Friday, June 26, 2009

Pondering, pondering. . . .

This photo, taken out my kitchen window (and, yes, I know it needs to be washed) shows maybe a third of the quail who visited our yard yesterday evening. They like to come in for a drink out of the little fountain before disappearing for the night.

So, do I paint this despite having "finished" the quail series? Do I paint it as a single, or as the start of another series? But, what about the weather series that I'm in the middle of? Too many things that call out to be painted & not enough time (or talent) to paint them all!

And this is my new wreath. After a gift of a big bunch of lavender from a friend I went out to my own garden today for cuttings of rosemary, oregano, majorum, dill & probably a couple of things I've forgotten. A few years ago my patient husband took up the challenge of making a form for me to use in making the type of wreaths that are not built on a pre-made base. It works.

So, did I hang it in the kitchen? No, silly, it's in the master bath where it's nice to have a sense of perfume in the air. And, it looks marvy against the very pale sage walls that appear white in the photo. Enough lavender blooms, just the tiny, tiny tips, fell off in the process to fill a good sized clam shell & sit by my bed. Mmmmmmm.

So, still pondering, when will I get to the living room and dining room rugs that I just bought a carpet shampooer for? Not today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Dormant grasses the color of ripe wheat; deep shadows cast by ancient oaks; moss on rocks turned brown; buckeye trees shedding their leaves - it's summer in the foothills of the Sierra.

Next in the weather series will be HEAT. I think I'll take a drive up to Mineral King (by the way, did you see the mention in Sunset magazine of this local wonder?) and take a few more photos.

Capturing the feel of Foothill Storm was an interesting challenge; capturing HEAT will be at least as tough. Perhaps having grown up on a farm and lived the effects of weather - hail destroying a wheat crop, too much rain flooding out a field, too little rain leaving no crop - is why I've always had the fascination with weather.

And, isn't inspiration a funny thing? We take it where we find it. For some it's in beautiful flowers; for others in music or dance. Mine often is pulled from good ol' Mom Nature. Yep, Mom, not Mother. We're close enough to be pretty casual with each other.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting Weather

Ya know, painting weather is rather like trying to paint a mood. It ain't easy!

There are times that the clouds and the peaks are hard to differentiate! Clouds and mist and rain seem to float over the peaks, making it impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends. Rain moves over the mountains and foothills, and one can see it fall in sheets when seen from a distance. The whole feeling is moody and yet powerful and almost sensual.

And, working with acrylic on watercolor paper is a fun challenge. I limited myself to primary colors plus a tad of white and a smaller tad of black, lots of water, some matte medium and some gesso - along with the occasional song and a prayer. One of the really nice things about working with acrylic in a watercolor style is that it is so much easier to layer. The first layers don't rub off or get too wet when new color is added on top.

I'm not sure if I'm next going to do a snow scene or a scene of the hot, arid summers. Gotta think about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Working on the painting of stormy weather is proving very, very frustrating. I have in my head a clear vision of what I want on the paper, but what's coming off the brush and onto the paper is nothing like that! It seems that my vision outstrips my ability. So, practice, practice, practice. And, like a spoiled brat, my "inner child" (who I often threaten to put up for adoption) wants to simply grab finger paints and start slinging!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thoughts for a new painting

Clouds over the Sierra

We've had the strangest weather for June in the Sierra Nevada foothills! We had 3/4 inch of rain at our house between midnight and about 10 AM, and all day there have been heavy looking big gray clouds over the peaks.

It's got me thinking about painting weather. Mountain weather, foothill weather, strange weather, just weather.