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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The end of my day at the beach - Claire 27

Ah... it's the end of the day and that means it is the end of my trip to the beach (oops I mean end of my beach 'class').  I had a wonderful time soaking up the sun, the fresh air, the colorful sights of the beach, and painting!! I made new friends and I think my Beach Buddies had a great time too!! 

..... I better start packing for my trip to England!!!

Gathering shells on the beach - Claire 26

I love walking on the beach and picking up shells and rocks along the way. It always feels like a treasure hunt. Through the years I've collected many memories of walking on the beach with my parents, my husband, my boys, and many friends. It always provides me with a "breath of fresh air" from my day-to-day life.

P.S. more words about the quote on my blog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

#023 Swift Forktail Damselfly

This little damselfly is only about 1.3 inches long .... it takes a good telephoto lens and a good photo to draw it! I drew it much larger than life. Pen and ink plus watercolor in my journal.

For more about the damselfly go to my blog.

#022 Yellowstone Dogs no. 65 and 66

Here are two more 'Yellowstone Dogs.' I know the upper one is a yearling female wolfof the Agate Pack. I assume the bottom one is a male. I picked similiar poses because I wanted to capture the difference between male and female.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Painting # 40 - Holey Cactus - Teri Casper

I did this painting from a sketch I did a few years ago.  We found it in a park in Tucson.  Something this odd, as a hole in the middle of a prickly pear pad always fascinates me.  I don't know how it got there, animal or just a natural event.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kelly - Painting #19, Painting #20, and Painting #21 - Studies of an English House Sparrow in the Snow

In an effort to catch up on my challenge paintings, I just knocked off two little English House Sparrows foraging in the snow. Yikes! That sounds terrible, doesn't it? Especially when you consider there are lots of people who really would like to "knock off" English House Sparrows because of all the havoc they have brought to our native cavity nesters. I think they are pretty. They can't help they were brought to another continent and flourished. (I just snuck in a third House Sparrow. Now I'm not quite as far behind. Three more to go, and I'll be back on track!)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kelly - Painting #18 - Red-bellied Woodpecker Eating Greenbriar Berries

I watched this female Red-bellied Woodpecker eating these beautiful blue greenbriar berries early last November. It was such a pretty sight I knew I'd eventually turn it into a painting.


Another sweet robin ; ). I'm trying my hand at acrylics--not real sure what I'm doing, but having a great time! This one was a birthday gift to my lovely mom. As a novice painter, I am looking for the medium and style that I would like to work in and towards. When I see a painting that I love, I like to borrow the composition; in the spirit of copying the masters. In this case, I found the inspiration for this painting from this wonderful artist. I wrote to ask permission to post this and she graciously agreed to let me. I am especially inspired by her use of color.

#021 Hidden Nest

I found this hen mallard nest a few days ago .... I've never been so close to a nesting mallard. I took one photo and tip-toed away without disturbing her.

Mixed media: watercolor, gouache, pencil.

Friday, March 26, 2010

#020 Copepod

This funny little creature is painted way, way bigger than real life. I found him swimming in a local pond. The copepod is only about 1/8 inch long! I had to use a hand lens so I could see him well enough. He is still swimming around in my little dish. I plan to put him back into the wild tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Arc de Triomphe - Claire 25

<<< Note:  don't know why.... but I decided to do something different this time... >>>

Another one from my Imaginary Trip to Paris class:
When I go traveling it always seems like I'm going 100 miles per hour to pack in as much as possible. By the time we got to the Arc de Triomphe it was already evening!!  But, even at dusk there was no mistaking where we were. There was the famed Arc de Triomphe standing in all its grandeur even in the dim light as the sun set behind it. The view grabbed my attention as all the tourists stood out as silhouettes against the Arc in the background. 

Reference photo from GoogleMaps:

Kelly - Painting #17 - A Tufted Tiddlywink in the Cold

I found this little Tufted Titmouse sheltering in the branches of a pine tree on a very, very cold and snowy day in February. He was fluffed up to extremes and very cute. My cousin calls these fellows Tufted Tiddlywinks and the name has stuck for me...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Afternoon Cafe - Claire 24

Another afternoon visit to a cafe in Paris as part of my Imaginary Trip to Paris with Laure. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Painting #39 - Prickly Pear

I painted this from a photo I took at Sedona.  The Prickly Pear was tucked in a crevice with the sunlight glistening on it.  
I just never tire of painting cacti.

Friday, March 19, 2010

#019 Leah, a Siberian Tiger

Teri has taken over as administrator of a 20 min challenge blog. At first I dismissed even trying to do anything in 20 minutes … but the idea of trying wouldn’t go away. I am truly surprised at how well it turned out. Beginner’s luck!

I’ve commented before that it is difficult for me to paint loosely…. And here I did it. This is so unlike what I generally do, yet I find myself rather fascinated by it. I initially drew with very watered down paint and then jumped in. I was working on very nice paper, #300 Arches – the back of an old reject. The good paper helped … and it helped that I recently did a very careful pen and ink of this tiger’s brother.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting #38 - More Plein Aire

This is another plein aire painting I did in Sedona.  There was a Serenity Garden right next to the motel so I sat there in the sun and painted these stone animals and few trees.
It was not only a joy to be painting but I enjoyed the serenity of the place.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#018 The Two-tailed Wrentit

Confession is good for the soul. I drew this little wrentit for my blog and inked too soon. Someone must have been playing pin-the-tail-on-the- donkey and put the tail in the wrong place.

