Monday, December 31, 2012


140#CP Watercolor

The last day of 2012 begins with temps in the mid 20s and a forecast of sunshine. As in other traditions, we'll clean and tidy the house, store the holiday decorations, restore order as we 'sweep' out the old in order to 'welcome' the new. The holidays are now memories and photographs as we create new experiences with each day and each year.

I'd like to thank each of you for your encouragement, visits, comments, invitations, friendship and inspiration over this year and these past years. Each day, week, each year is a journey, and I feel mightily blessed to have your company as we travel so many roads together.

My thoughts this early morning are best said by my favorite nature-writer, Hal Borland:

"...Any year, regardless of arbitrary time, is like a cicle; you can start at any point upon it and, following the circle, you come back to that point.....No year stands by itself, any more than any day stands alone. There is the continuity of all the years in the trees, the grass, even in the stones on the hilltops. Even in man. For time flows like water, eroding and building, shaping and ever flowing, and time is a part of us, not only our years, as we speak of them, but our lives, our thoughts. All our yesterdays are summarized in our now, and all our tomorrows are ours to shape.....There is no halt, no turning back. Tomorrow rises in the east, and all the tomorrows'....(Sundial of the Seasons)

May 2013 find each of us more peaceful, more prosperous, more creative, more KIND to one another ... and may we make each one of the days we are given gifts of love, joy and peace.

HAPPY 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roses for Taylor

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Visiting with the grands is always a joy -- Each time we see them, they seem to have grown by feet instead of inches!!! Bringing all four of the 'older' cousins together simply quadrupled the enjoyment -- and of course, the noise levels! LOL We've been eating, and playing different electronic games, bouncing, and running -- riding bikes -- and did I mention -- running -- running! LOL So good to see them all together. The oldest two tend to act as older siblings and really help out with the younger girls ... quite grown up I must say. Lot of pictures... and another bank of memories.

This painting was a request from my granddaughter, Taylor, for 'pink flowers. She liked it too ...

Hope your holidays were joyous! Countdown for the remainder of 2012 .. where did the time go????

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sunset for Mike

Sunset for Mike by linfrye
Sunset for Mike, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

15" x 22" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

The presents have all been given and opened, and now I can share a few other projects I've been working on that were surprises for Christmas. This painting was created for my son, Mike. I painted it several months ago, had it double matted and framed and surprised him with it for Christmas. I'm thrilled to say he loved it ..!

Our first half of the celebrations, with my son's family, was an absolute delight, and the second half of our celebrations will be later this week with my daughter and granddaughters.... and so we get to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas over an extended amount of time!

The rain has begun from that strong weather system making havoc across the US. We won't get any snow from it, but instead high winds and rain, and perhaps some thunder. Around these parts, the saying goes that thunderstorms in the winter mean snow 6-10 days later ... well, we can only keep our fingers crossed! LOL

I hope your holidays were joyous ... and that the spirit of the season continues ....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Poinsettias in the Snow

10" x 13" Watercolor and white webbing
Arches 140#CP


Friday, December 21, 2012

Cattails in the Snow

Cattails in the Snow by linfrye
Cattails in the Snow, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF WINTER! For those in the midwest, the snow has been flying - blizzard condiions, power outages, plane cancellations, traffic white-outs, and more snow than can be considered pretty. Here in the south, we've gotten the 'rain end' of that major storm, so these cattails are done from imagination rather than reality. We won't be having a white Christmas, but it's going to be a far cooler day than we've had lately and sunshiney. Our weather will be good for those who receive any type of 'wheel' from Santa - scooter, bike, skateboards ....

Today will be the shortest day of the year, BUT from here forward, we'll gain a smidge of time day by day, so that by March, sunset will really BE as well as FEEL much later! More time to paint!!! LOL

Last minutes to get things ready for Christmas .... Happy Almost Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Foggy Winter Sunrise

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

The weather continues to see-saw and the last few days have been unseasonably warm ... again in the mid 60s ... causing a foggy, wet, humid start to the day. I'm not too sad to experience warm weather since I am horribly cold-natured - but I do miss a bit of more seasonable winter temperatures and snow to somehow ready the mood for Christmas.

It's been a busy time for us ... Brayden is getting used to being at home and this week, his brother and sister are off from school - so a bit more adjusting. Holiday preparations are in full swing and we're dashing around for last-minute gifts and ideas, food items, wrapping and the like. In between times, I return to the art table for some 'normalcy' and a bit of relaxation. This painting was done as an experiment in technique as well as a tribute to the fog and warm winter weather.

I finally managed a walk yesterday and the listened to frogs croaking from puddles that remained from two days of rain .... seems so unusual to hear them in December ....

Hope your week is wonderful! Christmas Countdown!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Daylilies - Take Two

10" x 13" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

My thanks again for my friend, Beth, for allowing me to use her awesome capture ( to paint another version of these daylilies. In this version I wanted to soften the colors a bit but use the same paint palette and just 'hint' at the leaves. To me, it's a bit more of a botanical approach ... I have a few other approaches I'd like to try, but those will probably have to wait until after the holidays.

Thank you all for your most kind comments and notes about the birth of our newest grandson. Mom and Brayden are home now and doing well. Today we'll take Emily and Nick to meet their brother. It's an exciting time for our family, truly. And I thank you most sincerely for all your good wishes.

Prayers, especially now for those involved in the recent Connecticut tragedy .. most heartbreaking and senseless ... my heart goes out to all ...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brayden Michael

Born 12-13-12
3:55 am
Weight 8.5 pounds
Length 21 1/4"

We are so proud to welcome this new addition to our growing family. Brayden joins Emily 8 and Nick 7 ... Mom and Dad are doing well. Christmas has definitely come early!

(Be back on line once things settle down.)

Please see for more photos of Brayden.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Venice at Night - Thank you Antonello

10" x 13" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

There is something that just pulls me back to Italy time and time again. I can't seem to get enough of that incredible country! So flickr images of Italy really make me swoon, and the recent posting of Venice at night by Antonello Liguori really had me dizzy with joy! Antonello kindly granted me permission to paint from his masterful photo -- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Please stop by his flickr stream fto see some incredible, GORGEOUS work!!!

Painting abstracts, using bolder colors, attempting more 'mood' scenes, working a bit on buildings are some painting projects I've been playing with these days. Painting this work allowed me to attempt many of these experiments in one painting. I've tried to keep this work loose and a bit sketchy. Not only was this a really terrific learning experience, but painting Venice also brought me back to a city I love. I am so ready to return to Italy!! Thank you once more, my friend, for also evoking fond, loving memories of my time in Venice!

