Have we met? An oily cow.

I called this “Have We Met?” because she looks like she wants to introduce herself but she’s a lady and doesn’t want to be too forward. I really miss the cows on my parent’s farm since they had to get rid of them. I think I will have to paint more cows. They are just so much fun to paint with their big noses and doe eyes. 11×14 oil. 3/4 thick panel has hanging slot so may be hung unframed if preferred. Available for buying here.



She needs a name

My newest little portrait needs a name. Not a name for the model (her name is Emily) but a name for the painting itself that speaks of the emotions, thoughts or mood it evokes. At least, I HOPE it evokes something. To me, she looks a little sad or frightened but also defiant. Pensive, maybe. What do you think?

emily_small This was an experiment with a very limited palette, only 3 colors. I think this helped create the mood. She is 6×12 oil on gesso board. Happy Paint Party Friday!

Tiny building sketches

A couple of buildings from my recent trip to VA. I like that this little 3.5 x 5 notebook is cute, less intimidating, and easy to carry, but I don’t like the spiral binding. It keeps the pages from scanning clearly. The edge next to it is always blurry. And it gets in my way when I sketch.



The tourist information center in Abingdon, VA. This is the back of the building, because that’s where we parked, and because I thought it was more interesting. 🙂


lewisginterbuildingOne of the buildings at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA, in the children’s garden.


Tiny palette and sketchbook to go

I needed a smaller palette for a road trip to Virginia so I made one from an eyeshadow case. I bought an eye shadow compact from Dollar Tree (1$!) and pried out the eyeshadow, cleaned it up and sprayed the outside of the lid with white enamel, to better show my paint colors when mixing. The lid was clear before painting. I squeezed in 7 colors plus white. I still have room for several more colors, if I decide I need them. I can get plenty of color by mixing these few, though. Here is the palette alongside the little 3 1/2″ x 5″ Strathmore watercolor journal that I took with me.


Paint colors are New Gamboge, Quinacradone Gold, Permanent Rose, Manganese Blue, Winsor Blue (Red shade) and Neutral Tint.  The page above shows some of the color mixes I can get with these.

And here are the first few sketches from the trip. Mushrooms from a roadside rest stop. They looked like something from a fairy tale, to me.



More mushrooms, these with frilly edges that made them look like flowers.


And coneflowers (I think) from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA.

coneflowersI added a couple of pens and a mechanical pencil,   a water brush, a tiny spray bottle and a thick paper towel. Everything I needed fit in a little zippered pencil case.


Which Stillman & Birn?

I need a new sketchbook and want to try one of the Stillman and Birn but can’t decide which series. They sent me a little pack of postcard sized paper samples. This is on the Beta series paper. I like it but even though I do use watercolor (mostly improperly) in my sketchbooks, I don’t tend to use the ones I already have with watercolor paper in them. I’m not a watercolor artist, I just use it to add a little color to my sketches. So maybe the Epsilon series would suit me better? Or one of the others? I’d love to hear opinions!

cathyj I sketched this while watching one of Cathy Johnson’s videos. She’s cuter than this, of course. 🙂

A different kind of painting

Instead of finishing up the little portrait I started, I’ve been procrastinating by painting this secretary desk for my bedroom. I wanted something colorful so I went with the Florence color of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, followed by clear wax and then dark wax and a just a little bit of distressing. I love what the dark wax does to this color. She also got new handles since one of the old ones was broken and a new knob.

desk1desk2desk3And here’s the before: