Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ciuccio's Challenge

I love a good challenge. I came across a nature scene challenge that Ciuccio51 had provided with the Flickr group, Watercolourist, Painting with Light. So, being a good Aries that I am, took up the challenge despite it being rather late in coming. It was a bit challenging to create areas of focus and I'm not sure if I achieved that but it was fun to do nonetheless. I just might try to do another one of the same scene, which you should know, is totally out of character. Check out the link for other interpretations of the nature scene. To get you started, here are a few that I love. One is done by Sigrid Frensen, or Sigster as I like to call her, from Noordhorn, Netherlands. Another by none other than ciuccio51 from Florence, Italy. And finally one by linfrye of the View from the Oak blog. Please check out their Flickr sites. All are totally gorgeous and worth a visit. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009


"Please explain why your silence makes more noise than thunder." - Anon.

Figured this image speaks for itself. Don't you just wonder what she's thinking? Transparent watercolor on Arches, cold press.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Orchids preparing for the fall

I am so thrilled about my orchid plant because it has a new sprig! The flowers are whitish yellow-green, if you can imagine that. :) I did a bit of hatcharoo using the classic "Belleville-style" (now turned "Van Stone-style") in my moleskine and I think it gave the flowers a lot of depth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flow front

We made a special trip down to the lava flow front this weekend and caught a glimpse of the lava entering the ocean about a half a mile away. Huge billows of steam blew bits of rock up to form a small black sand beach near the entry way. Pretty cool. Smells of the trip: salty ocean breeze, newly formed pahoehoe rocks heating in the sun, ripe guava picked off a nearby tree, and a tall glass of Heiferweisen at Luquin's in Pahoa. I did this very quick watercolor to capture the moment.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Still life goes on

Ever get the craving for a splash of color and the feel of paint brushes in your hand? I got the craving last night and started this painting of some fruit I pulled from my fruit basket. I probably overworked the colors ... but I had fun putting glaze over glaze over glaze. The entire time I could smell the ripe fruit and already took a bite of the one on the left and alas, it is no more. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Textures study

Using a pen definitely has its challenges, including capturing textures and I surely needed some practice so this is it. I had such a fun time with it that I may start another texture study tonight! (Click on the image to see it larger)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I am hopeful

"It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today." - President Barack Obama

I was watching an episode of the Ellen Degeneres Show on YouTube last night and she was talking with Jennifer Aniston, her guest that day, and Jennifer Aniston said something that struck me as being a very different mindset from the past 8 years. She mentioned that with our new leader, there is shift in what we want and said, "Maybe we want good news! it's sort of like `Oh! the country had a really bad boyfriend for awhile' and then all of a sudden, its like, `Oh! She finally met a nice one!'" Ellen agreed and challenged the news to cut back on the bad news and focus on the positive wonderful things that happen! I am ALL for that!

I was so inspired by that that I picked up my color pencils and drew this freehand ... I just let the pencil do its thing starting with the highlights. Ok, it may not look like President Obama so much but my heart was in the right place. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thanks Karen!

I'd like to thank Karen Blados for this beautiful Kreativ Blogger Award! :) I am grateful. Please stop by Karen's blog and website. I guarantee you will be impressed by HER creativity! I will be passing along this award to 7 creative bloggers soon but it's getting late so it will have to wait until tomorrow! :) Stop by again, ok?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

After the rain ...

Thanks for stopping by folks! I finally have a post after what seems like FOREVER! :) 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I love summer!

I love the fruits of summer! Last week, I had a juicy pineapple, lychee, longan, and some of these strawberries from Waimea! My friend, Ron of RYH Pottery, made the bowl. He's such a talented ceramist who lives in Volcano. I drew this with my Prismacolor colored pencils on some Strathmore bristol vellum paper, which I find is nice and toothy and takes colored pencil extremely well. This is my homage to the tasty treats of summer. 

Whew, I finally redid the strawberry drawing. I wasn't happy with it but I couldn't figure why I didn't like it. I finally darkened the entire thing and feel much, much better. Now, I can move on to the next one! :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Daisies are everywhere

One of the wonderful things of summer is the daisies that fill my little daisy garden. 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last piece

I've been savoring my last pieces of Godiva chocolate that my friends Leon and sweet Sunshine sent me. Yummm, creamy dark chocolate! This is the very last piece of my stash and while I held off biting off pieces so I could draw it, it is now safely tucked away in my belly. LOL

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A birthday quickie

This is just a little artcard that I started last night and finished this evening. It is only 2.5" x 3.5" so just the right amount of effort I can deal with after a long day at work. Thanks everyone for your well wishes for my birthday! I dedicate this little piece of nature to my dear friend France Van Stone (Wagonized) who was also born on April 14!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Marigolds are a delight!

