Sunday, December 30, 2012


I have spent the past three weeks visiting my family south of San Francisco. My parents have been married for 61years and have lived in the same California ranch house for 56. My 86 year old dad isn't doing so well so we are all gathering around to help the patriarch. It clearly takes a village so sketching has taken a backseat to the caring for my dad.

The other night, while he held my hand, I did a quick sketch on pre-painted paper and finished it after he had gone to sleep. We take it one day at a time...

Happy New Year everyone.

Friday, December 7, 2012

More dogs for Christmas

These two cute dogs were rescued and now live in a loving home. A Christmas gift from a mother to her daughter who rescued them.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

RIP sweet Hazel

I don't oil paint much anymore, though I do really enjoy it. It just seems more complicated than other mediums. So when I still get periodic requests for dog portraits, I get the opportunity to create with wonderful buttery oil paint. So in between a commercial project I did this portrait of Hazel for someone to give as a Christmas gift. I would go from the oil palette and the easel to InDesign on my computer and back again. The dog portrait is done...brochure is not...

Get back to work!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Howard the cat......a digital debut

Over the years I have experimented with digital drawing. I never had success with a Wacom tablet and ended up returning it. But when my iPad mini arrived on Monday, I couldn't resist trying the Procreate drawing app. Holding the iPad mini in my left hand I grabbed a stylus and quickly sketched Howard. I then decided to try posting from my new beloved iPad mini. It worked!

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Orleans holiday

I had never been to New Orleans and was lucky enough to recently spend four wonderful days sketching in the French Quarter. Such amazingly colorful people, musicians everywhere, interesting architecture and delicious food. I enjoyed filling my folding sketchbook with all that I saw and experienced.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 11th—Sunset #5

Lamy Joy fountain pen and watercolor
Yesterday was clear and so beautiful after the rain cleared out, but noticeably colder everyday. The "I hate to be cold" side of me said "Just stay in", but at the last minute I jumped in the car and went up to the North St overlook to sketch the sunset at 6:05 pm.
Bundled up in my parka (and my flip flops), I quickly sketched and painted noticing how dramatically different the light was and how much the colors of the leaves had changed from my last sketch two weeks ago. I had assistance from a guy who introduced himself as "Cowboy". It is amazing how many different people one meets when sketching in public.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Early October sketches

Dip pen, ink and watercolor
Spring Point Lighthouse in South Portland sits across the harbor from Portland. This was just before sunset on a cool clear evening.

My hands—Sepia Pitt Pen and watercolor

Practice, practice, practice—a quick wash on the paper and then drawing my hands. 

pen, brush pen and watercolor
A very rainy weekend visiting with friends up the coast in beautiful Georgetown, Maine.  After we managed an 8 mile walk between the downpours we time spent in front of the fire, talking, doing a jigsaw puzzle and reading. I spent time sketching and watching the seagulls as they bathed in their favorite tidepool. My friend Elizabeth is beside herself that the gulls have taken over a particular tidepool that the kids like to play in. I don't think she will win this one...

Pencil, watercolor and colored pencil
I enjoy living amongst the seagulls. I am awakened by their loud cries as they circle the lobster boats heading out of the harbor in the morning. I watch them as they perch on the roof tops looking around planning their next wily seagull moves, I'm fascinated by the precarious places the make nests and raise the chicks and often we stare at one another when they land on the skylight.

Staedler pen, Pentel brush pen and watercolor
I always enjoy doing portraits. This one done while talking on Skype.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September Sunset #4

Dip pen, ink and watercolor
Another beautiful sunset before the rain sets in for four days. The days are getting shorter and cooler, but I'm not giving up my flip flops, yet. The colors are becoming quite a bit darker and foliage is starting to dot the landscape. The sun has moved in the sky from the first one I did a few weeks ago.

