Five Days Later…

This page follows the one I posted on June 14, Things Worth Noting. A lot is going on in my life, which has made it hard to find time for art. I started this more than a week ago and I can hardly keep up– the daisies are now open; the iris unfurled; my son is leaving again. I need to paint faster!

Lighten up!

Though I work outdoors using a portable set of watercolors all the time, I realize that many people work almost exclusively indoors from photographs and a much larger set up. People often ask me how to get started working outside. Figuring out how to lighten the load is key; and once done, it opens all sorts of great possibilities for painting. In preparation for my upcoming workshop, Arts and Birding, in Maine, I have been making a few small watercolor boxes for people to try. Here are a variety I’ve put together… Read More

Things Worth Noting

It’s been quiet on my blog and in my journal lately– these pages explain why. Big changes are in store as my husband and I not only become empty nesters, but give up the nest altogether and move from upstate New York to Connecticut. Amidst all the big things going on, I wanted to capture a few smaller things, too. Comings and goings; things that seem lasting, but, in the end, are ephemeral. Expect some turbulence in the months ahead, along with new adventures and new places to explore. Thanks for being along… Read More

Heard but not seen

I went out with a friend one evening this week to sketch at a beaver pond. The water was dark and still, trees were lay crossways in heaps where beaver had felled them, and a large mud lodge rose on the far shore. But what struck me most about the place was not the pond itself, but the beauty and intensity of bird song in the surrounding woods. Other than a pair of catbirds and the flash of the rose-breasted grosbeak as it darted into the trees, I saw no birds. But… Read More

Fast Takes

It can be hard to find the time for art when life gets busy. A whole painting or even an entire journal page can seem impossible to undertake. So I made a grid on these pages in the hope that I would be able to fill smaller spaces over the course of several days. As it turned out, I drew the entire two-page spread during an hour-long hike, pausing every so often to do a quick sketch when something caught my eye. Done directly in pen, each sketch took no more than… Read More

The Egg Case

Had I lived in the late-1800s, there’s a good chance I would have been a bird egg collector. Backyard collecting, exchanges, and sales were popular during the Victorian era, and I can see easily the appeal of amassing a collection to study and admire. But since collecting became illegal with the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918 (thankfully!), I rely on museum collections for an occasional egg fix. I sketched this section of a much larger display at the Pember Museum of Natural History in Granville, NY. I only had about 30 minutes, so I… Read More

Salamander Rain

Every year, I wait for the first warm rainy night in April, excited as a kid anticipating Santa Claus. That’s because this is the night of the annual salamander migration. Under the cover of rainy darkness, salamanders come out of the forest en masse and crawl to wetlands and small ponds to breed. It’s the one night of the year when I get to see these ancient creatures doing what they have done for millions of years. I recruit a team of hardy souls and go to a spot where a road… Read More

Sweet Consolation

I’ve been working on landscapes this week, which is why you are seeing this painting of a jelly donut. Enjoy!

Easter Eggs!

I had a wonderful opportunity to try my hand at decorating eggs using traditional Ukrainian methods last week and have been inspired ever since. It wasn’t just the intricate and beautiful designs that drew me in, but the incredible patience and focus required to make them. I spent 3.5 hours in the company of several friends decorating eggs and produced just two. Back at home, I decided to capture the experience and replicate the intricate egg patterns in my journal. The detailed eggs seemed to beg for a more elaborate border and… Read More

March, March, March

Every year it happens. I arrive at March needing so much more than the month can give. After a long winter, I am desperate to explore and draw and BE outside. I am desperate for the fuel of discovery and growth that sparks my creativity. March never delivers. It is too cold and too wet. I am tired of brown. I am tired of gray. The only thing to do is to forgive myself this artistic low point and wait. I went back through my journals from the last few years to… Read More