My goal for 2013 is to continue working on many of these painting projects, approaches and techniques. It'll be an adventure!

What are YOUR goals for 2013?

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Time When Snow Fell

The Time When Snow Fell by linfrye
The Time When Snow Fell, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 13" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

This time of year when skies turn grey and cloudy, when leaves have left the trees, when rain threatens, when the garden has been put to bed, when all over the northern hemisphere snow makes an appearance and despite our 60F and 70F temperatures, I begin to long for snow.

It's a rare thing for us to have snow -- an event marked with school closings just for the 'threat' of the white stuff. And on those marvelously rare occasions when snow does decide to pay us a visit, that visit is horribly brief, and the 'flurry' is measured in quarters of inches. Ah well ... good there is art to dream upon.

This painting is based on a time two years ago when we did have a snow of significance ... I can't remember the exact depth, but maybe a few inches. The snow was a bit fluffier than normal, and the photo I took to mark the occasion was of the old farmhouse about 2 miles from our home. I moved the trees around a bit, but the dwelling is real. Oh yes, I did, exaggerate the snow a bit .. must be that old 'snow-envy' I feel this time of year.

For those sharing their images of snow -- blessings ... I am thoroughly enjoying each and every one .... know that you have a big fan of the stuff here in the sunny, and warm, south.

Hope your week is wonderful!

PS -- Still no baby ...

Friday, December 07, 2012

Gardenias for Emily

Gardenias for Emily by linfrye
Gardenias for Emily, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

No baby yet --- but we're all sleeping with the phone by our bedsides just waiting for the 'we're at the hospital' phonecall ...

Meantime, I'm painting 'requests' from my grandchildren for Christmas. My granddaughter, Emily, has asked for 'white flowers' from a shrub she saw this summer. We finally identified 'which' of the white flowers were her favorites, and thus it was gardenias. We'll frame and wrap the painting today. Quite truthfully, I am honored than an eight-year-old would ask for a painting from me for a gift ...truly....

Our weather continues its unseasonable warming trend of 60s and 70s with only a few days between those mild temperatures that drop us into the 40s for a single day or two. For the most part, it's been quite a warm start to winter. We're also in the midst of a mild drought -- not a good way to begin another year. Still, it's a pleasure to wear only a light jacket outdoors.

It's also time to start the gift wrapping and final package sending ... the days do fly ..

Hope you have a marvelous weekend!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Fall's Twilight

Fall's Twilight by linfrye
Fall's Twilight, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/4 Sheet Mixed Media - watercolor, webbing, frosty ink
Arches 140#CP

I am still playing with abstracts, and as always, I am reluctant to let go of autumn -- so I finished this abstract I began lasa month with more autumnal colors with an emphasis on yellow and blue. I liked the motif I did last month and used the same ideas to finish this larger work.

I'm feverishly working on Christmas gift paintings and preparations for the holidays. My son told me today that by the doctor's reports, the baby has begun his descent and should be here before next week ...

I'm off to sling paint! Have a great week!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Daylilies - THANK YOU, Beth!

Daylilies - THANK YOU, Beth! by linfrye
Daylilies - THANK YOU, Beth!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

12" X 16" Watercolor on Unryu Paper
140# Arches 140#CP

Each day I eagerly look forward to the inspiring artwork and captures of my friends on flickr. There rarely goes by a day without me opening up my contacts page and sighing in joyous wonder at the incredible photos and paintings that my friends have created.

It was just such inspiration by my friend, Beth, that I was moved, inspired and fired-up to paint this warm rendition of daylilies. THANK YOU SOOOOO much, Beth, for allowing me to use your photo as a reference, and far more, for the inspiration!!!! BLESS YOU! Please drop by Beth's INCREDIBLE flickr stream to see and be inspired by her AWESOME works!!! Again, Thank you, Beth

I fell in love with the textures Beth added to her capture, and the wondrous color combinations of yellow, antwerp blue, orange, cobalt violet, burnt sienna. I added salt to my washes to try to recreate the DAZZLE of her work, and also added unryu paper to achieve a bit more white spots here and there for splash. It was a fun painting ...and I really loved working with these colors -- they sure warmed up the day!!!!

I'm working on several other renditions as I try to create a different 'style' or approach to this same image. I really have fallen in love with this color palette.

We've been promised another warm week. This morning, it was warm enough to walk outside without a hat, gloves or heavy coat. Mercy.

Hope your week is splashy and joyous!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Fall's Abstraction

Fall's Abstraction by linfrye
Fall's Abstraction, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 13" Watercolor and Webbing

Frosty mornings are the order of the day, and though ice crystals glaze the earth in winter white, with the sun's rising and subsequent heat, the ice melts and we are left with the fading ochres, siennas, chocolates, coffees, russets, auburns, tans, and bronzes of fall's glory. This abstract is my tribute to fall's colorful floor ... the earth beneath our feet, under the melted rime, long before it all become next year's earthly nutrients.

We've begun preparations for the holidays and I've started my marathon cooking activities. We're expecting our fifth grandchild in the next couple of weeks, so I'd like to make sure that with all the fun that event will bring, the majority of the holiday cooking and gifting is already done.

We're in for a warm weekend with temps in the mid 60s and reaching 70F ... go figure ...

Have a great weekend!

(Note: The squiggly lines are from a Krylon acryllic webbing ( for those interested.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Leaning Birches

Leaning Birches by linfrye
Leaning Birches, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

8" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Though frost rims the grasses and the trees have now lost their cloaks, and the color of the sky is more grey than blue, I am still clinging to the fall's warm colors and having a hard time saying good-bye to a season I clearly love.

My walk yesterday between rain showers had me marveling at the architecture of the now-naked trees and the sheer number of ochre leaves beneath my feet. The rain hushed the once-crackle of these leaves and their slick surfaces made walking up and down the small hills a challenge, but I loved seeing their browns and umbers before they become the fodder of compost ....

This painting is an outgrowth of that walk. Though we have no birches of this type in our neighborhood. I used the white of these trees to play against the remnants of warm sienna-colored grasses and the wet-dark of the single tree I painted to represent those I saw yesterday. The painting is imagined and though it grew more from emotion than planning, I like it and will repeat the lessons I learned - colors, darks, how to 'warm up winter' ... to try this again.