Sunset gathering spot—Munjoy Hill overlooking the Back Cove in Portland Maine

There is usually a flurry of activity for the 30 minutes I am drawing and painting the changes in light and color that are happening so quickly. The decision to choose and place colors comes with water splashing and paint flying. I do not always make the best choice, but I just keep painting until the sun has set. Sometimes the colors bleed and then I get mud and then I get mad and then I exclaim...sometimes under my breath and sometimes a little louder...

It is always so much fun and I look forward to the next one.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beautiful September days

Dip pen, brush pen and watercolor

My good friend Patti and I took a 10 mile walk along the bluffs and beaches in Scarborough Maine. At the end of Scarborough Beach (the 5 mile halfway point) was this wonderful found object beach sculpture shack.
Dip pen, ink and watercolor

Another evening of sunset watching/sketching. I clearly do not enjoy the quickly changing beauty as much as the rest of the people that are just watching—I'm painting as fast as I can. Trying to keep up with the changes in light and color, realizing the paint is too wet and blending together and then, oh my god it has set! After the sun is gone and it is getting dark, I sometimes reflect...did I really see it?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sunset—September 20,2012

Dip pen and ink, watercolor, the sun and the moon

I'm painting as fast as I can! 

A friend called to catch the sunset last night. As I hesitated, I was reminded that in a few months from now the sun will be setting a 4:15 pm and it will be bitter cold.

A big crowd of people were enjoying watching the sun go from bright yellow to blood orange to hot pink as it dipped below the horizon over the western mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. Not quite as relaxing for me...paint was flying everywhere as I frantically tried to capture it before it set.

After the sun disappeared behind the mountains and I put my sketchbook on the ground to dry, the sky turned cerulean blue with big pale pink clouds. The almost first quarter moon was heading east across the sky and glowing bright white from the light of the sun. The beauty unfolding before me took my breath away!!! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Watching the sunset—September 16, 2012

 Ink and watercolor in Molesine Watercolor journal
 The perfect ending to the most beautiful weekend—warm, sunny and crystal clear.

Ink, watercolor and Neocolor II
Practicing from a black and white photo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Last days of summer

Sadly, summer in Maine is waning. The light is changing and the shadows getting longer. On this morning's Sophie walk along the waterfront, I needed a jacket. 
Lately my sketchbook gets stuffed into my bag only to to lay unopened at the bottom...never seems to be any time as we enjoy the last of these wonderful warm summer days.

 Sunflower bouquet from the market down the street.

My friend Suma CM and her husband Michael came to Maine on a holiday a few weeks ago. After lunch, Michael went on a bike ride and Suma and I went off to sketch. We sat against a building sketching the lobster boats in back of Custom House Wharf just across from where I live. I used a dip pen and ink. Of course it became a mess—ink all over. You can see Suma's sketch here.

 Out for dinner with my friends Mary and Liza at the East Ender Cafe. This is beautiful Liza.

Dinner at a friend's house. The hydrangeas and some other unidentifiable flowers were wilting in a vase of greenish water, but the tomatoes and green pole beans were fresh from the garden and "delish". Lucky me, I got to take home a bounty of these delicious green beans and tomatoes of all varieties that have taken over the garden (along with the weeds).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

DisneyWorld Animal Kingdom Day 3 and Day 8

Once again I attended a Dalvero Academy DisneyWorld Reportage Workshop Aug/1-Aug/10, 2012. Eight, long, hot, wonderful days drawing in the Disney parks alongside a group of very talented artists and our brilliant leaders Veronica Lawler and Margaret Hurst

There is so much to see and draw there never seems like enough time to get it all in. With Ronnie and Marg it is thunmbnail, thumbnail, thumbnail to get the most out of the days. We are all required to sketch every parade that comes through the parks. There is always a bit of "high anxiety" as these parades are moving fast.

 Mickey's Jammin' Jungle parade at Animal Kingdom—Dip pen and watercolor.

Along the pathways in Asia at Animal Kingdom. Dip pen, colored pencil and watercolor.

