daily painting | barnhill hibiscus

Someone trimmed the roses out on the walkway near my marina and revealed a hibiscus! Previously hidden. It seemed to insist that it was OK to produce blooms in October. So I snapped its pic on my way to the laundry room and, in the privacy of my kitchen, took out my watercolors. I would’ve gone to paint it outside on this lovely day but folks often walk on that pathway and I don’t like visiting while I’m painting; I need to get lost in the creative process. Anyways I needed to cry while I was painting in my kitchen — did you know that Mother Theresa felt forsaken and separate from God during a big portion of her life? And then there’s Leonard Cohen who felt Cupid had forgotten his name. He writes eloquently of loneliness and I didn’t know others had this longing, beautifully described by Cohen’s poetry. 10,000 nights alone, he wrote. It touched a bone-deep spot in me and was a sad comfort. So, back to this flower. Its fragile, somewhat battered beauty called out. Painting it today made me more whole. I embrace life and all its beauties and losses and longings. It’s 100% amazing. Oh dear as I write this post my iTunes decided on its own to shuffle my songs (it does that sometimes). Which singer is now up? Leonard Cohen. Good thing I keep Kleenex handy.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100




daily painting | modern art

Moving between small watercolors and abstract art as part of my daily painting practice keeps things interesting for me. I love the feel of a watercolor-loaded brush flowing on paper and alternating that experience with painting abstracts on claybord keeps me on my toes. I was a bit surprised by this one — it resembles a flag, which may be an unconscious expression of concern for the state of our democracy. Worried. Hanging on to shreds of hope. Art is a relief. This is my contribution to modern art; kind of a tongue-in-cheek title. I am glad to be an artist. It feeds my soul. And it’s best not to take myself too seriously.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $185




daily painting | front yard

View from Wisconsin vacation cabin of front yard. It stretched all the way to Pioneer Creek. Rowboats and kayaks leaning against the flagpole, scarlet leaves starting to drift earthward from the deciduous maples, pontoon boat tied up at the dock, lily pads on the water. Maggie the muskrat’s ‘hood. Miss her. Such a lovely time of rest and painting. What a thing, to explore the north woods; about as different from California as you can imagine.

5.5″ x 5.5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $40




daily painting | coop

Ah, this was a moment! We banded this stunning female adult Cooper’s hawk last month in the Marin Headlands (see ggro.org) and she was fierce and magnificent. Fellow bander Ryan sent me the photo of her, and from that I painted this watercolor. To be a citizen scientist and have the exquisite  experience of encountering these birds of prey up close and personal is breathtaking, awe-inspiring and spiritual. I treasure this privilege and know how fortunate I am. Cooper’s hawks are particularly fierce, fearless and focused hunters. After the band is in place, and various data collected (such as wing length), one’s fingers might be a bit chewed on, if not “footed” (girls like these will at lightning speed insert their talons into your hands if given a chance). No one complains (we do not use leather gloves).

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | marie

Another interesting evening with the Tue night figure drawing group in Oakland! I sketched Marie with my new favorite medium, water-soluble graphite in sepia. She was a quiet girl, and I enjoy experimenting with simple lines, shadows, pools of color. I think perhaps I capture more of my own mood than the model’s and I was feeling very sad about family illnesses, separations and upsets. But creating art is transporting and healing.

10″ x 7″ pen and artgraf sepia graphite on paper = $90




daily painting | fallen leaf

It was lovely to see the Wisconsin trees just starting to turn during my mid Sept vacation. Compared to same time last year, the change in colors seemed to be lagging. It was lovely to paint the various mottled colors sitting outside at the picnic table while leaves gently fell all around me. Such a wild and beautiful setting. Still missing Maggie the Muskrat.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100




daily painting | peet’s on webster

So thanks to another artist’s post on Instagram (Paul Wang), I learned of an art product and had to try it. It’s water soluble graphite (here in sepia). It’s a cake of graphite that looks like a chunk of solid watercolor pigment and it’s been lots of fun to play with. Here I was at Peet’s Coffee in Alameda, experimenting. One great thing about laptops and such devices is that people using them hold still for long periods. Great for sketching. They aren’t members of the models guild, though, so I can’t get mad at them when they wiggle around too much. Used my 10×7 watercolor sketch pad.




daily painting | caves

Mixing up my blog entries; completed a small work over the weekend (in between painting the melted metal piece, which is getting wilder by the day). There is psychological satisfaction in doing abstract work — it is healing, these expressions. Deeply upset about politics this past week. I need my work to show my insides — I am whole. I am complete. I am seen. I deserve to be heard. My colors are flying vibrantly in the wind. All of them.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pen on claybord = $185




daily painting | conover leaf

The Wisconsin trees were just starting to turn, in mid-Sept. As leaves fell and dried to gold/brown, their crinkled, curling edges created gnarled, interesting shapes. Dry and fragile, they represent the life cycle. Sometimes I hear young ‘uns worrying about getting old. I find this to be a magical time, even as the knees creak and the eyelids sag. I have been on this planet 65 years now and my confidence and comfort in my old skin is hard-won and I intend to enjoy it. I like not having to edit oneself so much, worrying about appearances or approval. Every stage of life is an adventure, and I want to enjoy this ride as long as I can until I fall out of the saddle. I used Daniel Smith Moonglow for this monochromatic painting which takes on various tones in gray/blue as it dries.

5.5″ x 5.5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $40