Snowy Creek

Just a few minutes ago I went outside into the beautiful falling snow. It is the wet heavy consistency which is good for building snow sculptures. Since I did not have the ambition to build snow sculptures, I came back inside. Yesterday I decided that this painting was finished. It is a scene from a creek just down the road from us. The lighting was best as the sun was rising with a yellow glow, shining through a blowing snowy mist.


Monet made water lilies famous. What artist that is enamored by his series can’t help but try a water lily piece. Well, here is my take on the scene. These are Montana water lilies with my technique coming to the surface.

The first stage I kept more of the contrasting warm colors in the under painting. Next I worked on the designing of the shapes for the composition. With each layer, I worked on bringing out the values. Slowly I worked in the edges. It was a fun piece despite the challenge. No comparison to Monet and it wasn’t meant to be, but I just had to include some of his.


I kept looking at this painting from time to time. Finally, I decided what it needed, ducks. Wood ducks are the most colorful ducks I have seen and they fit well into my composition. These life mates are so charming. That also was a title, 'Life Mates', but I went with beachcombing instead.


There has been an outbreak of cabin fever. It’s an epidemic. My symptoms are the doldrums, boredom and listlessness. Any artwork I create reflects this. Regretfully, I even posted the last painting I created where one can clearly see the transference of my moods. The painting was blahhhhhhhh. No longer is it posted; delete, delete. N C Wyeth’s number one rule to his young artist son Andrew was to, ‘keep alive to everything’. I am not adhering to that rule as of late. So, it will be awhile until I am back to ‘alive’ paintings. Meanwhile, my sub-conscience will be incubating creativity. The way I will keep my hand into it is through sketches and capturing wonderful impressions on camera, those ‘alive’ moments.

Metalpoint - Silverpoint

Metalpoint was a way of drawing in the Renaissance (15th century). Lead or graphite was not in the tool box yet. I have been fascinated by the technique, so I thought I would try it. My husband made a silver nib for me to start with. Other metals such as brass, aluminum, gold and copper may also be used. Silver comes in different degrees of hardness, and they make lighter or darker lines. When drawing, there is a depositing of metal on the abrasive surface and this metal will oxidize over time. Silver turns into a nice brown. I may work in some copper for a bit of green and brass for light black. The surface needs to be prepared with a gesso ground. The gesso can be tinted a color. For best results, the support should be hard and rigid. I used a wood panel, sanding each layer of gesso smooth after they dried.

Sometimes, I am so excited about trying something new that I jump into it too quickly. Once I began, I noticed that I really should have put another layer of gesso on for a smoo…

Where does the time go?

It seems that the day goes by and I ask myself, 'what did I do today?'. Before you know it the year is at an end. These days, other tasks are taking up the day to a point of having no time for art. However, I did manage to sneak in bits of time here and there for this remake of a painting. My motivation was a need for a larger painting on one of our walls. The idea and planning of the composition was formulating in my mind for awhile. I did not do much in the way of sketches, I just had to dig right into mucking around the paint.

Primavera, Alla Prima, Au Premier Coup, Pasta Primavera

Primavera (Italian word meaning "Spring"), is a large tempera painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli painted in early 1480s.

‘Alla Prima’

The wet-on-wet technique, or alla prima (Italian, meaning at once), is used mostly in oil painting.

Claude Monet, soleil levant (Sunrise), 1872, oil, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Au Premier Coup
The French term au premier coup (at first stroke/direct painting).

When painting with watercolors, this (wet in wet) technique must be used with careful planning and patience. Usually it is unpredictable, but sometimes the results are wonderful. With loads of practice the frustrating accident will turn into rather nice results.

Winslow Homer
Stowing Sail, 1903 (The Art Institute of Chicago)

James McNeill Whistler
Sea and Sand: Domburg 1900

Pasta Primavera

Pasta made with fresh spring vegetables. Too bad we are not in spring yet. Winter hasn’t even officially begun.

Recipe - this is a basic recipe, feel free to be creat…