Sunday, April 27, 2014

Painting #5

And one more...  the Balboa Pavilion.

 I'm still trying to figure out how to mix blues.

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. ~ Monet

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fourth Little Painting

 “It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

This is my fourth little painting. It's a redo of the one below. I wasn't happy with the original composition so I gave it another go.

Last Sunday I painted this. It was Easter Sunday Afternoon and all the parks were packed with picnickers. I finally found a spot to set up and got to work. I'm getting more comfortable with setting up my portable easel, also called a pochade, with all it's knobs and leavers.

I bought a palette knife and want to get better at mixing color. It's like I can see the shade I want in my head but I haven't figured out how to make it yet. Time to pull out one of my old color theory books.

Next stop, a beach painting, or perhaps the back bay. I have six little canvases left.

Happy Weekend! What's on your plate?



 “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Plein Air Painting

 “Painting is a means of self-enlightenment.” ~ John Olsen

We are all about the manias here at Casa Del Aguas. It's good to try new things.  Sometimes we get sucked in before we know it.

My plein air painting mania started a week ago when I went to Michael's with my mom. I picked up a box of oil paints. It was only five bucks. I wondered what it would be like to be one of those artists that goes out to beautiful places and paints nature. Outside. In the Big, Blue Room.

It's been a long time since I've worked with oils and painting outside seemed like a challenge. Somehow the box found its way into the cart, as well as a pack of cheap canvases. Ten canvases, that's a lot of little paintings.

My friend Bob had mentioned at our last studio group meeting that he had a portable easel that he didn't use anymore. (He prefers to draw with a board on his lap) He sold me this gorgeous beechwood easel for $35. It collapses into a compact suitcase. The brass knobs are very steampunk and I had to practice setting it up and taking it down for an hour before I was comfortable with it.

It was great fun outfitting the easel with paper towels, paints, some brushes and a pair of scissors. The inside is like a Japanese bento box, with nice, little compartments to keep everything tidy. I dug out my old brush wash container and filled it with turpentine. My palettes were all gunky so I used a paper plate instead.

After procrastinating for a whole morning, I finally got out the door. What if it didn't turn out? What if the painting was awful? What if the colors didn't go right? What if a million things? My adventure didn't start out well. The park where I'd planned to go was packed. Some big event was going on and every parking place was taken. I drove around for a half an hour before driving to another mesa.

Once I finally got set up the time flew by.

There are a few bits that need tweaking but all in all I'm not disappointed with it. I need to work on a lot of techniques, composition, foreground, middle and distance. Still, it was a delight to try something new and I can't wait to get out and try again.

Wishing you a happy Easter and a beautiful Spring,



“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The World is Full of Beautiful Things

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

~ Robert Lewis Stevenson

Last night at midnight there was a full lunar eclipse so we sat outside and watched it change color....

 The Crimson Moon...

There's an app for everything. The Wonderhub was able to find the names of constellations with his iPad. It even showed space satellites skittering by like waterbugs.

Around midnight, a possum took a stroll through the garden. Possums usually look like they are bothered by their bad teeth, all grumpy, on the edge of a hissy fit. This guy was kind of derpy, walking around jaunty like, as if the world was his snack bar on a fine evening. I imagine that he was humming this song to himself.


The world is filled with beautiful things, don't you think?   Like The Tiny Overlord thinking about this paper bird I'm working on...

And Cheddar Cheese Puffs... 

What's beautiful in your world?

Do tell,



The world abounds with many delights
Magical sights, fanciful flights
And those who dream on beautiful nights
Dream of beautiful things

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Cats

The Cats
by Ann Iverson

To find such glory in a dehydrated pea
on the tile between the stove and fridge.

To toss the needs of others aside
when you simply aren't in the mood for affection.

To find yourselves so irresistible.

And always in a small spot of sun,
you sprawl and spread out the pleasure of yourselves

never fretting, never wanting to go back
to erase your few decisions.

To find yourself so remarkable
all the day long.

"The Cats" by Ann Iverson from Come Now to the Window. © Laurel Poetry Collective, 2003.