Bird Journal continued… Page 5, more welcome birds!

I believe that the goal of a journal is to do daily pieces – at that, I’m failing badly! This is obviously the time of year to do a “bird journal”, but it’s also the time of year when many hours each day are spent working in the very yard that welcomes these beautiful flying creatures! In fact, much of what I’m doing in the yard is planting things that help to draw in those birds… That being reality, I make notes of new/different birds in a notebook and work on the actual artwork mostly at night when the house is quiet-when I have the energy left to do so! It seems that my list of new visitors has far exceeded the time that I have available. And now, in less than 2 weeks, I’m beginning another 30 in 30 challenge-a different one this time. Check out this Marc Holmes June challenge on Facebook: #30x30DirectWatercolor2018! I’m not very experienced at “direct watercolor”, but will try… Thank heavens he’s very lose about rules and if you pre-draw and/or use some pen&ink, it’s acceptable. I know the idea is to get better at direct watercolor, but it’s also simply to get 30 pieces done in 30 days-one may have to preclude the other for me!

Now for my 5th journal piece, I’ve done “Cassin’s Finch”, both male and female since they look so different (and yes, I see that my lettering is not improving…). They are here some years and others they are not. This year, there seem to be more of them and, although the information says they “live in evergreen forests in the mountains up to about 10,000 feet elevation” they seem to be here, at least for the spring. That’s fine; they’re enjoyable to watch, whether gleaning seeds from the ground, eating insects in the trees and bushes or at the feeders. They are such an interesting pair, with the female so “bland” that she doesn’t much resemble her much showier partner!

     The Cassin’s Finch are here this year!

#challenge #journal #birds #finch #finches #cassinsfinch #artistic #journaling #experimental #artisticjournaling #lettering #drawing #art #watercolor #inspiration #gardening #practice #sketch #spring #landscape #cityscape

There’s a first time for everything…? Bird journal, page 4

Even though I knew-for years-that wild turkeys were rampant in our entire area, I had never seen any anywhere near our neighborhood. Then one day, while I was in my studio working, my dog started barking. Since she’s not much of a barker, I came upstairs to see what was going on. To my utter shock (and dismay) there were 4 wild hen turkeys in the backyard. I immediately ran outside, collected pine cone “ammunition” and used it by throwing them at the turkeys while chasing them, finally hitting one on the tail feathers. They moved faster then and, even more surprising than seeing them in my yard, was seeing them fly onto the house roof rather than just going over the fence. They then flew off from there. Yes, I probably looked and sounded crazy – I don’t care, because I don’t want them in my yard!

The rest of the story is that about a 1 1/2-2 weeks later they were back, but in my neighbor’s back yard. I did the same routine to chase them away, from within my own yard. It worked, with them going over her fence to the front yard and then away down the street. I’ve not seen them come back, but it could certainly happen at any time. I hope not-they’re not welcome birds in my yard, nor in this neighborhood, being loud, damaging, dirty and stupid!

That all being said, I have to add that they’re very huge and impressive creatures up close! Since they were, hopefully one-time, visitors to my yard, I’ve included this sketch in my journal along with the story…

     A very unwelcome group of birds in March!

 

#challenge #journal #birds #turkey #wildturkey #artistic #journaling #experimental #artisticjournaling #lettering #drawing #art #watercolor #inspiration #gardening #practice #sketch #spring #landscape

There’s a first time for everything…? Bird journal, page 3

The American Robin – a constant, and welcome, visitor most of the year. This year, they showed up here – lots of them – during the second week of March, as the weather started to warm again. Our ground is healthy with numerous earthworms and the Robins seems to be very happy in our yard. Last year there was a pair who pretty much owned the front yard; they would dive-bomb most squirrels and other birds out there, often even trying to drive me away when I was mowing, weeding, etc.! We had a bad wind storm last fall and a HUGE limb came down from our front yard shade tree (that clean-up is a whole other story)! Perhaps that was where those robins had nested, as they seem to be avoiding that tree this year. That’s fine, because it makes it a more welcome spot for other, more colorful and rare visitors this year.

     March brought the return of Robins!

#challenge #journal #birds #AmericanRobins #artistic #journaling #experimental #artisticjournaling #lettering #drawing #art #watercolor #inspiration #gardening #practice #sketch #spring #landscape

There’s a first time for everything…? Page 2

Continuing with my first bird journaling attempt, here is my other early January backyard visitor. Perhaps neither the Nuthatches nor the Chickadees ever left, but not a lot of time is spent bird-watching in the winter around here. The days are cold, short, dark and dreary…and the birds are few. This year though, January and early February were real exceptions to our usual weather, with temperature highs in the 40s and sometimes even into the lower 50s! That being the case, it was quite a treat to look out and see these two types of birds in residence – which is largely what prompted this journal experiment! 🐥😍🐿

(Unfortunately, you can clearly see the ugly crinkling of this cheap paper in my journal scans…)

     Welcome January visitors continued…

#challenge #journal #birds #artistic #journaling #experimental #artisticjournaling #lettering #drawing #art #watercolor #inspiration #gardening #practice #sketch #spring #landscape

There’s a first time for everything…? 1st journal page

While I’ve filled dozens of sketchbooks of all shapes and sizes , I’ve never before actually tackled doing a journal. It truly is intended to be a DAILY journal, but I’ve definitely fallen down in that category already. I am, however, keeping notes to go with my pages, so that when I get around to them I still have the story to go with the sketch. I ran across a “bird journal” idea and instantly recognized that it was a perfect fit for me! Yes, I have the closest I can come to a suburban bird santuary in my backyard-and absolutely love seeing them as they show up in the spring, keeping track of what and when! I’m not technically a bird watcher and am not that versed on all of the varieties and species, but they, along with my dozens of types of perennial plants, do bring such life and joy to my yard! Just sitting in my favorite spot watching and listening is wonderful!

Those things said, I’ll begin sharing my journal pages. Unfortunately, the journal I chose to use has horrible paper and I’m not very good at lettering. The lettering issue is one thing I hope to improve on as the work on my journal progresses; the paper issue is what it is (and if I can do eyes on printer paper, I should be able to make use of the poor paper in this journal – and choose more wisely next time)!

     January visitors – so much fun to see!

#challenge #journal #birds #artistic #journaling #experimental #artisticjournaling #lettering #drawing #art #watercolor #inspiration #gardening #practice #sketch #spring #landscape

How Time Flies…

Once the weather started improving, outside clean-up seems to have been my narrow focus. It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything artistic; it’s more that I have spent my limited time on small daily projects. For the month of April, I took on the Sea Lemon Eye Doodle Challenge (#sealemon – thank you for this unique challenge). It started with a printable file with the number, the name of animal and a small circle guide. I divided it into two sheets, which prints it a bit larger (1/2″ circles) giving more room to work. Watercolor on regular printer paper is an interesting challenge in itself! In addition to watercolor, I used whatever I needed to achieve my goal – including waterproof ink, white gouache and occasionally a white charcoal pencil. For the references, I simply searched for images since this is strictly a practice exercise, except for images 1, 2, 8 and 13 (my life “models”). If “the eyes are the windows to the soul”, then this practice is invaluable! It was also fun and interesting-and a real challenge in every sense of the word (artistically)! I mean, how often have you looked at the eye of a llama or a chameleon-I mean really looked at?! But, even if just in photos, that’s necessary to attempt to replicate an authentic-looking eye!

(One more thing-if you notice that “one of these things is not like the others” (day 8), it’s because I simply cannot look at a snake-not even in a picture-long enough to try to replicate any part of it!) 😝


Sealemon Eye Doodle April Challenge-collage, my completed eyes

 

#art #challenge #eyes #animals #birds #people #insects #sketch #drawing #experimental #watercolor #painting #pen and ink #cat #dog #practice #sealemon

Did a little something for “Pi” Day!

It’s been a very busy time and I have to admit that this little piece that I did today is the first thing I’ve completed since I finished the 30 in 30 challenge. Since March 14 is “Pi” day, I drew and painted a piece of cherry pie. Hey, at least it’s better than creating no art at all! Although I might have enjoyed the end result more had I just baked a cherry pie… 

In addition to this and the 30 paintings I did February into March, I’ve been having fun posting some of my work on Instagram. It’s amazing the attention some of the art gets once it’s posted and has the appropriate hashtags – and I’m loving it!

     “Pi Day Pie”

#watercolor #watercolour #watercolorpainting #watercolourpainting #art #painting #artist #fineart #drawing #food #foodart #pie #Pi day #cherry #cherrypie

What fun the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge was!

I already said that I’m pleased and proud-and I really am. This is the first time in quite a long time that I’ve managed to do 30 pieces. There’s nothing wrong with doing fewer-it’s all good practice and a wonderful learning experience. But, as I’ve also stated earlier, I was determined this time to do all of them – mostly because I spent so much of last year painting far too little and it’s time I work at being the artist that I can be, that I want to be! If it’s in you, it’s something you need to do; it’s something I NEED to do!!!

Collage, all of my February 2018 30 in 30 challenge paintings!

 

Day 30 completed-pleased & proud!

Yes, it’s a day late, but I truly am pleased and proud to have completed all 30 paintings-and feeling like it’s been a real accomplishment, especially with all the factors that derailed my painting so many of those days! Now I must just keep at it and paint, paint, paint!   :D
I knew that a lighthouse, something that I haven’t painted in far too long, had to be a part of my 30-and so that’s what it had to be today!

     “Sailing Toward the Light”

(Reference photo thanks to John K Mitchell, another generous photographer on Photos For Artists.)

 

#art #challenge #watercolor #painting #artist #lighthouse #landscape #seascape #ocean #beach #shore #sea #waves #sailing #sailboat #inspiration #drawing

 

 

Oh-No; I haven’t posted Days 24 & 25!

Obviously, I’m now not only behind, but also out of order! Again, there have been so many demands on my time that I forgot to post these two days after I finished them-darn! My day 24 painting is also entered in the monthly challenge on Photos For Artists (on Facebook). The challenge is “waterbirds” and I wanted to participate, but hadn’t found what I wanted to paint. Then, on February 20, I was scrolling and saw that Mal Rayner had some new postings-and there was exactly what I had been looking for (an Avocet) in those new photos!

As for my day 25, is a mini-painting and it’s mostly a throw-away. I had a few minutes, didn’t really feel like painting and, while I did the best I could under those circumstances, it just didn’t turn out… I knew I wasn’t in the mood to get something done, but pressured myself to do one anyway. I will say that the real piece looks somewhat better than the scan came out. In spite of all that, I posted it-because that’s my accountability!

     Day 24-“Fishing”

(Photo credit and thanks to Mal Rayner for this awesome Avocet picture.)

     “Pansy”

#art #challenge #watercolor #painting #fineart #artist #birds #beach #ocean #shore #Avocet #inspiration #flowers

Days 26-29 done-only one more to go!

During this challenge, I seem to have had a particularly difficult time finding time to paint, with the past couple of weeks being almost impossible… So, yesterday, in just 12 hours, I drew and painted three pieces and painted a fourth without a any drawing on the paper. After that, I fell into bed in exhaustion, without posting any of them…

I also know that the 30 days is technically over, but there was no way I could do a fifth one yesterday. That is on for this morning, just as soon as I’ve finished breakfast – and decided what I want to paint today! I told myself that I was going to do all 30, and I am, even if I’ve gone over the time frame by a day! That determination to get painting done needs to stick with me from now on-and that’s rather the point of this wonderful challenge to begin with!

     Day 26-“First Flight” 

(Photo credit and thanks to Russ Bridges on Facebook group, Photos For Artists.)

     Day 27-“Santorini View”   

(Thank you to Phil Jenkins, also on Photos For Artists, for this reference photo.)

     Day 28-“Teasel Stop”

(My appreciation, again, to Russ Bridges for his Goldfinch on Teasel photo reference [European Goldfinch, looks quite different from what we’re used to seeing here].)

     Day 29-March Snowflakes Dancing”

No photo credit, no drawing-this from my mind to my hand and on the paper…

#art #challenge #watercolor #painting #artist #fineart #colorful #birds #landscape #snow #winter #weeds #view #arch #European #buildings       

 

Finally, Day 23 completed

As all artists know, things don’t always go as planned-and sometimes our time is simply not our own. That has been the case for over a week now and I’ve been fitting in painting whenever I can-and finding myself falling further and further behind… So, last night,while a larger painting’s background was drying, I found this reference, drew it (fairly small) and began with the first wash on the petals. This morning, while some of the details on the larger painting were drying, I finished this Hibiscus-a flower any of my followers know is one of my absolute favorites!

     “Hibiscus Shadow Play”  

(Photo reference, my thanks to matingara, from the Wetcanvas reference image library. This is a native Australian Hibiscus-and a beauty!)

#watercolor #art #painting #floral #30in30challenge #flowers #hibiscus #shadows #colorful #artist

My Days 21 and 22 paintings-completed!

I spent a lot of time in my studio over the past 16 hours. In that time I finished my day 21 painting, “Spring Gold”, drew two more pieces (one about half painted) and needed to do something more quickly to try to catch up. I thought butterfly, started painting without a drawing and ended up with another iris, to which I added a imaginary butterfly. So, loose and quick, here also is my Day 22, “Iris & Butterfly”.

     “Spring Gold”

     “Iris & Butterfly”

#art #30in30challege #watercolor #floral #flowers #iris #butterfly #spring #painting #experimental

Day 20-done!

