What strange and interesting times we live in at this moment in time.
As I write this I am trying to stay warm as the snow is starting to fly and it has dropped to 19 degrees. Sitting in my big oversized chair with Olive and Milo, my two Jack Russells, we are keeping each other warm. They are in my lap vying for the best position, pushing my computer out of the way so it teeters awkwardly as I write. Lately, one of my favorite pastimes, besides watching CNN nonstop at history in the making, is birdwatching, especially from my big picture window.
I have a variety of different feeders and have been attracting lesser goldfinches, house finches, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, adorable tiny bushtits, white-crowned sparrows, and even wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Unfortunately, the starlings come too. My feathered friends are inspiring me to do some bird paintings in my watercolor sketchbook Journal. Please check back and I will post some of my paintings! If this is something that interests you, I will be teaching an A Naturalist’s Art Journal Watercolor class at Art & Soul, Portland, June 23, 2021
Fine Art America is having a 25% off all artist tote bags and zip pouches. There are many sizes and styles available. This sale ends on November 21st at midnight eastern time so hurry and get your order in!
Often when I haven’t painted in a while, I resort to painting something very familiar and loved to get me back in the mood. Since I spent so much time trying to be outdoors this Covid summer, I took some time off from painting. I felt rusty so I thought I would start with a familiar little house in the landscape. It felt good to get my paints and brushes out again and paint, Just off the Beaten Path!
The summer issue of Art Journaling Magazine is still available at stores such as Barnes and Noble for just a few more weeks! Inside this issue, you will find my article, Color Choices, about how I make my color choices in my paintings and art journal pages.
I love to take my journals with me when I travel. Often it is hard to narrow down what supplies to take with me. On a recent get away to Montana, I took the bare necessities because there was not a lot of room in the car. One thing I forgot to take and really missed was some glue or Yes paste for all the maps and paper items that I like to collect and add to my journal pages. But I was able to prepare some of the backgrounds of my pages by using my color choices that I write about in my article Color Choices!
I just received this lovely email from Francesca from Ireland. It was in response to my article in the current Art Journaling Magazine now available at Barns and Noble.
It got me thinking about all the places one could look for pigments to use in your art. It is easy to try. Just add some gum Arabic to help the pigments adhere to the watercolor paper. I assume you would need to grind the pigments into a fine powder. A mortar and pestle like the kind you need for making mojitos should work!
This is what Francesca writes:
My name is Francesca and l live on the southeast coast of Ireland in an area known as ‘The Copper Coast’. I really enjoyed your work on the Roussillon area of France, l have recently been making my own inks and watercolours using foraged pigments. I was interested to know if you have details of the local sources of the pigments in earth tones. The coast in my area is rich in alluvial mud stones which is easy to grind into pigments. There is a choice of colour, earth tones, lilacs blues and greens, they also contain mica fragments so sometimes l get sparkle too.
I have been a hobby artist for years but my interest in natural color comes from my interest in ecology. Thank you once again for a great article. Best wishes Francesca.
I am excited to be published in the Summer issue of Art Journaling Magazine. My article, Color Choices, covers how I use color in my watercolor art journals. There are lots of examples of my paintings as well as some color studies.
Art Journaling is for sale now at Barnes and Noble or you can order your copy from their website: https://stampington.com/Art-Journaling-Summer-2020/
Art Journaling Summer 2020
Celebrate your summer with Art Journaling, and discover a variety of tips and tricks that fit your own personal journaling style! Inside the Summer 2020 Issue: Magazine pages are transformed into intriguing…
A new color palette: Hummingbirds can see colors we can’t even imagine. Their color discernment goes well beyond our rainbow color spectrum, writes Virginia Morell for Nat Geo. Researchers studying wild broad-tailed hummingbirds in Colorado found they could determine spectral-colored feeders from feeders in nonspectral colors. “Seeing them do this right in front of my eyes is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever witnessed,” says Mary Stoddard, a Princeton evolutionary biologist.
I am so happy to share with you my new article, Color Choices, in the July 2020 issue of Art Journaling Magazine! It is always a privilege to be included in such a prestigious art magazine. My article is about how I make watercolor color choices in my travel journals.
Whether painting landscapes, windows with flowers, or just preparing a colorful backdrop for journaling, there are color choices to be made. Color is what initially drew me to watercolor painting. As a novice painter, the excitement I felt for all the lovely bright juicy colors when putting watercolor on paper led me to use every single pigment on my palette in all my paintings. Unfortunately, my attempts ended in a big, ugly, muddy mess. This was the beginning of my lifelong quest to learn everything I could about color and how to make certain combinations to create beauty instead of dreadfulness. I learned many secrets of mixing color by studying how to use the color wheel and by producing oodles of color studies. This article shares with you some thoughts on how to successfully create colorful, vibrant paintings and art.
Watch for the release of Art Journaling Magazine Summer Issue 2020 available July 1, 2020!
International Nature Journaling Week is coming up!
I just learned about this wonderful upcoming event and wanted to share it with you all. During this week we will come together as a world-wide community to celebrate and document the beauty and diversity of the natural world.
“Nature journaling allows us to open ourselves to wonder and explore with joy.”
Each day during International Nature Journaling Week will be focused on a different aspect of nature, which will be a starting place for our journal pages for that day. You can access the themes for each day through the Program page or in the list below:
Traveling is a great way to inspire ideas for paintings in an art journal. I am fortunate to be in the colorful, sunny land of Baja, California, Mexico for a few days. My focus has been bird watching every morning – early before it gets too hot and the birds are still active. Inspiration from nature is a great way to add to my journal.
My brother shared with me an app called ebird which has been very helpful to keep track of all the beautiful birds I have been seeing here. In the afternoons, I am enjoying relaxing by the pool and painting in my journal. The birds are colorful fun to watch. Here are a few photos that I took over the last few days. Insiration from Nature…..