We've all heard that painting is like our signature - we have a style or approach that is our own no matter what we do, and thus adding something new, trying to change, enhance, add, loosen, tighten or whatever to move our artwork forward can be mighty difficult, frustrating as well as rewarding. I'm finding that to be so true -- as well as tiring! LOL But like any new habit, it will take constant repeating and repeating before the changes become more 'natural' than consciously produced ... but oh is the process of change slow .. sigh.

Back to the painting table ....

Have a terrific week!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fall's Ending

Fall's Ending by linfrye
Fall's Ending, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 13" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

For the last week or so when I go out to feed the kitties, the water in their drinking bowl has frozen over. Quite honestly, I know it's been cold in the mornings, but by afternoon, we've been outside with a light jacket. No longer.

This weekend seems to have turned the season. The potted basil on my side porch has been completed blackened by the frosts, there are a few leaves here and there, but those are mostly brown, and the leaves underfoot are all crunchy. Yes, the end of fall ...

A while ago, I was asked to share a bit about the workshops I took during Art of the Carolinas ...and I'll do over time. It had been a few years since I took several classes over the four-day period, and this year was one of those. Instead of all watercolor classes, I decided to try something very different - acryllic and abstract. To be honest, I am feeling that 'change ahead' nudge that often accompanies a style, thinking process or something else of change in my painting. It happens more frequently than I acknowledge - where I find I am being internally 'directed' to try something new, favoring different photographs or paintings, and I feel a real SHOVE to try something different. It was with these feelings that I took those 'different' classes.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of them ... and they have me thinking and viewing my paintings in a new way. So instead of simply posting what I painted in those classes, I'm trying to 'think' out my thought processes, what I'm noticing needs something else, practice a bit of the things I want to change, try some techniques that will move me where I may be headed, and then write a bit about what was involved.

This piece, for instance, is one of those 'nudges' that may not be fully realized, but is the first of something changing.

I want to work a bit on my brushstrokes to make them more expressive... To make my lights lighter and my darks darker ... This piece uses 'some' of that - but not to the extent I want to go -- but it's a start.

And another turn in the road's journey .....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


On this day of joyous gratitude, I am most thankful for the simple things: family, friends, food, shelter, health, nature, peace,kindness, love and so much more.

I am grateful for the support and encouragement from you, my flickr friends ... and I wish you a most joyous, heart-filled day of thanksgiving ....

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Watercolor Calendar 2013

Watercolor Calendar 2013 by linfrye
Watercolor Calendar 2013, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

For those who might be interested, I have created a 2013 calendar with many of YOUR favorite watercolors for 2013.

For more information, please see my zazzle site:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Frosty Morning - Denis Collette

1/4 Sheet Mixed Media (gesso, watercolor, frosty ink)
Arches 140#CP

The late fall see-saw of weather changes are here -- today, for instance, was a mild 60F, but this morning -- a FROSTY 34F ... BRRR .... along with a covering of morning frost that rimmed the leaves, made the grass crunchy, and for the south, the look of a light snow. OHHHH, I am not ready! LOL

But knowing that these colder days are coming to stay, I was truly inspired by Denis Collette's recent capture of a frosty morning in his woodlands. I was so taken by his photo, I painted this interpretation, and thank Denis most sincerely for allowing me to post it here. Please stop by Denis' flickr stream to enjoy a rich array of poetic images of a homeland that he clearly loves. Once again, blessings, Denis!!!

With Thanksgiving this week, we are busy preparing for the holiday as we'll be hosting the dinner this year. Afterwards, my son and daughter-in-law will make their annual 'Black Friday' trek to dozens of stores, malls, the discount houses, and wherever the sales take them. Meanwhile, we will be enjoying the grandchildren, and in exchange, my son will be doing a bit of holiday shopping for me, too ... personally, I think I got the better deal!! LOL

Stay warm ... the holidays and winter are fast approaching!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rosey Grapes - FIRST PLACE!

Rosey Grapes - FIRST PLACE! by linfrye
Rosey Grapes - FIRST PLACE!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/4 Sheet Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

I painted another series of grapes after I visited Doris -- and for this particular one, I wanted my grapes to be a bit rosey - almost like one would find in a rose wine ...

I entered it in the Kerr-Lake Art Society Autumn Exhibit -- and won first place for watercolor!! I AM THRILLED TO PIECES!!! Even comes with a monetary gift! WOW!

Thank each of you for your encouragement and kindness during my 'watercolor journey' ... Truly, you cannot know how your comments and invitations and generosity have kept my brushes moving along white paper ...

Blessings and gratitude!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Plums after Jean Haines 2012 - Final

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

With the approach of Hurricane Sandy 24 hours away, the last day of Jean's workshop lost several participants as folks made their way home before the storm. In order to accommodate all the requests Jean received and in order to maximize the time remaining, Jean worked on a few more demons, and then launched into her prepared lesson to move us from 'free flowing practice' to work that was a bit more 'story telling.'

I was given permission earlier this year to paint from Rupa's fabulous plums and I had her photo reference with me. Though I painted these before in a more traditional way: I wanted to see what they might look like in a looser style. (Thank you once more, Rupa!!!)

Jean was kind enough to demonstrate how she would approach this image, and for the rest of the workshop, I practiced. Each of my practice pieces came closer to the 'story' I wanted to tell... but this one, done a few days after the workshop, seems a bit closer to the combination of Jean's looseness and a bit more of my own style.

The workshop ended with the promise of Jean's return to New York next October, and then everyone scrambling to homes, last minute planes and trains, all to get out of harm's way.

It was an incredible workshop -- and I thank Jean for all her sharing of skills, enthusiasm, encouragement and joy!!!!

Can't wait to do it again next year! (without hurricanes, of course!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bittersweet Berries - After Jean Haines - Part 4

1/8 Sheet Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Jean's workshop really made an impression on me - her ideas, approach to painting, FLOW of the paint, expressiveness, imagination.

After the first day of the workshop, I began playing with Jean's ideas - and have done several small paintings of bittersweet berries. I LOVE their red, orange and yellow colors.

This painting was done from memory -- from the walk I did prior to Jean's workshop and my memory of bittersweet berries along the roadside.

Looking at this painting now, I want to define those berries a bit more ... but love the washes and colors I'll take the things I like about this quick, small painting and do another couple of exercises and see what happens ...

