21 June 2018

making things up

Day 21 of the direct watercolor challenge and I just made this one up (except for seeing a photo of a cottage in Scotland). Just playing today, too distracted by grandchildren and errands . . .

20 June 2018

yesterday’s barn, close up

For today’s Direct Watercolor challenge, I did use a very light pencil line to establish the barn’s general proportions, but still did most of it with watercolor, a couple of brushes, and a sponge for the foliage. This is a closeup of the unusual barn from yesterday’s watercolor, found just east of Kennard, Texas on Highway 7. We aren’t sure what specific uses this structure has but it is unlike any of the many barn designs we saw back in Kansas.

19 June 2018

an interesting barn

For day # 19 of the Direct Watercolor challenge, I painted one of the most interesting barns we’ve found in Texas, just east of Kennard, Texas on Highway 7 on our way to Nacogdoches. Bill and I both think this would make an awesome house! I left out the wooden fence that ran along the front where the wildflowers are, thinking they might detract too much from the barn. In fact, maybe I should have left the wildflowers out as well?

I also played around with painting in a vignette style, something I’ve wanted to learn to do but have never really tried before. I think I still don’t use a light enough hand at it.

18 June 2018

this morning’s cup of tea . . .

. . . in my favorite pottery tea mug. Okay, it might have been made for coffee as well __Bill has a similar design he uses for coffee__ but I can’t stand coffee’s bitterness and won’t allow coffee to be served in this mug! I also love loose leaf teas, something that is hard to find locally so I order it online. Oddly, I did find this clever tea infuser in a local shop, with plenty of room that allows tea leaves to expand and its own silicone tray to catch drips. It hangs on the side of a cup for brewing.

17 June 2018

posting a failure . . .

Today has been a day of distractions. At the last minute, I decided to paint this sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico — It should be easy enough, right?

With grandkids interrupting and Bardie checking out my paint water, wet-on-wet areas either too wet or drying too quickly, my forgetting to lay down the yellow first before the oranges . . . I see this daily painting as a total failure! But it’s part of the learning process so I’m posting it anyway.

This is the actual photograph I took a couple of years ago camping on Mustang Island as we woke up.

16 June 2018


Three of our grandchildren are with us for the next week, making my keeping up with a painting each day a bit more challenging! Judah and Josiah asked me to paint a cat . . . Not easy to do with them looking on and jostling me now and then!

This is supposed to resemble our son Matt’s part-Siamese cat named Blue.

15 June 2018

Davy Crockett National Forest

Today we drove to Nacogdoches, and drove through the Davy Crockett National Forest part of the way. So I snapped a few photos, planning to try a loose watercolor of it later at home. I love these tall silent trees in the piney woods!

We had two reasons to go today: our granddaughter Jayna had been attending band camp and her recital was today (she won an award for top percussionist!) and we wanted to visit our youngest son, Jeff, who has been living in Nacogdoches since graduating from Stephen F. Austin University. He has secured a job in Ohio and he’ll be heading that direction soon.

14 June 2018

keeping it simple

Today has been a tiring day so I did a quick watercolor sketch from a photo of our oldest granddaughter as she was getting ready for her first day of training at the Houston Zoo. She earned a placement in the zoo’s summer program — 5 weeks of working all types of jobs, teaching younger kids, and shadowing zoo keepers as they care for the animals. Mikala wants to be an exotic animal vet someday so this was perfect for her!

Though this doesn’t really look like her, the pose definitely does! Even as a baby, she absolutely disliked cameras and most of the photos I took of her ended up being the back of her head.

13 June 2018

wading in the Gulf

I did not paint this until getting home after church tonight. I thought it would be easy — the gray waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the buff colored sand with washed-up sea wrack, and two of our grandchildren and a dog in almost simple silhouette form . . .

I also thought it would be easy enough to simply save the whites of the waves, painting the rounded upper forms and adding a bit of the cool green of the undersides. At least those were my intentions!

I lost most of the whites, the wet-on-wet clouds against the blue sky took on a weird pointy texture, and the grayish gulf water lost its “glisten”.

But I still had fun painting this so who cares?

12 June 2018

my beloved gift from God

Okay, for tonight’s watercolor painting I truly went out on a scary limb . . . and painted our second son, Matt. I call him my “beloved gift from God” because that is what his name, Matthew David, actually means. Of each of our three sons, he is the only one with my coloring (and the only one with my brown eyes!) but he is the one who most closely resembles his father in personality.

It is very scary trying to capture people you dearly love, even when painting so loosely. I admit that I did use a faint pencil line this time to get the proportions right.
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