What fun this one was! If you have to have winter and snow, you might as well get photos and use them. I took the photo reference for this is one out my back door last Saturday, after the snow had stopped falling. I really like my “condo” type birdhouse out there and it looked particularly pretty with the new snow on the roof. As always, all hand drawn and then painted.

     “Waiting for Spring”

#art #challenge #30in30challenge #painting #watercolor #birdhouse #birds #winter #snow #landscape #backyard #garden

Catching up-duel post for my Days 18 and 19!

Last night, I managed to do two small drawings/paintings. With all the painting ideas I have swirling in my head, I went back to florals – I guess because it’s one of the things I do more easily and therefore, more quickly. It might also be, in part, because the weather is far worse than it has been so far this winter, snowy, gray and very cold, and I miss green plants and flowers! On the rose, I really enjoyed experimenting with a different technique-not perfect, but fun!

     DAY 18 – “Rosey Pink”     

(Photo credit and appreciation to Wendy Sinclair on FB’s Wendy’s Reference Photos for Creatives)

     DAY 19 – “Poppy”     

(Photo credit and thanks to Kymberlee Edwards MacKay on FB’s Photos For Artists)

#art #challenge #florals #rose #poppy #watercolor #painting #inspiration #garden #flowers #drawing

Falling behind…

A three-day weekend, husband home not feeling well… That’s all it took to fall behind terribly on my daily painting. I actually did get a sketch done for my Day 17, just not posted.

I had made a lemon cheesecake, and lemon curd to top it, for the Valentine’s Day dinner that I cooked for us at home. I couldn’t resist trying to do it as one of my daily pieces. I found that it was a lot easier to think about than to actually do! Having already figured out my colors, I picked up my sketchbook and easily drew a piece of cheesecake. Then came the painting, which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The end result was supposed to make someone want a piece of cheesecake; I’m not sure I accomplished that.

     “Lemon Cheesecake”

 

Day 16 – finished!

This one was fun and very, very frustrating! I’ve been loving painting on the rough paper surface, but maybe not so much on this one. The bird went fairly well, but the rocks it’s standing on simply didn’t work very well. In fact, I had to wash off that part the best I could and correct what I was able to. It does look better than it did…but then the scan isn’t great either. But that’s what this challenge is about – practicing, trying new things, finding out what works and what doesn’t, fixing what you can; it’s ALL a great learning experience! I know I’ve mentioned how very valuable this process is!

     “I’m Talking Here!”

(Reference photo credit and my appreciation to Dennis Flynn on Photos For Artists, a Facebook group.)

#Puffin #bird #painting #challenge #watercolor #rocks #landscape #experimentation #art #colorful

My Day 15 finished-one of my favorite foods…

Since I wanted a bit of practice, I drew that lobster magnet, which as I said, was not intended to be a part of my 30 in 30, even though it ended up to be… This is what I ended up with and it takes me back to last month’s 20-30 minute painting challenge, since I finished this in less than 30 minutes. I guess that was good practice after all! This is also another one on the Moulin Du Roy rough watercolor paper, which I quite enjoy using! I love all the things I’m learning and all of my experimentation this month; hopefully it will stick with me and make me a better artist in the long run!

     Lobster on rough paper

(Reference photo from which I drew this lobster, Phil Wingate’s pile of lobsters photo on the Facebook group, Photos For Artists.)

#challenge #painting #watercolor #art #food #lobster #ocean #drawing #experimental #practice #shore #experimental

The best laid plans…Or, my Day 13 piece

The best laid plans…rarely work out! I thought I would have plenty of time to sketch and paint yesterday, but that wasn’t the case. Between housework, shoveling the 7-8″ of new snow that fell and making Valentine’s Day dinner for us, including a lemon cheesecake with lemon curd on top (must sketch that)-and being on the phone with my son for his birthday-there was no time. After dinner, I could hardly keep my eyes open, so rather than working on art late last night, I slept! Two or three days ago, I did a sketchbook sketch of a lobster magnet I have on my fridge. It was not intended to be completed and posted as part of the 30 in 30 challenge; it was just sketch practice. I painted and inked it this morning, making it my late Day 13 painting. You do what you have to do…

     Lobster magnet sketch, watercolor with pen & Ink

Day 14 – Day 13 not yet completed

My husband, Ron, got me a dozen beautiful roses for Valentine’s day-brought them home on Monday actually. So, how could I not paint one? Posting out of order (because my day 13 isn’t completed yet, but this one is), here is my day 14 (the best scan I could get), drawn from one of the live roses. I just had to post it on Valentine’s Day!

     “Valentine Rose”

#Valentine #redrose #floral #flower #gift #watercolor #painting #art #flowers #gardening