More workshop info to follow. (I've been involved all weekend in classes at Jerry's 'Art of the Carolinas' and will lots to share in the next week or so about those classes and experiences.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Viburnum after Jean Haines 2012 - Part 3

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

This loose painting of viburnum berries was done in Jean Haines workshop in NY following a number of demonstrations. It is my attempt to paint in Jean's style and keep things loose, abstract, and suggestive without finishing the entire work ... thus leaving some of the painting to the imagination of the viewer.

It's a bit challenging to put into concrete terms how I might describe Jean's way of painting. So here's my attempt to suggest what I see as her approach ... I may be entirely wrong .. and if I am, I hope Jean will correct me!! LOL

Jean's approach is far different than any other artist I have ever had the privilege of learning from. In my words, I see Jean's method as somewhat 'subtractive' ... in other words, and speaking for myself, my approach, and most artists I think, is to ADD more and more paint to an image - improving values, adding highlights, and pretty much COMPLETING a painting with negative painting, more layers, ADDING splashes, splatters, blown paint, etc.

If my mind, how I see Jean painting is somewhat OPPOSITE -- Jean seems to SUBTRACT paint by using WATER to adjust her values, create a background, textures, forms and the like. Jean starts with rich, juicy paint in a rich wash and adds more and more WATER or water and pigment to her painting as she works on her first wash. Jean has this most amazing ability to judge, control and USE the water on her brush and the water in her paintings. She starts on DRY paper - thus keeping more control than painting wet into wet, and yet, she continues to add water to the wet paint on dry paper to spread her paint, move it around, create her images. Her first wash guides the bit of finishing she'll do on a painting (usually after it dries) - she does NOT FUSS to fix things, but uses those 'blooms and events' to the advantage of the painting. All the time, she's watching, learning from what is going on on the paper, and USING what she is seeing to the advantage of the painting. Her first wash has about defined the subject, spread paint for the background and has her values almost perfect. Her second, and rarely, third, wash completes the painting. Her results - fresh, spontaneous - and brilliant!

What amazed me the very most was how much WATER she uses -- and how she uses WATER to paint! But all the while -- controlled. I know, I know, it is WATERcolor after all -- but I know few other artists who use water in just the same way. Her pigments are used strongly, and again, she uses water to thin out their values, water to add different colors. And though Jean's work feels somewhat 'splashy', I was reminded to be careful with all my splattering (LOLOLOL!!!).

I hope this makes sense ...

It is an amazing approach to painting and one I hope to continue to practice and incorporate into my own 'signature' way of painting.

More to come.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Painting for the Bin - My Tomato and Part 2

1/8 Sheet Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Jean's long anticipated workshop began on Saturday with Jean reviewing her philosophy and approach for painting watercolors, materials, paints, paper, brushes and the like.

Our first task was to warm up by 'painting for the bin'. In other words, our task was to paint simply to get the paint flowing freely and with abandon -- and all the time, WATCHING and LEARNING what pigment and water do on the paper. We reviewed the use of splatter (oh yes, I do LOVE to splatter!! LOL), adding salt, moving the paper around, adding water, trying colors that we normally don't use, using saran wrap to create textures, and the like. (One of these warm up exercises created my recently posted "Wash Out" (

After several of these, Jean suggested we visualize and paint a tomato ...simply, paint a tomato. The purpose of this exercise was to use water and pigment to create that fruit all the while learning -- and more -- ENJOYING -- again what is happening on the paper! To learn what each different pigment does on the paper, how it reacts to water, to salt, to the addition of more water. To learn to have a playful attitude toward a particular subject, to paint with that kind of joyousness that most often results in spontaneous, fresh and marvelous works. And we were to accept our painting events - the blooms, the runs and the like. Then Jean gave each of us a real tomato to paint the subject once again ... again painting with the same attitude and joy.

The tomato abve is my tomato attempt using the tomato in front of me as a guide. It was fun! And more, the pressure was off to 'produce a frameable' painting - since we were 'painting for the bin' ... with nothing more pressing than to simply enjoy AND LEARN from the process.

(Painting like this is so INVIGORATING and REENERGIZING and RECREATES the reason WHY we paint watercolors in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless you, Jean, for this gift!!!!)

The workshop continued with Jean demonstrating flowers, eyes, dogs, people and more. I cannot truly express what her enthusiasm and artistry gave to that room of watercolorists !!! We all were painting tomatoes and marveling at Jean's demos --- and each of us trying to replicate what we were learning with images of our own. (More on the next post.)

Jean's 'tomatoes' are shown below along with some of her demonstrations in process.

Jean suggested that we paint a tomato every day -- that doing so would teach us everything we needed to learn about watercolor, and all that we needed to learn would be in that single painting - and by the continual painting of the same subject day after day after day ...

(To learn more about Jean's philosophy, exercises, demonstrations and the like, please see: And try her books and DVDs ... all of them marvelous!)

I will be offline much of the rest of this week and weekend as the annual Art of the Carolinas is going on in Raleigh. If you've never had a chance to enjoy this awesome event filled with workshops, a trade show with prices that are to die for, demonstrations and the like - hurry over or see for more information.

More to follow ...

Jean and Lin - Part One

Jean and Lin - Part One by linfrye
Jean and Lin - Part One, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

What an absolute JOY it was to finally meet Jean Haines. I read about her workshop in New York almost nine months ago (from Jean's website -, and I immediately signed up for the class. I typically make several trips a year to NY to visit my sisters and mom, and I thought what a fabulous experience it would be to be able to combine the two!

I truly felt blessed to have the privilege of taking a watercolor class from this incredibly talented, enthusiastic, exciting and inspirational artist!!!

The sessions began with an introductory 'demonstration' by Jean on Friday night. This demo was also part of an open house exhibition of local Long Island artists at the Art League of Long Island.

As Jean began her demonstration, the room began to fill, and fill, and fill, until by the time half an hour had passed, there was standing room only!!! LOL

Jean talked about her love of watercolor, some of her paints, papers, methods, and began painting - to the oohs and ahhs and flashes of cameras as everyone sat on the edge of their seats to take in everything she was saying.

Jean graciously signed books or pamphlets or posed for photographs ... and all too soon the demo ended, and we went home to anticipate two full days of Jean's workshop.

I've included a few photos from the workshop ....

More to follow ...

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sassafras - The Glorious Color Before Sandy

Throughout the fall, I have been moaning about the lack of color in the trees of our neighborhood.
But when I went to visit my mom and sisters and I took a walk around the neighborhood, I was in a virtual HEAVEN of incredible reds, golds and oranges!!!

I took these photos two days before Hurricane Sandy ripped the leaves from the tree branches. Oh did I enjoy the colors!!!

On another happy note, I met two wonderful blogger friends - Joan T.( and her fabulous blog and Susan (

They joined me for Jean Haines demonstration the Friday evening before her weekend workshop. WHAT FUN! Then Joan and I spent a couple of hours together after the storm passed just chatting and sharing and making plans to get together again. Flickr and blogging have been such blessings to meet the most talented, wonderful, generous and marvelous friends!!!

When I finally was able to return home, most of the color of my own trees was gone, and with temperatures dropping and wind and rain blowing (yes, we got some strong wind and rain from Sandy too), most of the fall color is now behind us.

But since I so LOVE the fall season, these photos will paint my world fabulous colors in the gray days ahead.

Hope you enjoy them too!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

WASH OUT- Hurricane Sandy 2012 - GLAD TO BE HOME!

7" x 9" Watercolor Wash
Arches 140#CP

Thank each of you for your thoughts and wishes and notes. Please continue to remember and pray for those so adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

There's much to report about the past seven days ... my visit to see my mom, Jean Haines workshop, the storm's aftermath. But let me say this for those who have expressed concern for us: We are fine, and we have made it through the storm virtually unscathed, with minor home damage, tree loss, and the inconvenience and disruption of power outages, cable, telephone and internet outages, some food shortages and major gasoline shortages and the rebuilding of destroyed towns, beaches, and lives. Compared to so many who have lost their lives and their homes, we were blessed indeed, and have nothing to complain about.

My one sister is still without power, cable, or cell service since the storm and is staying with friends. Her boyfriend awaits a tree service who, they pray, will get to the tree leaning on his home before the wind shifts, and makes the tree fall through the roof and into the second fstory of his home.

My other sister, with whom my mom lives and where I was staying, had power restored after 36 hours only to have it wiped out by a drunk driver who ran into the single power pole providing a neighborhood much needed light and energy. Cable, phone and internet service was restored to this same sister 48 hours after the storm, and lights were re-restored late last night.

We got through the worst of the hurricane with a generator, candles, a gas range, and the relief of having gone through a major crisis with our lives and property safe.

This makes the fourth major hurricane I have been through: Agnes, Hugo, Fran ...and now Sandy. Through each one, I wonder anew at the enormous forces of nature and the power of humankind to pick up the pieces and begin again and again. Hope and help from others, are mighty powerful.

This artwork was an exercise done in the workshop I have been privileged to attend with Jean Haines. I will have more to say and post about that wonderful experience and the opportunity of meeting an incredible, talented and remarkable artist. Her workshop, I might add, was held the day before and on the eve of superstorm.

While this exercise was merely a practice of mixing of two colors we really liked on a small piece of watercolor paper, the flow of the paint, the colors, and the mixing, all done without forethought two days before Hurricane Sandy's wrath, seemed fitting to post while describing a bit of our experience through the storm.

Again, please continue to keep the thousands of hurricane victims in your prayers and thoughts. There is so much repair work to do in New York, Long Island, New Jersey and elsewhere along the Eastern seaboard, that continued prayers and good thoughts will certainly be appreciated.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morning Autumn Sunlight - THANK YOU - Xandra!

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

That autumnal light - so clear, clean, brilliant - marvelous on its own. But when that same light filters through morning haze and fog -- the effects are so sublime and filled with mystery that I am jaw-dropped in awe. I've been able to capture a bit of that light in some of my recent photographs, and I gravitate toward these incredible images and morning moments.

It was just such a photograph that stopped me in my tracks and made me sigh with joy ... . Not only was that special 'light and fog' all part of the image - but she also captured that incredible, dreamlike color that we have yet to see in my part of North Carolina. Xandra so generously permitted me to use her wonderful image as a reference to paint. What inspiration!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, Xandra. (Please stop by Xandra's photostream for more incredible images!!)

I'll be attending a workshop by Jean Haines this weekend, so I'll be off-line for a while -- what a privilege!!!! Can't wait!

The leaves here are falling fast, and with the potential of Hurricane Sandy to pay us a visit this weekend, that wind and rain will rip even more leaves from the trees -- all before they have had a chance to really reach their typical peak of gold, orange and scarlet.

With such dangerous weather as a potential event for us and the Eastern seaboard of North Carolina, we are keeping our eyes peeled to the forecast and prayers for everyone's safety.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Golden Splender - THANK YOU, Denis!

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

In the piedmont of North Carolina this year, the fall color is slow to arrive, but here and there, we are seeing a bit more of the reds and golds and oranges that we would have typically seen last month. The early yellows, however, are now turning dark gamboge - and in most hickories - more a burnt umber. Yet many more of our early yellow 'turners' ... have already lost over one-third to two-thirds of their leaves, especially the sycamore and tulip trees.

And so, I was inspired, once more, by one of Denis Collette's glorious capture: His wonderful golden beauty reignited that 'I must paint more fall view' feeling that sends me straight to my painting table and has me joyously absorbed in the process of light, water, paint, color, and values. THANK YOU so much, Denis, for permission to use your incredible image -- but more -- for the inspiration!!! (BTW, I used a vertical format for my version in lieu of Denis' horizontal capture.) Please take a few moments to enjoy Denis' wonderful flickr stream -- and see for yourself just how AWESOME it is!

It's been a busy time here and our fabulous 70sF sunshiney weather has continued. On Friday, my dear daughter and her two girls came up to spend the night with us as we both attended my daughter-in-law's baby shower. What fun it was!! And I SO LOVED seeing my daughter and playing with Taylor and Riley!! They are growing by leaps and bounds -- and my gracious, their conversations - at ages 6 and 3 -- are so grown up! And holy moly, they NEVER keep still!!! How I wish for an iota of their energy!! LOL (BTW, my son's and dil's baby, a boy, is due mid-December.)

