October 14, 2011


I am back in my studio this morning working on some finishing details on paintings I started a while back.  Above are just some of the books I surround myself with in my loft.  Our house is full to the brim with books.  I've tried to organize them a little like a library.  Books on art are in my loft.  Works of fiction and books on decorating and home renovation are in bookcases on our upstairs floor near and in our bedrooms. Cookbooks are beside the kitchen.  And then there are gardening books, more fiction and books on music and cinema in our basement. Yes, we have bookcases everywhere.

I am working on some paintings I started a while ago.  I am happy with parts of them and not with others.  More work to do.  It is hard to get to the point when I am truly satisfied.
I really like how the clouds and water turned out, but I am not happy with the sand. Funny, you'd think sand would be the easiest part.  I started this painting this summer. It is a scene from a trip I took to Australia years ago.  I wish I could remember exactly which beach it is.

Here's another painting that I started a long time ago.  It is a scene from Prince Edward Island.  Anyone who has visited PEI will recognize that gorgeous red dirt. As usual, I have mixed feelings about the painting. :)

For anyone who works in watercolour or is wanting to try it, the book by Hazel Harrison shown in the top photo is a very helpful reference.  She describes the various techniques and has lots of examples by artists with all different styles.  The examples are my favourite part of the book.  The edition I have is only available second hand, but there is a revised edition available on Amazon.

Here's a quote that made me smile today:

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."
Leonardo da Vinci


  1. I immediately noticed that the sand in the photo on your desk is actually really dark, maybe you should try that, or a version? I enjoy your blog, I read it from my desk at work and daydream about painting.

  2. Gia--That might be the solution. Just takes courage to apply that dark wash.:) Thanks for your nice comment about my blog. I'm glad you enjoy it.

    You must be a painter too.

  3. Well, I'm new to watercolor, I suppose once you put the dark on it's tough going back. I used to paint with oils, and now I'm trying watercolor.. and even getting into drawing with colored pencils. I guess I'm going back to where I should have begun. I saw a great watercolor exhibit in Anchorage this weekend, all kinds of techniques, it seemed a lot of them were definetely blotting the paint with a papertowel to take off color if they put too much on, which surprised me Seems like that's cheating. It's fun to see all kinds of techniques, I also saw how people seemed to paint in segments, how watercolor is pretty planned, especially leaving spaces for the lighter colors. Anyway... happy painting.

  4. Gia--You're on the right track. It's important to explore and experiment until you find the medium that works for you. I worked in oils for about 15 years before switching to watercolour. I've been working in watercolour for about 20 years. I found myself in watercolour. Yes, there is more planning involved for leaving white and light spaces and you have to live with certain mistakes but there is a ton of spontaneity too. You have to go with the flow of the water and paint. (Lifting out is not cheating unless you were doing it to your whole painting. :) It can create beautiful effects for clouds, for example.)


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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