I feel myself moving into a kind of happy limbo between water color painting and mixed media. Also between painting what I see, and abstracting it. It’s an interesting place to be. I like the limbo. I love to paint flowers, landscapes, aspects of the natural world around them. But I am not that interested in making sure they are close to real. I want to convey the feeling and joy I have at experiencing the colors and shapes. So I’m enjoying being a little more messy and raw, but hope the emotion is starting to come through. I’m not one to hold back, and in this sense – I’m just rolling with it.

I have been enjoying using, in addition to watercolors – colored pencils (both water based and wax based), oil pastels, inks and some turpentine to smear the oil/wax based medium. Having fun.

I have been “pushing” my watercolors into a new direction- combining them with ink and colored pencils and patterned papers. It’s a collage effect, but hopefully not too crafty. I want to convey the effect of altered surfaces and the impulse of control with lack of control. I love the precision of watercolors and the sequencing, but also love the random nature of water and watercolor and ….mistakes. Seems to hit the mark for me right now. But I will continue to work and work on my watercolor technique.

I’ve been painting landscapes of winter lately, and though I have been loving doing so, the bare winter palette becomes so limited after days and days. I need flowers. I know it is a convention: painting pretty flowers. But it makes me so happy to look at flowers and their amazing color and variations, their shapes, their depth. I miss them right now! The black background belies the convention of the Dutch masters, but I love the way the inky black makes the colors pop. I also incorporated colored pencil into to this one- just a little bit- and feel a kind of satisfaction drawing briskly across the paper with a blunt pencil. Looking forward to incorporating more mixed water-based materials in the future.

Have a great weekend.

After more than a year and a half, I have been swept up into painting with watercolors again. It’s all I want to do. I have to limit myself, time wise to about 45 minutes or so in order to get all my other work done. It’s a busy time- finishing Christmas orders, doing CADs and tech packs for my design job in Nepal, and planning out a new wholesale collection for 2020.

The image in this painting is a little lake at the trail head of Reservoir Ridge at Michaud road in Fort Collins. It’s small and perfect. I took the photo on a much sunnier day than it is today.

The painting gives me a moment in each day to breathe and to suspend time. I am totally focused. Sometimes I am very inspired and the paintings turn out well, uninspired. Other times I make myself paint, and am happy with the results. But as a rule, it’s the process that is compelling, not the finished product.

The discipline and quotidien nature of creating one little painting each day is a pure joy.

I just returned from a lovely family holiday at Sea Ranch- a beautiful development of 1960’s beach houses along the Northern California coast. Here is a link to a NYTimes article about Sea Ranch: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/arts/design/sea-ranch-california.html?fbclid=IwAR0VZ65OLZsyLrslzG7RmhYamx1Zeq0eZqI220K69hMJRGVjzfjmT-ycM68.  It was a wonderful five days, with my mother meeting her 6-month old granddaughter, along with my brother and his wife and my two boys. Lots of hiking along the rocky rugged coast in the mist, running along trails and swimming my mile each day in the most lovely pool- a five minute walk from the house we rented. We shared delicious meals, mostly cooked by my son Matthew, who is a chef and forager in Oregon- including fish and all kinds of mushrooms and venison.

We spent the last day, before flying home to Colorado- visiting good friends in San Anslemo and at my brother’s apartment in San Francisco- with a delicious meal at the R and G Lounge in Chinatown….

It’s only the second of December, and I may have had my fill of cold weather. I think the temperature has not gone about 40 degrees for two weeks. So, I try to see the beauty in all of it. There is a beautiful lavender glow on the snow- at sunrise and twilight and the gold of the sunlight is gorgeous as it plays agains the purples.