Monday, September 15, 2008


This was done from a photograph that hangs in my parents' den. It's been around for many years, and for just as many years I have wanted to paint it. There was some anxiety attached to that longing, it was such a beautiful photo takn by my dad on one of his fishing trips. I'd hate to mess it up. But I finally did draw it back in June when I was there. I studied the photo several times a day, and made mental notes. When I finally drew it, I also made paper notes. Then I went home and painted it. I used liquid mask (lots of it) on those tiny polka dots. The challenges were to get a dark enough color, to recreate the interesting green water, and to blur out the male and the chick. This last proved the most difficult, as the male loon always looked as if he was rearing out of the water like a breaching whale. At that point I thought it was ruined, so I decided to continue experimenting wih the color of the water. I added a second, deeper wash of color right over the background birds. And suddenly, it worked. That loon settled right down, and the colors blurred enough to look like the photo. So I decided I liked it. And even better, my co-workers chose it to hang in our library gallery.
Watercolor in Moleskine sketchbook, 5"x7"

Monday, September 08, 2008


It was a bad year for the garden, cool, cloudy, wet. But the cheerful pansies thrived, and brough much needed color. Pansies mean "loving thoughts", but I've always thought they meant resiliance and determination.
I send thee pansies while the year is young,
Yellow as sunshine, purple as the night;
Flowers of remembrance, ever fondly sung
By all the chiefest of the Sons of Light;
And if in recollection lives regret
For wasted days and dreams that were not true,
I tell thee that the "pansy freak'd with jet"
Is still the heart's ease that the poets knew
Take all the sweetness of a gift unsought,
And for the pansies send me back a thought."
---Sarah Doudney
Watercolor and staedtler pen in Aquabee sketchbook .