Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bridge Over Sad Waters


We lost my former father-in-law yesterday ... an especially sad time for my children. He was very good to me and we remained friends even after his son and I ended our marriage.

I painted this to cheer myself and didn't realize the symbolism until after it was finished.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014



Rain --- again.

This time of year the evening hours seem darker and deeper and colder ...

The need for light grows strong, and I crave candles, firelight and all things bright against the dark ... and the cold.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From the Nativity


Rain still pelting the windows and flooding the streets .. sure do wish it were snow instead.

These figurines are from my mom's antique Nativity scene ... they're chipped and aged and worn with the years -- and though I have newer versions, I love the tie to family and holiday they represent.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wishing for Snow

It's raining again -- so I'm turning the rain to snow -- at least on my page!!! 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Future Sketch Artists

My daughter and her family celebrated Christmas with us this weekend during their visit. I had created individualized sketch journals for each of the grandchildren ... You can see by these images -- they loved them ...! And the ten and six year olds already completed several pages! My youngest granddaughter told me that she sketched people so well because 'She was 'almost' an artist'!" Maybe she'll feel like a 'real artist' by the time she's six and a half !!! LOL

From Taylor, age 10

And from my "Almost an Artist" 6 year old granddaughter:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

First Snow!


My daughter's family is visiting and we're celebrating Christmas this weekend with her family and my two youngest granddaughters. We invited their two older cousins (my son's) to stay with us for a rollicking COUSIN time! Imagine the bliss yesterday morning when we awoke to unexpected SNOW FLURRIES!! The kids donned jackets and gloves and ran around the property trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues!

A Confectionery Blessing to our Celebrations!

Saturday, December 20, 2014



A quick sketch as I waited for our weekend company!  The holiday celebrations have begun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fall Barn

Overcast and rainy today -- a perfect day to stay inside and prepare holiday cookies. Thought I would warm up a bit with this memory of August ...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Let It Snow!!


Though sunshine and temperatures in the 50s make snow impossible, whenever I use these salt and pepper shakers, I can pretend we're all surrounded by SNOW!

Wishful thinking!

Saturday, December 13, 2014



Though yesterday began with frost on the fields, it turned into a beautiful day - sunshine and in the low 60s! I went into Raleigh to pick up some paintings, have lunch with a friend, and do some holiday grocery shopping. What a joy it was to find fresh SMELTS! This cold water fish is a family tradition - though it's very challenging to find them in my part of North Carolina except once in a while during the holidays. I bought all they had on display .. and will fry these into golden 'chips' for my family's Christmas Eve dinner.

That meal will be even more special this year with memories AND food!

Monday, December 08, 2014


Sketchbook Skool -

Sketch of my cat, Pepper, in his 'half asleep' eye look .. resting in his bed under my art table.  Yes, he's a BIG boy -- almost 20 pounds of muscle!

Friday, December 05, 2014

A Page from my Journal

November 30 
A page from my journal -

An absolutely gorgeous day yesterday - sunshine and warm. A walk at the GAP - pines and this marsh elder - the colors we see. Lots of walkers and joggers. A simple pizza for dinner.

I really am enjoying my journal sketching and writing time. I began sketching and painting nine years ago but keeping such a journal was neglected over the years I focused on painting. Journaling has been a really good 'return' for me.

It's been wonderful, too, to have that bit of quiet time spent on reflection and contemplation without thought of perfect paintings, matting and framing. Good skill practice too.

I'm still painting for the classes I teach, gifts, and sales, but these journals are what they first were to me - a place to think, dream, meditate, reflect, practice, plan.

It's like filling the well ...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ornamental Grasses

Double Meandering Journal

There is frost now in the mornings, and often the cat's water bowl is frozen.  From my office window I can now see the sunrise through the bare trees -- but the colors are gone save for the beech, pines and the feathery plumes of my ornamental grasses.

Our days will  now be focused on the holidays - a different season of busyness.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Barn and Birches

No, no snow here - yet -- just freezing temperatures and rain.  Though we still have a few leaves on the trees, since the 'Arctic Blast' hit us last week, most of those leaves have browned, and the once dense woodlands are opening to revel a tangle of incredible arboreal architecture.

This painting was a done as demo for the watercolor class I taught this month.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Backyard -- a few days ago

BRRR!!! FREEZING outside!! What a difference from when I painted this. The leaves have turned brown almost over night (25F after 75F temps) wonder! On the way to Raleigh yesterday to participate in Art of the Carolinas -- we had a bit of SNOW flurries -- LIGHT, AIRY flakes mixed with misty rain -- but yep, it was snow.

Hate to see this colorful display end ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SBS - A Walk Into Fall - Last few pages

SBS - Last few pages of "A Walk Into Fall" ... I've really enjoyed this trip!!! (and yes, I've misspelled sorghum again! LOL)  I"m embracing my imperfections!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pages Two and Three in "My Walk Into Fall"

I am very much enjoying my "Walk Into Fall' and creating these pages for the last session of "Storytelling' Sketchbook Skool.  FUN!

More to come!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Page 1 Walk Into Fall 
Sketchbook Skool with Danny Gregory - A story of our day, trip, adventure.

Mine is simple .. a walk into my favorite season ...

More to come ...

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Blowing in the Sunflowers

Gray days, bit of rain -- all that sketch work --- just needed to splash some paint around!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Remains

Old Barns, fields in sepia and gold, tree leaves falling, nip in the air ....

