daily painting | persimmon leaves

These beautiful leaves on an almost-bare tree behind the marina laundry room caught my eye so I ventured out, since the rains had passed through, to sit and paint them. I put the watercolor sketchpad in the sun to dry between layers of color and cracked up as I spotted a hummingbird enjoying the sweetness of a rotting persimmon still on the tree. I hadn’t realized it was a persimmon tree, and it was funny as I so love to paint the colors and shapes of this late-autumn fruit. The remaining leaves were vibrantly red and yellow and orange against the bare tree limbs. It was good to get out, since I’ve been slowed down by a stomach bug. Or maybe it was a rogue romaine leaf that sneaked into a salad. Was lovely to be outside and painting again. The December sunlight is at such an interesting angle, this time of year.

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




daily painting | san rafael buckeye

My collection of buckeyes gathered on a San Rafael sidewalk a few days after Thanksgiving is on its last legs; as they decay, they buckle and morph into lumpy, bumpy shapes. There’s something about these nuts that feel good in my hand—they are perfectly palm-sized. I love to watch them transmogrify—their brown, shiny outer coverings crack and flake. Then they go into the organic recycle bin, but before that I fool around with paints; in this case it’s Artgraf sepia, water soluble graphite. A bit under the weather today; sometimes my digestive system kicks a bit. I might just need a day with my nose in a book (like one of Louise Penny’s). I’m sad but reasonably content; I read a poem in the Sunday SF Chron that perfectly describes becoming at peace, when one ages, with losses, goals unmet, dreams unrealized. It isn’t gloomy – it is, however, grateful acceptance of reality, honoring my path as it continues to unfold (if you’d like to search for it, it’s called, “All I Ever Wanted” by Katie Ford).

5.5″ x 5.5″ artgraf graphite, pen on paper = $40




daily painting | december mandarin

Ah, winter. When you can go to Berkeley Bowl and buy small mountains of ripe, juicy, aromatic mandarin oranges. I’m told it’s good luck to buy them with leaves still attached. The leaves create interesting shapes as they dry and curl and are fun to paint. December can be a sad and lonely time, yes. But also a time of hope and joy as we spend time with loved ones and dear friends. A time of gratitude and winter fantasies and imaginations of a few significant elected leaders being led out of the White House in handcuffs. These visions offer great comfort, however fantastical.

8.5″ x 5.5″ artgraf graphite, pen on paper = $60




daily painting | buckeyes

I’m really having a ball using this water soluble graphite medium with its rich, slightly metallic darks and wonderful texture. I picked these buckeyes up from a San Rafael sidewalk a few days ago because they are so charming. Goofy, lumpy and a rich chestnutty brown color which I will explore more with watercolor. The outer skin is starting to crack, showing a beautiful buff-colored flesh. I’m enjoying this time of year and curling up with a good netflix show or an interesting book after dark. It’s a comfort to disappear into a good story and forget about frightening political news.

7″ x 10″ artgraf water soluble graphite, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | stormy still life

These persimmons (and lime) are about ready to put in tonight’s salad so I thought I’d best do another still life of one of my favorite fruity subjects using this marvelous ArtGraf water soluble graphite, thanks to a gift from a dear friend. The fruit wasn’t so stormy but boy the weather outside sure was — now there are gorgeous fluffy pink-edged clouds out the window as the sun checks out for the day. Fickle, moody grays outside as well as inside. More explorations of this new medium to come. Maybe we’ll get some electrical storm action (when my grandson was very little he called thunder “the big windy”). Stay warm and safe out there.

7″ x 10″ pen, artgraf on paper




daily painting | going swimming

My fingers were itchy to work on a large abstract on paper — there’s a delicious freedom that comes with getting out my fat, water-soluble graphite crayon and bottle of India ink and baskets of watercolor tubes and working into a large sheet of blank watercolor paper. Layers of paint go on with big brushes, and I love the large chunks of color contrasted with the staccato pencil marks. It is a joy to express myself without constraint.

22″ x 30″ watercolor, acrylic, pencil, pastel on paper = $795




daily painting | lining up

Worked on this over a couple of days and communed with what it needed. Yellow stripes, it said. Done. Perhaps my unconscious was wanting bright color as an antidote to thick smoke and terrible losses in CA fires. Still taking deep breaths of the beautiful, rain-scrubbed air outside. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I’m still digesting the amazing and luscious feast prepared by my talented sister and her hard-cooking husband. Worth every Pepcid pill I downed. Filled with gratitude to spend this holiday with loving family. Incredible! Happy to be together. Wow.

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




daily painting | smoky persimmons

This watercolor of my favorite still life characters wasn’t quite vibrant enough so I jazzed it up with pastels. Now they are the color of our smoky sunsets these days. We are all becoming experts at reading the AQI (air quality index) maps, snapping on the P95 masks, and coping with cabin fever. But we are still in our cabins. Our hearts go to folks who have lost so much. You are on our minds all the time. Make America Rake Again and here’s to the snarky Finns who posted hilarious photos of themselves diligently tidying up their forests.

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




daily painting | peet’s

This color is a bit uneven (quick photo) but wanted badly to post SOMEthing tonight, since I was rudely booted off the blogosphere for a week. But now the bad plug-in that crashed my site is fixed, malware has been eradicated from the laptop, and I’ve migrated to a new, more stable and helpful ISP. Website is, thankfully, more solid, protected, faster, happier. It’s as if the thick, terrible smoke from the horrendous fires in Paradise CA, north of here, choking us in the SF bay area for over a week, seeped into everything — brain cells, hard drives, eyeballs, hairdos. We are desperately rattled and sad as the state burns; the loss of life is too shocking to absorb. I cried hard when I saw the image of the Empire State building, lit up in blue and gold in solidarity with CA. Thank you, NYC. Class act. BTW I’ve been wondering, where is there a group that finds unused RVs and delivers them to people who have nothing left but each other? Please donate where you can, dear art lovers, to help. Thank you from the deepest bits of my smoky heart. And wear the masks, dammit. The air is thick enough to chew on. More watercolors and daily paintings to come soon.

artgraf graphite, pen on paper

daily painting | election day

This What better way to escape network news talking heads than by soaking paint into watercolor paper? I ask you. The cheerful brightness of pomegranate and persimmon scarlets and purples is enchanting, and creating puddles of magenta and quuinacridone red is very satisfying, and complements the maps of red and blue states, I suppose. May the Force be with us. We’ll be OK. I think.

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140