Monday, May 31, 2010

Thinking of Emily Carr in Campbell River, BC

This totem welcomes mariners to Campbell River from the docks at Discovery Harbour. I had about 20 minutes between rain showers to sketch quickly, and then painted it when I got back to the boat.

I've been looking at artwork by Emily Carr in the books I browse whenever we walk into town. I'm sure I'll end up buying some books about her and Tom Thomson before long. But, in the meantime, I will think about Canadian artists as I sketch and paint their lovely landscapes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nanaimo: Sketch in the City

Nanaimo has a distinctive feel to it. As we walked the streets, I heard British, Scottish, and Irish accented English, plus Dutch, German, and Danish. Cosmopolitan, to say the least!

Today was a swirly, lumpy day on the water. Swells 2 to 4 feet. Wind waves just 1 foot. Not unusual for the Strait of Georgia, but seven hours of it was a lot to handle. Maybe that explains the wavy horizontal line of this sketch!

Another cloudy day. I long for sunshine! In the meantime, I think I'll consider acting like Whistler and try some studies in gray!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ganges sketch

Ganges, Salt Spring Island

Dragonfish Fruit, available at the local grocer in Nanaimo

it's cold on the water
but I am blissfully unaware of how cold it is
in the water!

Pirate's Cove

Waiting in Pirate's Cove for slack tide at Dodd Passage.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bird brained thoughts

Great Blue Heron

Some birds are loners. Some birds play well with others. Some birds just like hanging in a group of like-minded.

Birds are SOOOOO like people. Don't you think?

These photos were all take along the Swinomish Channel near La Conner, WA.

At the dock in Anacortes

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blind Bay, Shaw Island

Alto cumulus clouds were obscuring the sun, but the dark reflections of the trees and the pull of the current left a fascinating pattern on the water and the light hit the surfaces of the wavelets to tease.

Chances are good that we will enter British Columbia tomorrow and I don't know what that will mean for my internet connection. Anyone know of a good internet cafe on Salt Spring Island?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sketchbook: Poulsbo

It dawned on me after I started sketching the Liberty Bay Book Store window that I had deleted the trash can in my mind. But, as I sketched, there it was, big as life. So, I sketched it, too.

I wonder how often it happens that I ignore something that is obvious and problematic.

Still being careful on and off the boat and looking for ladders in marinas. Did you know that not all marinas have them?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Only 5:20 am when I peered out and saw the calm water of Liberty Bay. I pulled on a robe and climbed out onto the sun deck and painted the dawn. Coffee came later, around 7, when I was finished. Cold, but happy. Happy to be painting. Happy it's not raining. Happy to catch the dawn.

My set up: board with paper, foil dust tray, small Heilman box, table, paper towel. Still water. Quiet start of the day. A bald eagle flew right over the boat. I heard the wind in his feathers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Liberty Bay

For those of you who were not reading my blog last summer, you may wonder about the comments you see here about me keeping my art supplies (and myself) out of the water.

Well, last July I set out from the boat to paint from the sea wall at Bremerton. I was fully loaded with my art bag containing a full wooden box of pastels, my big camera, my brand new iPhone, plus my board and paper. I tripped on the line and fell into the water. You can read about it by clicking here and if you would like to read the same story from my friend, Angie, who got me out of the water, click here.

I assure you, I am staying safe, and cautious. I notice the ladders at marinas ALL THE TIME. Today, when we passed Bremerton, I shivered just a little. And, tonight we had a delicious dinner aboard M/V Desert Venture (the home of Angie and her wonderful husband Bruce) here in Poulsbo.

As you can see from the photos above, the skies ahead of us were clear and beautiful with clouds. The skies behind us were dark and getting darker. We made it to our safe anchorage in Liberty Bay and then it started to rain. I don't think it's stopped for a long while. No wonder things are green here!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From Gig Harbor!

Yesterday afternoon came and we realized that we had everything done that needed doing before we left Olympia. We weighed the advantage to staying at the dock one more night, but decided to just start the engines and depart! Hooray! We didn't go far, just to Hope Island, but we toasted the beginning of this exciting adventure with a glass of champagne. (Thank you, Suzanne and Walter!) Cheers!

A leisurely cruise today up to Gig Harbor. I was able to step off the boat (carefully) and walk up the public dock to explore the town. With sketch pad and small watercolor kit, plus my trusty camera, I was ready to walk and check things out. No sooner was I at the top of the dock when a cloudburst let loose. I ducked in to the nearest shop ... an art gallery! Hooray!

It was too rainy today for my pastels, but I enjoyed the watercolor sketching.