Fall drawing to a close --- winter knocking ....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NC State Fair

Double Meandering Journal -- Met the grandchildren at the NC State Fair Sunday --- FUN!!! Great food, displays, rides -- the day was glorious -- and the crowds -- ENORMOUS!  Lots of noise and people, a festive atmosphere and great fun!!!  I was whipped after only 4 hours!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Plein Air at the GAP

Double Meandering Journal -- Sunshine and a cool breeze, but a beautiful day to visit the Granville Athletic Park. Met my friend Julie for a walk, then we sat under one of the shelters to sketch the Autumnal colors in front of us. Wonderful!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ode to Fall

A quick ode to fall ... right now, foliage here in the Piedmont of NC is mostly yellows and golds, a few browns, and here and there, the maples are turning scarlet.  We're weeks away from peak color -- but the changes are evident and beautiful.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Double Meandering Journal

Thought I'd share a couple of my journal pages done while visiting my mom.

This old barn really caught my eye.... Love it in its aged beauty!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Raleigh's Farmers Market

Raleigh Farmer's Market ... What a blast! Everywhere we looked -- pumpkins, squash, mums, apples -- a harvest of color, fruits, vegetables! Tons of folks with arms filled with the colors and gifts of the season!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Pumpkins and Squash

While visiting my mom, I used my double meandering journal to sketch a few things while she rested. I was continuing the 75-day challenge by Brenda Swenson to sketch with pen first. Terrific practice.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Potted Flowers - Happy Birthday -- to Me! With thanks to You!

I painted these several months ago -- but since I enrolled in Sketchbook Skool I haven't done a lot of painting outside of assignments, challenges or preparations for the classes I was teaching. I found these in my archives and thought they'd fit for my September birthday.

On my birthday, I'd like to thank each of you for all the support and encouragement you have given me through my sketching and watercolor journey. I truly appreciate the time and kindness you give me with your 'favorites' and your generous comments. Thank you most for your friendship!

You make my time here most pleasant and joyous -- and my wish for YOU -- is many more years of doing all the things you love to do -- and sharing those with us here on Blogger!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pen and Wash
Meandering Double Journal

The days are cooling, nights coming in a lot earlier, leaves turning colors and are already litter the ground ... pumpkin and mum displays everywhere I go, yellow fields, hay bales, apples, and here and there, the first scent of wood smoke.

There's no denying -- it's fall!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 59 - Old Farmhouse, Granville County, NC

Day 59 - Old Oxford Farmhouse. There are so many of these around my neighborhood and they're a good practice of perspective and aging wood.

BTW, I am not posting these in any day order ...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 61 Granville Tobacco Barns

More journal sketching -- Almost reaching my 75-day pen first challenge ... a bit more to go ..!

Leaves just tinged with yellow -- but the fields around here -- turning a most glorious tawny sienna ...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Day 45 - Blue Flowers

Day 45 
A few more weeks remain of this 'pen first' challenge ... I've enjoyed the challenge but I"m beginning to miss my eraser!! LOL

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sundown - a Class Demo

This was the last demonstration for my class on Sunrises and sunsets -- this month we'll focus on doors and windows ...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 42 - France


Continuing the 75-day pen challenge by Brenda Swensen. This is another architectural sketch I'm continue to practice ...

I love those outdoor cafes, especially when covered with flowers. I wish there were more outdoor cafes where I live ... nothing beats sitting under one of those umbrellas, drinking coffee, chatting with friends, sketching, enjoying the views ...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Along the Beach

Another small demo for my watercolor class.

Still haven't made it to the NC beaches this year ... guess I need to be content with visiting the beaches through paint!

I am really enjoyed this 'not-so-stiffling' summer ... what a change from last year.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Pond

Continuing my 75-day Sketch with Pen Challenge. I did this first with pen, then followed-up with watercolor.

I am really enjoying the relaxed sketches in my journal ...smaller scale, a bit faster, and more a sketch than a finished painting ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rose of Sharon

While I love these pretties in my garden, they sure love to spread their YOUNG EVERYWHERE!!!  In bloom now.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day 29 - Flowered Window

Ink and Watercolor

Day 29 -- Almost a month of a 75-day challenge to sketch directly with pen !! WOO HOO!!!

Another flowered window ... my favorite kind of window!

After the Rains

Sketchbook Skool session "Seeing" has ended -- but it has been one incredible, magnificent, learning experience.  I'm still involved with the 75-day Pen challenge posted by Brenda Swensen and will continue my daily pen and wash practices.  I am learning so much and the painting block, thank HEAVENS, has been lifted.

I want to share some of my more 'successful' sketches because I'd like to encourage you to look into the classes the next time they are offered (another session coming soon).

This sketch of mushrooms was painted after all the rain we experienced ... the 'shrooms popped up EVERYWHERE on the property, and I walked around and sketched the varieties I saw ...FUN!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bone China Tea Set

Journal - Sketchbook Klass with Liz Steel

I've been working on tea cups and tea sets for this portion of Sketchbook Skool with Liz Steel.  Buildings and Teacups -- it is -- here, the tea set given to me by my sister Pat -- A very delicate bone china set.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Carolina Wren

Continuing work with Sketchbook Skool and working in my journal. My assignment this particular week was to sketch a bird ...

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Orange Sunset

Painted as a demo for this month's class on sunrises and sunsets.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Day 10 - Avenue of Live Oaks - Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC

Day 10 - Magnolia Gardens Avenue of Live Oaks
I'm continuing to enjoy the sketch and journal practice I'm doing for Sketchbook Skool while also participating in a 75-day sketch with pen challenge. I'm finding the smaller format relaxing and the simple washes over penwork a wonderful practice.

This is a sketch of part of the live oak avenue at Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC. I LOVE that tree and its associated history and folklore and the many uses it has.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Island Reflections

Arches 140#CP

My August watercolor classes will focus on sunrises and sunsets ... this is the painting I did for the class demo ... from imagination ...

Our temps have been incredible for this time of year .. mid 80sF!! What a joy to be outdoors!