I spent Sunday with my son, his wife, her parents, and Emily and Nick enjoying the last day of the NC State Fair. My granddaughter 'encouraged' me to take one of those swirly rides with her - - which didn't look too wild. But by the time my stomach found its proper place and my hands stopped shaking, she, her brother and my son were having a good laugh at my 'wobbly state.' LOL Then to make matters even more topsy turvey, my son fooled me into taking yet another stomach-wrenching ride ....By the time I finally gathered myself -- I had to laugh -- though it took me a good long while to walk steadily .. and no, I never DID open my eyes on either of those rides and my knuckles were indeed WHITE ... geez ... the things we do for the folks we love!! LOL Anway, I won't be suckered into THAT experience again! LOL

We're to continue this marvelous weather for the rest of the week -- can't wait to get back out in it and walk on those crunchy leaves! Have a great week!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Dogwood

My Dogwood by linfrye
My Dogwood, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140 CP

I've begun to see a FEW trees in red glory this autumn, but for the most part, I think the ribbon for foliage color - at least in piedmont NC - has to go to the dogwoods. Despite several years of drought, unseasonably warm summers and short winters, the 'red ribbon' belongs to those persistent and delicate trees that, despite the quickly falling leaves from their taller neighbors, are still a brightly shining scarlet. Second runner-up this year are the sumacs - their bright reds competing neck-and-neck with the dogwoods.

But when the sun's just right, the hickories can look almost golden. Without that magical light enhancement, however, the hickories are a far dull yellow. Sycamore and tulips have lost most of their leaves, and the late-color-changing oaks are a dull brown rather than a vibrant sepia. In my neck of the woods, this isn't a 'fall showing' to write home about.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that there still might be a bit more color change the first few weeks of November. I remember some years when our color peak came with Thanksgiving. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm pinning ribbons on the dogwoods!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Berries and Leaves

Fall Berries and Leaves by linfrye
Fall Berries and Leaves, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Mercy, those Mondays that start with no Internet service, rain, sick children, and cancelled appointments really set a tone don't they?!!! URGH!! But for now, my service has been restored, and I'm hurrying to post this before the rain causes another Internet failure ...

On a good note, as I look out my window, the muted tones are 'beginning' to turn a bit more golden ... and I've my fingers crossed for red leaves soon ...

I'd like to thank everyone for posting their fall colors -- you cannot know how cheered they've made me -- BLESS YOU!

These berries and leaves are done from imagination - and are closest to those of Virginia Creeper. I am really a fan of fall - berries, harvests, festivals, colors - and so I'm working my way through enjoying autumn by painting it as frequently as I can.

I hope you have a great week!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blackberry Brambles

Blackberry Brambles by linfrye
Blackberry Brambles, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

The sun has finally come out, the weather has warmed, and my quick trip to the beach with some girlfriends was incredible!!! Laughter, friendship, talking, good food, sinful fudge, a bit of wine, an AWESOME morning sunrise and walk on the beach, a handful of tumbled stones - a marvelous restoration of mind, body and spirit! Fantastic!

I came home to find a bit more color in the landscape, but have to admit that I saw more crimson maples SOUTH of us than here in the NC piedmont. Sigh ... so I decided to make my own fall splashes in tones of red/pink and purple that reminded me of the blackberry juice, jam and syrup that Doris made while I was visiting. The cool morning on the beach also reminded me of the cool mornings in Germany when we would go outside to pick those plump, sweet, juicy blackberries from Dori's vines!! YUM!!!

Our blackberries didn't fair as well this year, as the lack of rain and water kept those that the birds didn't beat me to far too dry and tart. I suppose one of the benefits of art is that we can CREATE our own visions of nature if 'nature herself' doesn't provide them! LOL

The NC State Fair opened today and I'm anxious to visit while the weather is still in the low to mid-70s. This warmer weather will bring more folks to the fair and crowds to the exhibits I like to see -- but I suppose that's part of the state fair experience. As is the food ....! I'm ready for some sweet, steamed corn on the cob, candy apples, hot sausages, and all those other state-fair indulgencies that contribute to the experience (and a bit of weight gain!! LOL).

Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!!! Get outdoors while you can before the weather turns toward winter!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Flowered Window in Civita - Redeaux

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Sometimes I just really fall in love with a view or scene and can't part with the painting. This painting of Civita combined various methods that I tried and loved and the view itself never fails to bring me back to that magical visit to Italy. So after my first painting of this window sold, I absolutely HAD to paint one for myself while the techniques were still fresh in my mind. This one hangs on my living room wall. There are a few subtle differences between the two paintings, however, but the emotional connection I feel to this particular window, hits me time and time again.

Do you ever do that? Return to a view to paint it again and again? So often when I am looking for 'inspiration' for another painting, I'll go through my image files and find that I am drawn again and again to the SAME photo or simliar types of photos that I've painted before. Though I often try new techniques or approaches or colors or composition, it's those same scenes that appeal to me time and time again.

The weather here has been influenced by a cold front that has brought us rain and gloomy clouds. I'm hoping that once this passes, the cold -- no warmer than high 50sF -- will inspire the trees to become more fallish in their coloring!!

Hope you have a grand week!

Friday, October 05, 2012


Sumac by linfrye
Sumac, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Though yellows predominate the fall landscape thusfar, here and there I am seeing wonderful spots of red - and our native winged sumac is one of these.

Winged sumac, Rhus copallinum, is one of those small trees or shrubs (growing no more than 20 feet) found along our roadsides. It's easy to recognize because of the distinctive 'leaf bits' or wings on the stem between each leaflet. (I did not paint this feature into my sketch -- as I was focused entirely on color and a bit of abstraction.) Usually, the leaves are a wonderful glossy green, but in the fall, those divided leaves are fabulously changed to a bright orange-red ... and really 'spark' up our landscape.

The fruits (called drupes) are red to russet to cinnamon colored when ripe. The tiny hairs on each round fruit contain malic acid which makes a tart lemonade tasting drink. Many of the wildfood gatherers sell 'sumac-ade' ... made from the fruits of this plant. Native Americans used the roots of winged sumac to treat dysentery and made a dye from the berries. The berries are consumed by many varieties of birds.

For all the wonders of this plant, my favorite is the fall color. And especially now, while I"m impatiently waiting for the oranges and red to finally paint our trees, I am enjoying the winged sumac even more.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fall Lake View - THANK YOU - TOM!

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Fall seems to be taking its sweet time turning our trees anything more than yellow. Here and there I find a full gold - in the sycamores and tulip trees - both of which are losing their leaves rather quickly.

I can only spot a dogwood or two and some winged sumacs that are red .. but nothing as exuberantly orange as the image posted by my friend, Tom, who graciously allowed me to use the inspiration of his photo to paint this fall view. Please see Tom's work here to enjoy even more glorious works! Thank you so much, Tom!!!

Our temps have risen again and the rain comes and goes -- nights and morning are chilly - and I suppose I am anxious to see more colors in the landscape. I am so enjoying the marvelous fall colors that my flickr friends are posting, and I thank Tom once again for sharing his fall with all of us.

