It’s funny that location seems to inspire my subject matter. When I am at the beach I seem to lean to the sea creatures. Whales are so wonderful, they have great shapes, great color, great everything.

My recent visit to the Portland Museum of Art has also inspired the whale paintings. Currently they are showing Of Whales in Paint: Rockwell Kent’s Moby-Dick inspired works–and it is well worth a visit.

Both of these pieces were a lot of fun to work on. The Sperm Whale in acrylic (which is always a struggle for me) is 16″ x 10″ on canvas. I used a toothbrush for a lot of this painting to achieve the effects and that worked well for creating marks with unexpected results! And, the Humpback whale done in the Procreate app, which is beyond fun.


Lots of joy with these pieces for me.

Tiny Art Fundraiser


While traveling I have strayed a few days from #inktober. In Frisco, NC the Indian Town Gallery is doing little fundraiser where they ask folks to donate a piece of art on a 5″ x 5″ canvas…they are then sold for $20 each. The gallery provides the canvas which is very nice! I participated in this last year and it was a lot of fun, this year I have done 5 of them! I got just a little carried away! But it was a lot of fun.


I tried to use ink in all but one of them, so they kind of qualify for #inktober2o16


I did two Mermaid variations. I think I like using the pencil (below)


And, one with just all acrylic paint.


Sktchy and Materials


Along with doing quick simple faces I want to be able to do a more finished drawing. This started with leftovers (I hate to waste paint!) I had painted a blue(ish) ground on my strathmore toned paper…then had some left over acrylic paint that I decided to squash on there. Over that I decided to paint some watercolor…which looked interesting…kind of like a stain. I thought, well, this might be a good surface for graphite.

I am not sure about it. The graphite went down smoothly. But, I felt like I couldn’t get the darks as dark as I wanted. Maybe I just needed to control the ground more in areas. I think that the effect is interesting though, will try again!

Time and discipline

Acrylic: 18"x24" in progress

Acrylic: 18″x24″ in progress

So, I think I might be over ambitious. I had such good intentions two weeks ago to get a bunch of stuff finished…I am not sure why I feel the need to hurry anyway. I am going to try very hard though not to start anything new until I finish the Jack-in-the-pulpit painting. I am still working on my beetle bug and of course sketching as much as I can. I feel like I have abandoned my shell painting–I am just not that happy with it. Of course I can go back to it at any time.

I feel like I need to give my self permission to move on when a project is feeling good. But, on the other hand sometimes when I push through and just get it done it all works out! And, time or the lack of is probably my most frustrating problem. Time in is what I want. I am just going to have to be happier with the time I get to work on my art projects, enjoy it while it happens.

I am missing the bug drawing. Now that the days are longer, I need to plan to get into the art shed after my day job–discipline.

Warm-up sketch: watercolor pencil

Warm-up sketch: watercolor pencil

Multiple Projects

Ball point pen study

Ball point pen study

Time to get something finished! Before I am done anything it seems like I am already on to something new. There is an energy and excitement that draws me over to a new project, but I need to discipline myself to go back and finish the ones I have started. So, today, new painting of a Jack-in-the Pulpit (inspiration for painting is the sketch). The ground is done and ready for the subject. This is huge in terms of scale for me…18″ x 24″, yikes!

Also on the agenda, finish the bug and finish the shell. This should keep me busy. Hopefully I won’t get distracted and start anything else!

ground for jack-the-pulpit painting

ground for jack-the-pulpit painting

New Materials

In progress: acrylic paint and acrylic markers

In progress: acrylic paint and acrylic markers

I never thought I would really like acrylic paint. And, I never really expected that traditional art supplies would really evolve…but they have! After doing the mermaid painting, I realized that painting can be fun…it may not be my media in the end, but it is fun. Somehow I stumbled onto Acrylic markers. These things are super cool, they allow you to “draw” on canvas or wood panels. It’s just a little more comfortable for me, as painting does not come naturally. I am looking forward to learning how to use these and combining them with a brush. I am going to to work on a bug series.

Shells & Bugs

Acrylic Painting in progress

Acrylic Painting in progress

I think that the bugs are here to stay. They are so much fun, on regular paper, on my Paper 53 app on my iPad…super fun. Why is that?

Just getting back front the beach I have the beach on my mind. After trying the mermaid, I thought I would try a shell in acrylic. Still not sure this medium is for me…but it is quick. I think I will try a little oil painting (I have the kind that work with water) tomorrow. Good to try new things. After that I am going back to watercolor and ink pen. And, of course I will continue to experiment with the Paper 53 app.

Ladybug: Paper 53 app on iPad

Ladybug: Paper 53 app on iPad