But isn’t scanning wonderful. I added the new tail, painted, scanned and then, on the computer, erased the errant tail.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Painting #36 and 37 - Plein Aire

We celebrated our anniversary last weekend in Sedona, Arizona which is known for it's red rock structures.
I packed my art supplies thinking I would do some painting and I did 8 sketches!  My husband was unusually patient while waiting for me to paint.
I sat outside the car looking at the church built into the rocks and was awed by the beauty.  My hands went for the paints almost on their own.

The second painting of the red rocks in the distance was done sitting at a picnic table.
What I learned was that I am hooked on plein aire painting!  What a difference in the light and just everything.  I also took photos and I like my paintings better.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#017 Yellowstone Dogs -- No. 56 Wolf

I’ve been stuck on wolves for a few days. I have to admit I’m really hoping to have the opportunity to draw some from life again. I know I’ll be torn between drawing and taking photos when I finally have a wolf in my sights. Often I can draw with my spotting scope when the wolves are too far away for good photos. …. And if I have some of that anatomy stored in my head, the chances of a good drawing are vastly improved.

This wolf is looking at a raven. There was a wolf-killed elk nearby and he is thinking about chasing the raven away. The ravens keep testing the wolves until the wolves have eaten their fill and are too lazy to keep chasing ravens.

Friday, March 12, 2010


This is a colored pencil sketch I made while working out an idea for a textile project. For my reference photo, I used (with permission) a photo I found here on flickr. I will post the finished sewing project on my blog in a couple of days.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#016 Great Blue Heron Tossing a Fish

We found a tolerant, hunting great blue heron last Saturday. I’ve never been so close to one in full breeding plumage. The brightness of his colors came as a surprise. What a treat!

Watercolor on heavy-weight sketchbook paper. Painted from our photos.

Hazy Moon with Owl #015

Here is another try at capturing a hazy moon .... this time on better paper: Strathmore Imperial 140# rough. Better paper is a big help!

The scene is inspired by a great horned owl we spotted years ago when in Grand Teton Nation Park, although I must admit that night had a very clear sky.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Painting #35 White Camel

My granddaughter spent some time in Syria last year and took a photo of a white camel.  I found it fascinating and knew I had to paint it.  First of all it's white and unusual.  The tassels around the neck are so delightful and I love the saucy look on his face.

I purposely kept the background quiet so the focus is all camel.
A fun painting for me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Painting #34 Cactus Nest

I found this nest stuffed between the arms of a Saguaro Cactus when I was walking.  It fascinates me when I see how nature helps works.
The cactus is watercolor and the nest is a mish-mash of ink, gouache and sharpie to get that messy effect.
I admit that there are times I love getting lost in details....like these spines.

Old Mr. Turtle - Claire 23

Friday, March 5, 2010

Early morning outside Fouquet's - Claire 22

Fouquet's has been a Paris icon since way back in 1899 when it opened and it proudly anchors a corner at les Champs-Elysees and avenue Georges V. Laure Ferlita shared some wise thoughts -- Be prepared to spend some money and think of it this way:
 "It is not the drinks you are paying for so much as the location..... If the price of drinks at a cafe seems overwhelming expensive .... stop thinking in American dollars and ... think of it as renting a prime piece of Parisian real estate for an hour! Four bucks then becomes a bargain and the coffee is a bonus!"

Yes, ... when you think of it that way it doesn't seem so outlandish. A difference in perspective can make a world of difference!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

#014 Hazy Moon

This is a tough one. I’m trying to capture the hazy moon of a specific night. …. And I’m going to complain about paper again. This-heavy-weight –paper-sketchbook is great for even color but when I tried to scrub some of the paint off around the moon, I broke the surface of the paper. Ah well…. My goal is to experiment. I need to know what each of my tools can do. After so many years of not painting I seem to remember my colors well, but not what different papers do. But I must admit I used to do allmost all my painting on hard, hot pressed illustration board.

This is the same paper I used on the downy woodpeckers (#013) and the Nene goose (#011) and Dewey Morning (#008). I should try something similar on better paper.

Come walk with me to the beach - Claire 21

Come walk with me to the beach.... feel the fresh sea air blowing through your hair, walk barefoot in the sand, get your feet wet, look for beach treasures and take it all in ....
.....   b  r  e  a  t  h  e ......

Painting #33 Coffee Lady

I painted this 'coffee lady' from another photo that my daughter took in the Dominican Republic (same place that the red ginger flower came from).  The lady was explaining the making of coffee and looked interesting so I decided to paint her.    
It was a lot of painting, waiting for that part to dry, then painting, then drying, and I finally finished this long process.  In fact I painted two other sketches in between.  I get so impatient when it doesn't dry fast enough.  Painting something else really helped (as Laure suggested).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

#013 Downy Woodpeckers

Three poses of the same male downy woodpecker, drawn from our photos. Ink and watercolor on heavy weight sketchbook paper.

For more information about these little woodpeckers, go to my blog.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Flamingo - Claire 20

Wow - what color these exotic birds have. I guess you can't be too shy when you're that bright! 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Painting #32 Red Ginger

The resource photo I used was one that my daughter took on her recent trip to the Dominican Republic.  When I saw it I knew I had to paint it.
Tropical Red Ginger is always so dramatic looking.  

Painting #31 Cactus - Plein Air

I sat in the back and painted my neighbor's night-blooming cereus cactus (not currently blooming).  I especially paid attention to the differences between a photo and the real thing and it is amazing.  I want to do more plein air now.
I chose to do a minimalist look because it does stand alone like this.

Eventide - Claire 19

What a sight ... to sit on the deck of a restaurant near the water as the sun goes down... and enjoy a glass of wine!!