For some reason, my once color-accurate scanner has now morphed into some weird color-mixing machine since I switched to a mac. I think it is because it is as perimenopausal as I am!  My marigolds are blooming nicely and are producing their own seeds now ... so I will be sharing them with friends as Kate has shared them with me. I'll be passing on the Rietz legacy. :) I just had to take the opportunity to draw my little flowers because their little bursts of color light up my morning when I sit amongst them and drink my coffee.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I've been drawing, really! : ) Hope this little teaser post finds you all well. I'm in the middle of drawing some marigolds that I've grown from seeds (feeling like an adoring mama). I love their splash of color *smile* !

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fishy pagoda

Sorry I haven't been drawing much these days. But if you stand by ... I have a drawing to share soon ... But for now, you're stuck with this. When I was in college, I owned a bubble-eyed goldfish. You know the ones that have transparent water balloons for eyes? (Stay with me, this is going somewhere). Well, I needed a backdrop for my aquarium and because I was a struggling student, I created my own with my number 2 pencil and some typing paper. So, this is the drawing I did for my goldfish, Bubbles. May he/she rest in peace.  (PS: Can you believe I still have this? I amaze myself sometime).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine doodle

Hmmm ... what to choose. I'm in a bit of a quandry. If you felt that you deserved a valentine gift and you know no one is going to buy it for you, would you choose a Hovabator incubator (for chicken eggs and mind you, it comes with an egg turner AND is air-circulated!) or a new light blue satchel that will go so so so well with my dress? Or maybe a bright red umbrella (because it is dumping right now and I need a proper one)? I doodled tonight as I contemplated. I still haven't decided.

A time for work ... a time for play

I have this pretty planter in my living room, which stands about a meter tall and am still looking for the perfect plant to put in it. Being a lazy Saturday, it was really nice to bust open my moleskine this morning and break the drawing block I've been struggling with the past several months. In the meantime, I've been getting outside and enjoying the blue skies and warm weather we've been having ... which has been pretty rare lately.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Top 100 Botany Blogs

Dragon fruit ... sounds and looks like famine food that is roasted over open flames and eaten by medieval beasts doesn't it? But on the contrary, dragon fruits are sweet, succulent fruit that tastes a cross between strawberries and prickly pears! No wonder they are called Strawberry pears in some parts of the world. They are so juicy, the nectar drips down my chin every time I eat it. I found these at the local farmer's market and they are still in season. Dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus of Cactaceae or Cactus Family, for those botanists out there), were probably imported from Taiwan so no, not medieval at all. : )

I felt inclined to add its scientific name here to justify the honor of being included in Top 100 Botany Blogs in the Online College Blogs. I'm down there at #76 in case you're looking. It really is an honor since I'm a botanist and well, the resources they list are great : )!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ohia ... and o'er deah

Ever have one of those days that you just need to plop your butt under a tree and watch the clouds float by?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Orchid Isle

I live on the "Orchid Isle". At least that's what the tourism authority says. To tell you the truth, there are only three native orchids in Hawaii and all of them are pretty rare and not very showy. So, I suspect we're called that because orchids from all over the world grow really well here.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic tonight. This type of cymbidium flowers grew in the front lawn of a house I rented in Volcano and they always take me back to a simple time. What better medium to capture their simplicity than a plain ole pencil.

More cymbidiums here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mistake masterpiece

I am still learning ... and still making mistakes. I posted a snippet of this painting a little earlier to hide my embarrassing mistakes with perspective and probably a few other things. But I'm sharing this entire painting as a lesson to myself that developing skill involves trying, making mistakes, and improving. There's no embarrassment in that! : )

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rooting around

I had been "rooting" around the pantry for some tea (sorry, couldn't help myself) and found some ginger and decided to make some ginger tea. For some reason, it settles my stomach and after two weeks of holiday feasting, I really need it! Plus, it is supposed to be good for motion sickness and to ward off colds.

If you'd like to make your own tea, just slice up an inch or so of ginger root and boil it in a couple cups of water. I drink mine plain but you could add honey and lemon to taste.

This is my pen and ink tribute to my favorite cure-all.