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Doris and Lin - gift from Doris - work by Janina

I am so thrilled to post this --- This is my birthday gift from Doris --- a most incredible, AWESOME work by our mutual friend, Janina!

Janina is a most admired and wonderful friend of ours -- please see the other glorious portraits she has done as well as her magnificent work:



Birthday Gift from Janina

Birthday Gift from Janina by linfrye
Birthday Gift from Janina, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Imagine my surprise not only from Doris - but a separate, stupendous work and gift from Janina.


Please enjoy Janina's work here:

Again - a million thank you's!

Rose Hip Tangles - Happy Birthday to Me!

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Fall begins a season of celebrations - harvests, brlliant colors, Halloween, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary -- and today, my birthday!

To celebrate I painted some bright red rose hips - a reminder of the season and the colors I love, the hips-- the fruit of a season's work and the promise of more to come! Sort of like birthdays, I think!

Thank you all for your constant support and encouragment - but more, your friendships and kind words. You cannot know how much you mean to me!

Have a slice of celebratory cake today -- on me!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rain Coming

Rain Coming by linfrye
Rain Coming, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

For our 20th anniversary, my husband and I went to Topsail beach on the North Carolina coast and spent a few days at a marvelous bed and breakfast overlooking the marsh. I LOVE the quiet of the marsh, that peaceful green, the lapping of water, the sound of sea birds .... and our breakfasts were absolutely out of this world gourmet!!!!

During the first couple of days there, the weather wasn't very cooperative, and we had rain ... but we found plenty to do. I sat on our private balcony and painted the view just as the rainclouds gathered over the marshes .....

It was a restful vacation - apparently both of us needed our batteries recharged ... and love our walks along the beach and marsh, visits to museums, and a few small towns that were utterly charming.

We've rain in the forecast for the weekend, and we could use some - but oh how the days have been simply beautiful with Carolina blue skies, sunshine and delightful temperatures. Fall at it's best!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace by linfrye
Queen Anne's Lace, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

140 Arches CP

BRRR ..... the mornings these days are downright nippy and both mornings and evenings require a light jacket. Yet by noon, temps have risen to the mid 70s and low 80s - but somehow the sun is not quite as hot as it was a month ago - even at these temperatures.

In drives around the countryside, more and more fields have turned to bright yellow - golden rod and tickseeds have taken over. Dogwoods are almost entirely crimson and tulip tree and sycamore leaves dot the ground. These longer, cooler nights have certain been working their magic on bringing color to the landscape!

I spot a few remaining Queen Anne's Lace - but most of these are now brown and heavy with seed. I've been seed-collecting these past weeks, and it's time now to begin my annual 'seed-strewing. Blanket flower, purple cone flower, Queen Anne's Lace, poppy seeds - all will be randomly mixed and scattered over bare and new ground for next year's blooming. Because our fall weather is still considerably warm, many of the biennial seeds - like purple cone flower and Queen Anne's Lace - will germinate and grow a basal rosette before first frost, die back a bit, and then resume growth in the spring and flower. By planting these seeds in the fall, at least in my mild-winter climate, I can 'fool' these plants into blooming their first spring.

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

The leaves are turning, the skies clearing and the temperatures are moving back to reasonable temperatures. Pumpkins and gourds are appearing everywhere I look ... and now, more than ever, is the season for berries.

I find berries on the hollies, on the dogwood, on the winterberry shrub, viburnum, elderberry, and wrapped in casings like this physallis ... and I love to see each of them.

Somehow apples taste better in the fall than any other time, and I look forward to their sweet crunch. And now, with cooler evenings, a hot cup of tea really makes everything cozy.

Here's to fall and harvests and apple and pumpkin pies! To oranges and golds and crimson! Let the color kaleidescope begin!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another Sunflower Triad - Happy Anniversary

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Happy Anniversary to us! We are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary today ....!

Sunflowers for the sunshine of our lives and the cheeful happiness of 20 years with my sweetie!

Here's to 20 more!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Foggy Morning Sunrise - THANK YOU Maurizio

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

There are so many signs announcing fall's approach - those later sunrises and earlier sunsets, cooler mornings, the mist and fog that greet me upon awakening, bluer, less hazy skies, bits of yellow and red in the trees and shrubs, golden wildflowers blanketing the roadsides.

It was just such a morning image that seemed to capture that 'early fall feeling' - posted by my dear friend, Maurizio:

whose work never fails to inspire me. My thanks to him for allowing me to use his photo as this painting's inspiration! Please stop by his flickr stream to enjoy even more incredible works!

Our temperatures continue to offer cool mornings and warmer afternoons, and today and tomorrow, a bit of needed rain. I spent a good amount of time over the weekend closing some of the vegetable beds and collecting flower seeds. I'll do some seed scattering later this month to prepare for next season. Each morning I walk I notice more and more leaf color changes...and it's a pleasure to be outdoors!

Hope your week is wonderful!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU!

Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU! by linfrye
Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

I painted this while visiting Doris...both of us drawing inspiration from her beautiful garden and the hibiscus blooming there. I tried for something a bit looser, a bit more splashy, and a bit less 'controlled.' It was so much fun working through experiments with a fellow artist! See Doris' hibiscus here:

I also wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your incredible support -- and for your vote of confidence for the competition.

I was notified that I won 'The People's Choice' Award for 'The Long Barn" posted yesterday. I was joined at the artist reception by my dear husband and many of my wonderful friends who worked with me at the Arboretum, a fellow artist from Oxford, several friends from different Art Councils, and many talented artists.

From the bottom of my heart - a humble thank you to all of them .. and to you .. for encouraging and supporting me in my watercolor journey. A million blessings.

The weather these days could not be more idyllic - cool, foggy mornings followed by warm, not too hot, days, clear blue skies, fluffy clouds, and the trees and shrubs just losing their color. Here and there I am spotting yellow and even bits of red .. and it won't be long before the color-kaleiscope is it's full glory.

Let's get outside and enjoy this wonderful weather while we have it! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Long Barn - Oxford, NC

The Long Barn - Oxford, NC by linfrye
The Long Barn - Oxford, NC, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

12" x 28" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

This 'long barn' is located less than a mile from my home. I pass it daily -- and wanted to paint it for a long time. It took learning to use my 'stitch assistant' on my camera in order to capture it all ....
I painted this last month - just before I left to see Doris. With the trips I took in August and all the paintings we did together, I haven't had time to post it! LOL

Those haybales are still there and another haying season is getting underway. The farmer who owns this barn also rolls those hay bales that I LOVE to paint. I truly believe he rolls the prettiest bales around!

