Monday, May 15, 2017

"I thought this would be an art journey but it was actually a heart journey."

Anacamptis pyramidalis, watercolor on 140 lb watercolor paper, 8"x10"

Being back for 2 weeks from a wonderful stay on Paros, Greece, I still feel the pangs of homesickness.

As I painted this native Anacamptis orchid, I was filled with gratitude to have experienced a very special month on a very special island and to me, it captures something even more subtle. These orchids are out for a short time during Spring, are rather obscure in form but showy and delicate and just plain beautiful in my humble opinion. And, it represents my stay on Paros. I was blessed to have filled my days in the company of amazing friends who I miss every day, to revel in sunny days in Kamari peppered with dog and cat kisses, surrounded by beautiful plants and birds and the hum of thousands of bees, taking in the sweet smell of honey in the air after a brief spring rain ... all this wrapped in antiquity that I still have trouble wrapping my head around. My stay was brief and memorable and just plain beautiful.

This painting lives on Paros with a sister friend. :)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Home, for now

5"x7", watercolor on 140 lb. watercolor paper

As I say, "Home is where the toothbrush is" and this is where my toothbrush is, for now. I spent my birthday celebrating this place with a pen drawing and painting it in while relaxing on the front porch. Jim, my host, was so kind to take me to a special Tripiti beach and a cool sea arch and then for ice cream afterwards while the sun set over Alyki. It was an excellent birthday, indeed!

Bird house, To the Garden, Paros, Greece

5"x7", pen on watercolor paper

I hope someday you'll have the pleasure of staying here. If you like wildflowers in the springtime, swimming in the summertime, hiking, sightseeing and taking in the history of this incredibly ancient place, or just plain lounging, then this is a great place to stay! I'm here at To the Garden, a great retreat in Kamari on the island of Paros, Greece. I'm surrounded by geraniums and an incredible diversity of flowers and olive and almond trees. The hosts Irini and Jim are awesome and I can't imagine staying anywhere else.

This is a pen drawing of where I'm staying, I had planned on coloring it in with watercolor but I do like the starkness of it. I've spent the morning in the creative zone, listening to the bells of the goats being moved from place to place and the sound of the birds that flit by and the constant and relaxing buzz of bees all around me. Today is my birthday and I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing ... drawing and painting to my heart's content in Greece! This is a very good birthday. :D

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Piso Livadi, Paros, Greece

5"x7", watercolor on watercolor paper

I've been experiencing the island through my jaunts into the backroads and walking paths of the towns I've visited. The visual discoveries abound behind each corner, which makes me want to venture even further. Most times it means I get lost and eventually find my way back and sometimes it means I walk up someone's driveway by accident (well, once, and that just meant a shared laugh, a wave, and a "please excuse me"). 

I am finding that watercolor is the way to go while traveling in Greece and this is for a few reasons. It is easy to bring along (only paints, brushes, a container of water, and some paper), very quick to set up and clean up, and it lends itself well to this place that is surrounded by water. The lightness of watercolors fits in well with this landscape. Oils can be heavy and dense and this is a place that is definitely not those things.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Dryos Beach, Paros, Greece

Dryos, 5"x7", watercolor on watercolor paper

I rented a car and am enjoying exploring the island of Paros. Spent the day in Dryos and Piso Livadi, where I had a wonderful lunch of grilled sun-dried mackerel and a delicious selection of local appetizers next to the ocean.

This is a watercolor I did of a beach I found at Dryos and virtually visited months ago via Spitigatos, a website of Greek homes for sale (yeah, it's my vicarious pleasure). I recognized it immediately and was delighted to find stairs to the beach where I could sink my toes in the warm sand and dip them in the cold Aegean. The wildflowers were amazing so I wanted to capture and remember this very special moment. A visit by a little orange kitten topped off my morning. Then, it was off to explore the rest of the island.

