A Long Drive plus Draftsmen Podcast equal a Rambling self introspective narrative.

I started listening to this pod cast when it first came out. I listened regularly for quite a while. Then life happened, habits and situations changed and it’s been a hot minute since I last listened. That changed today as I had a 4 hour drive. I started at the beginning of the second season. Ironically one of the long internal dialogue I have been having with myself is why….? Why am I on this art journey. To what end? What do I want out of it other than it is always something I have wanted to do?

The host touched on that in the episodes I listened to today. And it has me thinking….

At this point I have no intention of every selling my art. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen, but it’s not my life’s goal to be a “professional artist”. If it happens more power to me. If it doesn’t I won’t be any worse for wear. But WHY, WHAT is it I am trying to convey? I am not a consumer of art. Most of the art in my home has been gifted to me. I am not “moved” by art. It rarely (if ever) evokes emotion (music is a different story). I don’t want to copy photographs or landscapes (although I do prefer a realistic style at this point, having no deep emotional ties to art, abstract pieces are lost on me). So then, why art? Most of my subjects are from my where I was born and raised (the tropics). I paint what reminds me of home. To bring what is under the sea on land. I would LOVE to have a saltwater aquarium, but travel too much to maintain one. Bottom line I paint for me. I get transported to where I want to be. To where I love. (When I am far from my beloved Florida, 5th generation Floridian, the tropics are in my blood.) to share that tropical love with those who can’t be there all the time, like me (currently landlocked nowhere near the tropics half the year. During cold winter months, my art is an escape.

At the same time I also LOVE the process of watercolors. The science behind how and why it does what it does. The controlling of the water, the uncontrollable aspects of super wet on wet. It’s magical.


The rest of tonight and tomorrow I will dedicate to making a few artistic goals. There are a specific goals I already have in place, but they are tiny and just a means to an end. I’m talking I will seek to answer the above. My minor goals are learning how to render certain subjects. Something is missing from this journey, I don’t know what…. THAT is what I am looking for… that missing piece. Any suggestions, hints, thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Til next time, take care of you…

Pushing through the Fear (updated)

Pushing through the Fear (updated)

I called this one finished at least twice and went back and added more contrast (darks). I realized after I published this that I forgot to chat about the fear. The fear, for me on this piece (heck most pieces) is the FOFU (Fear of F*cking Up). Personally, I don’t know what I did differently on this one. It never went through a stage where I wanted to toss it. Every step I took I did with confidence EXCEPT the final darks. TWICE I called it done and TWICE I went back with a fine brush or as in the case with the last dive in, I used a dip pen loaded with watercolor. Well THIS time I’m sure I am finished… I don’t honestly believe I can make any more marks that will improve it in any way shape or form. So is this piece really done or is FOFU stopping me from making it even better? I’ll never know, caue I’m gonna frame it and hang it.

Techniques used: dry brushing, glazes, wet on wet, wet on dry, masking fluid, and dip pen for the fine detailing. I attached process photos if you were interested. Is it worth the effort? Let me know and I will keep at it. If it’s pointless I’ll stop. Raw umber, burnt sienna, cobalt violet, and buff titanium Arches rough #140.

Light glazes over sketch (4H)
Used dry rake brush. The rough paper really helps with the effect.
glazing lite layers of burnt sienna
more dry brushing with 6 round and strengthening the darks in the narrow slots
Ruling pen and ruler used to apply mask
At one point I called this “done”
Used a dip pen to enhance some fine detail darks.

A wee break from the color mixing…

A wee break from the color mixing…

I wanted to take a a bit to try to change the approach I use for watercolor.

One of you awesome bloggers talked about a watercolorist who used a 6H pencil to do his sketches. I used to fall in squarely into the “2B til death” camp. I’m now eating my words and used a 4H to do most of my presketch. And moved to more layers /glazes and to rough paper. Pretty pleased. Not sure I’m entirely finished… May go back in for some deeper contrast when I swallow the fear of screwing it up 🤣.

Todays efforts…

Todays efforts…
Not feeling 100% after my kidney stone procedure but feeling better than I expected to. This was today’s efforts. I have found out my transition back to my second home has been delayed ANOTHER week! (It’s been 4 now 😒) So, since I can’t get to the beach, I’m bringing the beach to me (Like I do regularly anyway) The plan is to take my time and change techniques. I’m excited about the progress so far.

