When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language..." (Paul Gauguin)


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Friday, November 24th, 2017

Waterfall fantasy 01, 6H x 2W inches watercolors

Waterfall Fantasy 01, 6H x 2W inches watercolors

Waterfall Fantasy 02

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Waterfall Fantasy 02, 6H x 2W inches watercolors

Waterfall Fantasy 02, 6H x 2W inches watercolors

Waterfall Fantasy 03, 6H x 2W inches watercolors

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Waterfall Fantasy 03, 6H x 3W inches watercolors

Waterfall Fantasy 03, 6H x 3W inches watercolors

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Multnomah Falls, 18 x 24 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold press premium

Multnomah Falls, Oregon – 18 x 24 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold press premium. This is a water study – am getting a lot of practice in every day, and am leaving this one alone after a few hours of work.


Monday, February 27th, 2017

Oystercatchers, 18 x 24 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold press

Oystercatchers, 18 x 24 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold press


Oystercatchers, upper left detailThis is finished, although I’d love to merge the contrasts somehow. I don’t want to mess up the implied light though, or the initial spontaneous brush strokes, like in the background waves. Every new mark at this stage makes a difference too, and in context to the whole, even small changes affect other areas that need to adjust accordingly.
Oystercatchers, central detail Before you know it, colors mud together and beautiful open spaces disappear. I’m going to take direction from my most recent pieces, which I feel were over-worked, and quit while I’m ahead.
Oystercatchers, lower left detailChallenge is exciting…particularly with watercolors. Whereas with other media mistakes can be erased or covered easily and change can occur throughout the process without much hesitation, with watercolors a person needs to know a subject well – or at least be able to fake it with confidence!Oystercatchers, upper right detail
Finding a way to make each painting unique means following cues happening within the work itself. In this painting, the most remarkable thing occurred after the the first phase of production.
Oystercatchers, central right detailBecause this subject was unfamiliar, I started by first penciling in the shapes, wondering what I could do to make this less boring – you know, not just be a picture of Oystercatchers. When erasing the pencil marks in order to see what the paint had established, little rolls of eraser pieces scattered here and there. Sprinkled impromptu around the birds, those tiny eraser shreds added a pronounced and unexpected zing of life to the composition.Oystercatchers, lower right detail First thinking “what have I got to lose?”, the eraser-pieces were mimicked in paint around the birds. I’m tempted to make those strokes more prominent, but a small success is in order, so will use this fun technique in another painting.

Color Study

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


Angels Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas 14H x 22W inches watercolors on paper
Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas 14H x 22W inches watercolors on 140 lb. cold pressed premium, white mat

$250.00          Buy Now Using PayPal


Value study

Thursday, November 5th, 2009


 Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, TX - value study

Angel’s Trumpet value study, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas12 x 16 inches Tombo pen wash on 140 lb. WC paper.

The Tombo pen is a two-in-one water-soluble marker available in colors as well as black. One tip is medium-fine and the other looks and behaves like a Chinese paintbrush, where thickness of lines can be controlled. What’s more difficult to control is that black once it’s on the page! It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.

Preliminary studies are useful with watercolors because if, in trying to correct and re-work areas, the integrity of the paper is easily lost, especially on inexpensive papers. Still, on a traditional watercolor a lot can be done by adding water  to pull out the dark where it’s not wanted, and push out areas of paint with dry brushes. Some places in this study have built-up 3D edges created by the paper bits because I pushed them around so much with a stiff brush to correct things, but traditionally this is not acceptable.

Actually, come to think of it, that might be interesting to deliberately sculpt the paper in strategic areas – like objects in the foreground – by saturating it with too much water, then while painting, brush the resulting paper bits into piles and mold them with a stiff  brush. I may try that in the final colored painting of this scene. This proves once more that every single painting is an experiment to find ways to turn disadvantages and  limitations into advantage and innovation.

Even though WC and Acrylics are water-friendly and watered-down acrylics is the method I use to start most canvas paintings, I’m noticing a few outstanding differences : 1) an off-balance composition seems to be more noticeable with WC, definitely not as correctable 2) improved attention to drawing, details and ultra-conscious 3) requires pre-planning and foresight to keep the work fresh and clean 4) commands enough confidence to swish the paint on quickly as if it was not planned.

Chapala Wind

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009


Chapala Wind, 11H x 11W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted

  Chapala Wind, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, phase 1 Chapala Wind, phase 2: spraying alcohol, scratching paint

Chapala Wind – Lake Chapala, Mexico, 11H x 11W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted. Thumbnails: phase 1 and 2 in progress.

Sprayed alcohol loosened the paint and I was able to scratch it, at first with my nails and then a pottery tool. Thanks to Karen Xarchos for all the feedback and additional information. We worked together painting murals in Ottawa for a couple of years. Karen has done extensive work in restaurants and homes in the Ottawa area.

Winter Reflections

Thursday, February 26th, 2009


Winter Reflections, Coppell, TX, 11H x 11W x 3D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted

 Winter Reflections, 11 x 11 x 3inches, acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted Winter Reflections, top detail, wrapped sides painted

Winter Reflections, winter in Coppell, TX, 11 x 11 x 3 inches, acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted.  Most of the Magic Square series paintings are signed on the side, so the images on the blog show a superimposed signature.


$350.00           Buy Now Using PayPal


Jewels in the garden

Sunday, June 15th, 2008


Nature's Jewels - Photography, Water droplets on Iris leaf

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