Olive grove at Dryos

Piso Livadi

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sheep bells ring (Paros, Greece)

Around the property; 5"x7", oil on canvas panel

One of my favorite morning rituals (I've been here 5 whole mornings now!) is to sit on the porch with my breakfast and coffee and listen to the sounds of the sheep bells next door. This is a view of those sheep in the paddock behind "my" house ... white sheep with black heads (yeah, that's what those blobs are). It's just a quick painting and my first plein air oil painting ... ever. Besides the bee sting and the subsequent crazy lady bee-avoiding dance, it was a nice day out. This took maybe an hour.

I'm off to rent a car today ... and do some exploring! Hmmm, what new experiences await?!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Paros, Greece in the springtime

5"x7", pen on watercolor paper

5"x7", watercolor on watercolor paper

"Intentiality ... the appreciating of the little things and experiencing them not as a blur but as a discrete moment in time worthy of cherishing. ... The cool Paros wind on my face. The smell of Greek coffee when I open the cupboard. The sweetness of Greek honey. The sounds of sheep's bells. The unique blue-orange of the sun-setting sky. The unique meows of each of the cats. The buzz of thousands of beautiful bees that swarm the wildflowers around me. The beautiful dreams of really sweet sleep and the sounds of silence that brings me back to myself."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dreaming of Greece

Pending rain, 5"x7", oil on canvas panel ($40 USD)

Vibrant clouds, 7"x5", oil on canvas panel (Not for Sale)

I'm very excited to report that I'm heading to Greece to paint to my heart's content! If you know me, you'll also know that this has been a dream of mine for decades. I feel very fortunate to have been accepted to an art residency on Paros Island. I'll be taking along my oils and watercolors and hope to have a bunch of new artwork to share. Pochade box ... check! Paints ... check! Brushes ... check! Canvases ... check!

Here are some preliminary paintings I did just to get a sense of whether or not canvas panels would work and they seem to work fine. I do miss the give of stretched canvas but to have enough room to pack my clothes, I probably should stick to the panels. I'll be taking a subset of my paints so this helps me decide which colors I'll pack. 

If anyone is interested in partially funding my trip, I have these little jobbers available for purchase. They're originals! I'll probably have a few more paintings available before I leave so please stand by. If you're interested in art cards, please check out my previous posts, below. And, if you'd like an email notice of my posts, feel free to sign up for Feedblitz (to the right of my post). Thanks all!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Watson is his name

5"x5", oil on watercolor (SOLD)

Painting, and drawing for that matter, gives me the perfect opportunity to truly see something. This is Watson. He is a lovely horse that my Goddaughter rides and he is beautiful! He has a dark spot just under the white spot on his forehead. He has attentive ears and his mane sometimes goes wonky in the wind. He is all muscles but very gentle. You can see it in his eyes. Horses scare me a bit. They are huge but being able to get to know a horse through his picture makes me less intimidated. Horses are incredible creatures and now I just want to hug them!

This is a commission I did for a friend and the painting now sits at a place of honor with Watson's human mom.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Congratulations Nathalie!

Laua`e, 5"x7", oil on canvas (Not for sale)

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nathalie of Hilo for winning the Volcano Art Sale giveaway! As part of the sale, visitors collected stamps at each studio and once their invitation postcards are filled out, they are returned. Then every artist and guest artist pulls a card from the stack of filled cards and the person wins an art piece from the artist! I pulled Nathalie's name and this is what I painted specially for her. Congratulations Nathalie! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dogs galore!

3"x3", oil on canvas (SOLD)

12"x12", oil on canvas (SOLD)

Since the art show, I've been busy with commissions and taking my paintings to size extremes, from the little 3"x3" (top) to 12"x12" (bottom). Both very fun to paint and challenging in their own right. I loved the freedom of large brush strokes with the bottom painting but also the challenge of getting enough detail in the upper painting so the pup is recognizable. I'll be sharing more of the commissions I did the past couple months so stand by! 

Special thanks go to those that signed up as followers on blogger and on feedblitz! I really appreciate your support!