Color Mixing #4 Cobalt Blue and still (kidney) stoned (LOL ðŸ˜œ)

Color Mixing #4 Cobalt Blue and still (kidney) stoned (LOL ðŸ˜œ)

I am not entirely sure why or how I ended up with Cobalt Blue in my collection of paint. I have no doubt I bought it, just don’t remember where, when, or why. However, I now am THRILLED I did. When I first started my watercolor journey Ultra Marine Blue (UMB) was hailed as THE blue to use. So I listened to seasoned vets and full blown artist and swore UMB would be my blue to the very end. It does make some nice mixes (with the exception of green, I never liked the greens I mixed with my yellows).

I was pleasantly surprised as I watched these yummy colors develop on my palette as I mixed Cobalt Blue with my essential colors. I just wanted to lick it! They are GOREGOUS! I then went on to mix with frequently used colors that aren’t in my “essential” palette. Those secondary colors were icing on an already delicious plate. I’m now hooked on and convinced that Cobalt Blue is now replacing UMB. Not to say I won’t ever reach for UM again, I’m sure I will, just not for a while.

Top Center (clockwise) Azo Yellow, Nickel Quin Gold, Hansa Med, Marine Blue, UMB, Cobalt Teal, Opera (DS), Pyrrol Scarlet, Quin Rose, Raw Umber< Green Apatite Genuine
Top Center (clockwise) Diox Purple, Rose Ultramarine, Violet Ultramarine, Violet Cobalt, Bloodstone, Moon Glow, Burnt Bronzite Genuine, Bordeaux, Hooker’s Green, Phthalocyanine Green, Burnt Sienna, Buff Titanium

So there ya have it, Cobalt Blue in all its beauty. I still have my kidney stone… It shifted a bit over the last few days and the pain, while still nothing that Advil can’t take care of, is increasing. Come on Wednesday, ready to get this thing blasted!

Until the next one, take the best care of you!


Color Mixing #3 Hooker’s Green And Kidney Stones…

Color Mixing #3 Hooker’s Green And Kidney Stones…
Hooker’s green was an impulse buy. I didn’t need it, not necessarily a fan of it, but just picked it up because I wanted to have a dark green convenience color. It breaks my “single pigment” rule for tubes, but again I don’t use it much (up to this point. I must say, I am LOVING the browns and neutrals that I mixed. I will have to add it to my fall inspired paintings. Not my usual “cup of tea” but, on occasion, I do whip one out. That said this 15 mm tube will probably last me a lifetime. Please forgive the not-so-neat painting job. I am in the process of passing a kidney stone and was having pain flare ups. I go get it blasted on Wednesday!
Starting Top Center (going clockwise) Azo Yellow, Hansa Medium, Marine Blue, Ultra Marine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Phthalocyanine Green, Nickle Quin Gold, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ocher, Ultra Marine Turquois, Manganese Blue Hue. Background Hooker’s Green
Nothing really to write home about in the above color rosette. The colors are nice, but don’t fit in with my standard tropical subjects.
Starting top center (clockwise): Alizarin Crimson, Pyrrole Scarlet, Quin Rose, Quin Lilac, Holbein’s Bright Rose, Daniel Smith’s Opera Pink, Windsor Newton’s Opera Rose, Rhodonite Genuine, Bloodstone, MoonGlow, Diox Purple, Lamp Black.
This rosette was my favorite of the two. The colors are so flippin’ rich and beautiful. It just may cause me to paint a few extra fall scenes/landscapes this fall. The colors are so yummy! Not sure what color I will mix next or how many I will get to mix before my procedure… So until the next one, take care of you!

Watercolor play (It needs a name, help?)

Watercolor play (It needs a name, help?)
I often like to throw down lots of water, loose pigment and salt. I let that dry and play the good ol’ version of “I spy”. My husband saw the seahorse I saw the jellyfish. Sometimes the images are easy to pick out, other times there’s nothing to see. I lay those a side until I am inspired to pick something out of nothing. This one needs a name…. I’ll take suggestions…

Color Mixing #2

Color Mixing #2
Holbien’s Marine blue

I picked Holbien’s blue because most of my pieces I like to paint are influenced by the sea. I am a Florida girl born and raised and it is the tube color that comes closest to my favorite “blue”. I’ve had this tube a few months now but never mixed it with my the colors n my essential/most used palette. (that would be on the left) the right are colors that I would mix for neutrals or just wanted to see how they would mix. Up until I played with these Phthaloblue (green shade) was the second blue in my essential palette. I think it just got booted. I rarely use it pure (even though it does make great mixes) and I have reached for this multiple times since I purchased it.