, though. I felt so happy, sitting outside on a pretty spring afternoon, doing what I love to do. It was the most relaxing few hours I'd had in a long time. And I met a lot of interesting people, too. It's good to stretch myself sometimes and get outside my comfort zone.

I just finished up my spring classes last week, and at the last session of my sketchbook journaling class, the students asked me to do a demo, so I picked some clematis from our yard and did this quick sketch...

5-1/2" c 9-1/2", ink & watercolor, Stillman and Birn Alpha series sketchbook

And since I'm heading off to teach in Maine in a little over a week, I thought I'd share with you a few of the sketches I did the last time I was there. Some were completed on site and others were drawn in ink while I was there, then finished up with watercolor here in my studio. It's a process that works well for me, enabling me to see a lot and get in plenty of sketching time while I'm visiting a place, then reliving the good times later when I paint from photos I took on location.

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine, 8-1/2" x 6", ink & watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook

Thuya Gardens, Northeast Harbor, Maine, 8-1/2" x 6", ink & watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook

Somesville, Maine, 8-1/2" x 6", ink & watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook

Northeast Harbor, Maine, 8-1/2" x 6", ink & watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook

Owls Head harbor, Maine, 8-1/2" x 6", ink & watercolor, Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor sketchbook
This is really getting me in the mood for Maine - it can't come soon enough!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Catching Up

There's been so much going on this spring!  I've been teaching two series of classes each week, and busily planning lessons for my Maine workshop that's coming up in less than a month. I'm behind on my spring yard work, and I've barely begun to plant my garden. I tend to feel a little overwhelmed at times about everything I have on my plate, but then I look at this and it puts everything in perspective....


We have a new granddaughter! Meet Isabelle Anne...


She's a little bundle of pure perfection and holding her is my favorite thing to do these days. There's just nothing that compares to holding a newborn baby in your arms, is there? The cares of the world melt away and peace and contentment take their place.

Nicholas and Callista love their new baby sister, and can't get enough of holding her. With all the aunts, grandmas and siblings standing in line to cuddle this little munchkin, she hardly ever has a moment when she's not being snuggled and loved.


So for now, I'm playing with my grandkids, planting flowers, and planning for Maine. Just wanted to check in - I'll have sketches to share again soon. I promise!


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