For Artistic Purposes
I probably shouldn’t have mentioned to the farmer that I was selecting carrots for “artistic purposes” when considering the most colorful and interesting bunch at the farmers market. But I thought it might be a compliment. Instead, I got a thinly veiled, perturbed look that suggested she hadn’t toiled all season long for me to paint her carrots. I dug myself in deeper trouble when I asked for advice on prolonging the freshness of the greens. I saw the eyes roll and quickly agreed to paint soon or refrigerate. Alas, I think this… Read More
Illustrated Watercolor Journaling
I had the pleasure and privilege of teaching a full day workshop on Illustrated Watercolor Journaling at the Killington Arts Guild in Vermont last weekend. I’m always inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm that comes from gathering people together for a day of painting! I don’t usually paint much when I’m teaching, but I started this beet as part of a demonstration and then finished it back at home. I always aim to make my journal pages reflect something meaningful or interesting from my experiences, so I finished the page with some… Read More
The Art of the Croissant
Pastries and painting—what could be better?! I recently enjoyed a lengthy watercolor session with fellow artist friends, one of whom is also a master pastry chef. Making croissants, I learned, is a two-day affair of rolling, layering, folding, and chilling dough—an art in itself, which seemed fitting to commemorate on the page. Fit for a queen, Marie Antoinette is credited with introducing the Austrian kipferl , a crescent-shaped pastry that originated in Austria, to France around 1770. French pastry chefs jazzed the simple crescent to create the croissants we know and love.
Life and Pears
The allure of supermarket pears is real: perfectly shaped, beautifully colored, promisingly sweet. Pears grown wild are not like that. They come warped and blemished; who knows what’s inside. Life and pears…not the way they’re supposed to be, but how they are. Sometimes sweet, sometimes rotten. “It’s how we cope that makes the difference.”
It’s very satisfying to grow your own tomatoes. Not just cherry or grape tomatoes, which are fine, but full-sized Brandywines or beefsteaks. While other gardeners have been harvesting their tomatoes for a few weeks, my late-maturing heirlooms are just beginning to ripen. And I suppose that’s good. The slow yield has given me one or two to eat and more on the vine to paint. This page is a bit of an experiment. I recently bought a new fountain pen—a Lamy Safari—and I tested it with a deep blue-gray waterproof ink from… Read More
Taking a day off from cleaning, clearing out and organizing in preparation for moving at the end of August to enjoy a beautiful day. Hope you are savoring summer, too!
I’ve been working on landscapes this week, which is why you are seeing this painting of a jelly donut. Enjoy!
New Hampshire craftsman Peter Sabin has been making pottery for more than 40 years. His exquisite stoneware is simple, elegant, functional, and flawless. I consider myself fortunate to own several pieces. But after a recent visit to a shop where he sells his work, it occurred to me that he isn’t getting any younger. The day will come when he is no longer making pottery. I’ve never met Peter, but it seemed high time to say thank you. After all, I take pleasure in using the result of his labors and craftsmanship… Read More
The Best Intentions
Gray. Damp. Cold. It’s been a jolt to go from the brilliant warmth of autumn to chill snow-in-the-air November. Still, I was determined to get out and sketch birds today. I filled the bird feeders. Nothing came. I went to the nature center and walked the trails. Few birds appeared. Cold and defeated, I returned home and took consolation in cinnamon buns and coffee. But I couldn’t resist adding this chickadee to the page. I sketched him from an old photo, which made it a bit challenging to get him to sit… Read More
If donuts don’t immediately strike you as artistic subjects, you’re not alone. I got a few passing glances from the staff of the farm café and bakery when I sat down with my hot cider and bag of donuts and proceeded to paint them. Fortunately, it was an hour from closing time and the café was pretty deserted, so I sat contentedly savoring the quiet moment. This page illustrates what I like best about keeping an artist journal. Freed from the pressure of making a “finished” piece of artwork, my journal is… Read More