This statue honors fishermen who are lost at sea. It stands at the top of the public dock.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day One -- loading gear

Tide in, tide out. Ebb and flood. Today's low tide was a minus tide which meant the ramp to the dock was very steep. It made for hard work loading the carts and moving things between the car and the boat. By the end of the afternoon, I was able to take a sketch walk (is that a "sketch crawl"?)and watch the sailboats in Budd Inlet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No, Georgia O'Keeffe is not the only painter of flowers!


I love painting flowers. My day at Schreiner's Iris Gardens was just one of many days spent painting there. In fact, my very first blog entry (almost two years ago) was from the gardens.

It never fails to happen that when I am painting big flower portraits, someone asks me if I am trying to paint like Georgia O'Keeffe. Don't get me wrong, I like O'Keeffe's work. I admire it and enjoy looking at it and studying it. I am reading a biography about her and her work, Georgia O'Keeffe: An Eternal Spirit by Susan Wright.

But O'Keeffe is not the only painter of flowers!

Here are some of the flowers I have painted in the last couple of years:






But, to be fair, her flowers are amazing and sensual and if I one day paint flowers like Georgia O'Keeffe ... well, that would not be a bad thing at all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Local Color
24 x 18 on Wallis Museum

Ornamental Poppy
18 x 14 on Wallis Museum

12 x 20 on Wallis Museum

Schreiner's Iris Gardens with painting friends. Some days are better than good. Some days are excellent.

Iris garden poppy

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Trying out a new iPhone application. Life is good.

Location:Interstate 5,Salem,United States

Monday, May 10, 2010

Four Days left!

I have checklists and reminder notes all over the place as we get ready for our big adventure. But first, some of the in-case-of-emergency equipment does not make me feel very happy. I ask you: do I look even a little happy here in my immersion suit? I'm probably thinking about what catastrophic events might lead to me needing to wear this crazy thing!

immersion suit -- check!

A friend told me yesterday that when she stood close to me she could hear me ticking like a clock! That's how it feels, this countdown to May 15. What happens then? My husband and I depart in a boat to head north to Southeast Alaska!

A fun stop at Armchair Sailor in Lake Union for Inside Passage charts and books of tides and currents. I looked for a book entitled "Is it a Black Bear or a Brown Bear and Does it Really Matter?" Maybe I'll have to write that one myself.

These are just the newest purchases. We also have cartloads of rolled charts and electronics gear to help us keep from getting lost.

This will be our home for a few months!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My mentor: Kitty Wallis

Kitty Wallis

This is my mentor and friend, the extraordinary human being: Kitty Wallis. She is a big part of my art development and serious pursuit of art. More than that, she is an accomplished and acclaimed artist in her own right.

If you have never seen her work in person, you will want to make your way to Beaverton this month to the showroom of Lexus of Portland. The walls are hung with a solo show of her light-filled colorful portraits, landscapes, and florals that sing with beauty.

This painting wins my vote for "Best of Show"

At one moment during the reception (back at Kitty's studio and home), four of her portrait models were present and seated themselves strategically near their portraits.

The show is at:
Lexus of Portland
8840 SW Canyon Road
Portland, OR 97225

May 3 thru May 30
Sun 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM-7:00 PM

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Birthday, Mom!
24 x 18, pastel on Strathmore

Mom's birthday is May 9, so every few years, her birthday and Mother's Day are the same day. Like today! Mom lives in sunny Palm Desert, California and I miss spending special days with her. We talk on the phone, and she leads a busy life, but today, I just kind of miss my mom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Richeson Pastel Surface

Central Valley, CA
5 x 7, Richeson Pastel Surface

Today I tried out a new (to me) product: Richeson's Pastel Surface. It is a textured surface on top of Gatorfoam. I liked the sturdiness of the panel but while the surface was textured, it did not seem to hold much pastel. I will try it again, another time and maybe use some of my softest pastels.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At least that's what my grandmother always said. She also said that my tongue turned black when I told a lie. Boy, she would have thought I told a doozy after the bruising my tongue got at the dentist yesterday.

Getting a good photo of "The Palouse" is a challenge because of its size. This afternoon provided just the right brightness without direct sun for me to wrestle the monster outside my studio door and take the shot. I did a little more work on the sky today, but it is done now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blue skies and cloudy ones, too

It's just blocked in, but I like the intense blue sky in this painting already. I think it gives the landscape some breathing room and lets the land forms sing. More to do, but so far, it is promising. What do you think? (Click here to see the original painting.)

Not every day is a blue sky day and today's clouds created drama at the Refuge.

In just 8 days I will begin an exciting adventure. Tick tock tick tock. It's fast approaching! Hint: it involves water and travel ...