I entered this painting into a local competition - and the reception to announce the winners will be tomorrow night. We framed this long and narrow, and while I don't expect to win, it'll be fun to see all the entries and to have my work displayed at the Clayton Center for the month.

Here's the information; come join us if you can!

The announcement will come at a meet-the-artists reception honoring all those who entered. Two $750 awards will be presented. They are the Margaret Ritchie Award of Excellence for fine arts and the Award of Excellence for photography. In addition, three $100 Judges' Choice awards will be presented. Lastly, people attending the reception will be invited to vote for their favorite work in the show, and this winner will receive the People's Choice award of $25. Forty entries have been received already, and 23 are from Clayton artists. Clayton Visual Arts, which stages the $1,825 competition, expects to receive 50 or more entries. Media include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, colored pencil, mixed media, and photography.

A meet-the-artists reception to honor all artists who entered the Art Faire competition will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Clayton Center, 111 E. 2nd St., Clayton. Light refreshments will be served--cookies, finger sandwiches, fruit, cheese, nuts, wine and punch. It is free and open to everyone. Children are invited, too. Dress is casual.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Grapes

Fall Grapes by linfrye
Fall Grapes, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Oh the glorious cooler weather that was promised --- really did come today!!! When I went for my morning walk at 7:30 am, I needed long sleeves and slacks!! WOW!! And later, even when the sun burned off the fog, temps just managed to reach 80F!!! Absolutely wonderful -- temperatures, skies, breezes -- our first fall morning!

So fitting then, to post this painting. I worked on this when I was visiting Doris, modifying a technique learned from Karlyn Holman ... such fun!

Here in piedmont NC, hidden under 'just turning color' leaves, grapes are ripe. I pick some each morning that I walk, their sweet/tart taste thirst quenching and marvelous. The road crews went through the area cutting back tree limbs to prepare for hurricane season, so many of the grape vines that were laden with fruit have, unfortunately, been cut -- but here and there I can find a handful to enjoy and encourage me to 'keep walking!' lol

Here's to fall temperatures and weeks of wonderful blue skies, puffy clouds and leaves on their way to brilliant!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves by linfrye
Fall Leaves, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

We've one more hot and humid day to endure before the temperatures are supposed to change dramatically and those of us in the piedmont of North Carolina will have a cool spell that will herald the beginning of fall. I hope so. After enjoying temps in the 80s with Doris, coming back to 95F and equally high humidity definitely saps one's spirit as well as body!

This painting was done while visiting Doris - both of us enjoying the sunshine and glorious temperatures. We focused on fall leaves, but wanted to keep a 'soft' approach as opposed to fall's typically brilliant colors. I concentrated more autumnal colors in the background so that the lighter leaves would 'play' against the more traditional fall hues.

The week was busy hanging different shows, beginning to teach a few watercolor classes, and making a bit of headway with my runaway garden. I have about 1/3 of the front area cut back and seeds collected, and I'm just waiting for the 'cool-down' to tackle the rest.

I've also been collecting the last of the tomatoes and the last of the figs -- and I'm delighted that there's some of both left to harvest. I've also found a few ripened grapes along the woodland edges -- yummy -- little orbs or deliciously unexpected treats.

We're off to the farmer's market to see what good things we can carry home for weekend meals. Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Circles -- After Karlyn Holman

12" x 16" Watercolor

While visiting Doris, we experimented with many of Karlyn Holman's techniques and ideas (see I've painted many of these types of abstracts before, so it was exciting to share some ideas with Doris.

I wanted to create something with circles -- but after I got through painting all the circles, I felt a bit 'dizzy' .. lol ... so decided to try a 'design within a design' to break up the shapes.

Not only was visiting Doris an incredible, joyous experience, but sharing all that artistic energy really got our creative juices flowing!! Triple treat!!

The weather in Germany was incredibly glorious - cool to me after suffering 90+F temps for months, so I was feeling a bit 'fallish' for this painting.Temps here in North Carolina have been hot, humid and generally stickily unpleasant, but we're supposed to have a cool down next week -- maybe I can feel a bit more fallish again once I stop perspiring! LOL

Have a great day!

Monday, September 03, 2012


Linz by linfrye
Linz, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

During my stay with Doris, we had to make a quick trip to Cologne ... such a beautiful city! On the way back, Doris found a small, picturesque village - Linz - where we would stop, explore and sketch.

Oh did I fall in love with this place!! Flowers everywhere - a central town sqare so pedestrian friendly - with fountains, shops, restaurants, cobblestones -- all the things of dreams! We even saw a 'band' with figures that would play music - faces and arms and eyebrows moving with expressions that had me laughing out loud.

We sat on one of the benches to sketch these two BEAUTIFUL buildings ... and then later in the week decided to turn them into paintings.

I modified my attempt quite a bit, moving the pink building out of the street and trying to give this a feel of a vignette. It was a challenge for me to paint with all the lines and wooden designs .. but I sure loved painting the flowers!!! LOL But I did learn a lot ...

We celebrate our Labor Day holiday today so it'll be more of a day to relax than 'labor' ... though I have begun tackling the garden. I've already collected a five pound bucket of purple cone flower seeds and that was only from from one bed!

I deliver paintings this week to two different exhibits so we spent most of yesterday matting and framing. I'm grateful for all the painting Doris and I did -- sure helped with some new additions to the exhibits as well as marvelous memories.

Hope you have a great holiday!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Montrose Gardens

Montrose Gardens by linfrye
Montrose Gardens, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Returning home after a long, long, long airplane ride and a midnight delivery of suitcases and meeting the intense heat, humidity and dense air of North Carolina, drain me even more than the jet-lag I'm feeling this morning. My body (and I have to admit, soul) are still in a wee town outside of Wetzlar, enjoying Dori's company, fresh brotchen, the cool air, the castles, painting hours, chatter, shared ideas and inspirations .... and though I'm grateful to be home and to return to my beloved family, I think I'm a bit homesick for a place I've just begun to know.

So with a mound of catching up to do, three exhibits to get ready for, a garden that has really misbehaved in my absence, children and loved ones to catch up with, I return to the more relaxed atmosphere of a garden I love here in NC - Montrose. I painted this several weeks ago while visiting my mom ... from a photo I took earlier in the spring. I hope to visit the gardens this fall to capture some of those flowering beautings.

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend. I'll be laboring to catch up!!! LOL