Thursday, December 31, 2015


Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I had strep throat the first week of this long-awaited Christmas break and badly sprained my foot for the second week. I could cry. Oh wait, I have. I ruined our skiing plans. Trying to find a silver lining, my husband set me up to paint in the corner (it's dangerous to paint while the kids are all awake so I gotta be out of the way) since I need to just be sitting here with my foot up anyway. 
I had the sky done and my outlines sketched in for this one, but have been rather frustrated with the "progress" I've made: 
I know it's nowhere near done but it just looks like there's no hope for it. Sometimes I'm sure I've forgotten how to paint. No clue what to do with what was supposed to be a cool, chill foreground and the hills are just blah.
In frustration, I watched some watercolor videos on YouTube and then started this one with a real devil-may-care attitude (didn't even draw outlines for that particular bridge, even knowing that it would probably ruin the whole thing). I felt like I didn't need a successful painting. Just a part I liked enough to boost my mood a bit, and remind me I can paint: 
I think it's working. I'm just feeling a severe lack of patience. Stupid foot.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nature's Spiral complete

Somehow I naively thought that I'd just take a few minutes tonight and finish this up! Why haven't I learned yet that finishing ALWAYS takes longer than expected. There are always a few more touches, a few more problems to fix, a few more patches to overdo. And before I knew it, my husband was snoring on the couch, where he'd fallen asleep waiting for me to finish so we could start our in-home date night. Oops! I'll have to make up for that tomorrow!  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nature's spiral

I did it! Painted two nights in a row. Which doesn't sound like much, but these days it really is. 
So on with the sweetly-spiraled rose. My biggest challenge here is to not overdo it! These delicate roses seem to demand such finesse - a lot more than me and my clumsy big feet typically have. Fortunately, I don't have to paint with my gigantic feet. On the light parts of the rose, just the tiniest touch of color is needed. But it is needed. And then in the depths of the flower, I need that color to both deepen and glow. I got an early start tonight and thought I might be able to finish but that was me being totally overly optimistic. Maybe tomorrow? And maybe tomorrow morning when we're house hunting yet again, we'll finally find a house that works for us! 

Little rusty

Moving cross-country threw off my painting rhythm a bit, but every so often I've been making a little bit of progress on this landscape. It's from a photo I took while on a mountain bike ride in Bend, Oregon. The way the clouds were sweeping in majestically over the distant trees stopped me in my tracks, literally. Took me forever to catch back up to my group! I first did the blue sky, and loved it. Then one night I timidly approached the clouds - totally intimidated. I'd never attempted any significant cloud form before, especially not one that should be the focus point of the painting! After sleeping on it, I loved them too. But the trees and other greenery has been a struggle - ironic since that's usually my strong point. And the reflection has been a disaster. I can't seem to keep the style in with ripples. Here's what I have:
That's after a night solely focused on fixing the water. Not having any idea how to improve it (or hope really), what do you think of cropping the image to this:
Not only does it cut off the offending part, it brings the clouds back into the spotlight I think. Might need to slightly darken that row of shrubs too to help that. Maybe I shouldn't have tried such a difficult painting after so much time off :) but it was so inspiring to me. After being frustrated though, I went back to my sure-fire painting block fix: a flower. Somehow, making them shine always comes easy when nothing else does with a brush or without. After this decent start, I might actually be able to get some sleep now:
Now if I could get myself to paint two nights in a row, I might get somewhere!