East African Drummers at Animal Kingdom's Harambe Village. Pen and brush pen.

Mickey's Jungle Jammin' parade—colored pencil.

Disney—Magic Kingdom Day 2, Day 5 and Day 7

It's the most magical place on earth.

 Main Street Electrical Light Parade—When the lights go out it is time to start drawing. It's really kind of crazy. Dip pen, colored pencil and Neo-Color II.

Cinderella's castle—dip pen, Neo-color II and colored pencil. Midday—very hot!!! Sitting in very small shade amount of shade under a popcorn stand...until they made me move for Celebrate a Dream Come True parade. A parade I love and sing the song everytime it comes through while I try capture sketch it on paper...

 A young girl sitting across Main St from me during the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade.

Celebrate a "Dream Come True" parade coming down Main St.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Walt Disney created EPCOT the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". We sketched at Epcot on day 1 and day 6. 

 Morroco Pavillion at Epcot—dip pen and watercolor.

China Pavillion—colored pencil.

China Pavillion—ink and watercolor

It's exhausting going to Disney. I know exactly how this guy felt.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Urban Sketchers Symposium—Part I

I attended the 3rd Annual International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic July 12-14. It was my second USK symposium having gone to Lisbon, Portugal last year. It is an amazing opportunity to meet other sketchers and to "see the world one drawing at a time".

The cathedral at Parque Colon sketched at the 36th Annual SketchCrawl on the last day of the Symposium.

The statue of Critobal Colon at the SketchCrawl.

The Parque Colon is a major gathering place in Santo Domingo. So besides 100+ sketchers there were many families enjoying a Saturday afternoon in the park.

The work shop "Improvising with Lines and Colors. The Urban Sketcher as a storyteller." was taught by Inma Serrano and Orling Dominguez. Both great teachers and artists, it was a very special treat to take a workshop from them. Our first assignment was to create a story at the Parque Colon using lines, color and improvisation. Playing with line weights and using color to emphsize focal points.

I came me to Santo Domingo with a very banged up bruised and swollen leg from my fall washing windows. Standing and sketching for three days in 90° heat just made it worse. I thankfully threw my red cotton Chinese shoes in my luggage at the last minute. They were the only shoes that fit my poor swollen foot. Besides hiding my hideous black and blue foot they were comfortable and cute!!! They definately deserved to be part of my first sketch on the square.

The second exercise was to use the same elements of the first but to add typography or handwriting to the composition. By this time my leg was killing me so I sat on a bench at the corner of the park and sketched. The workshop went by so quickly, I never had a chance to fihish this sketch.

I had an amazing experience in Santo Domingo. So much talent, creativity and inpiration.
Thank you all for a wonderful event.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Urban Sketchers Symposium—Part II

The "Mercado Merengue" workshop was taught by Melanie Reim and Nathalie Ramirez. A busy place where they sell everything from handicrafts to fruit. Noisy and frenetic with lots of traffic and people. The object was to capture people in motion. Assignments were tumbnails, quick gesture studies and mark-making and patterns.
 Quick geture drawings of a banana vendor.

Using patterns and marks to define space.

The workshop "The Decisive Moment" was taught by Veronica Lawler and Jonathan Schmidt, both accomplished reportage artists. Assigment was to walk along Calle El Conde and create quick studies and thumbnails of the lively feel of the streets of Santo Domingo.

One page of thumbnails using colored pencil and Neocolor II.

Urban Sketchers Symposium—part III

Nina Johansson's workshop "Challenge Through Limitations" forced us out of our comfort zones by trying different techniques and using tools we may not normally use. 

Getting over the fear of the white page. Taking some white paper we had to rub it against the ground, paint watercolors on a pattern such as a manhole cover then press the paper to ceate an impression, splash paint or scribble with pencil. Anything to rough up the paper so we were not faced with pristene white paper. We then had to trade with some one and use a tool we wouldn't normaly use to sketch. The above was a portion of the ruins of oldest hospital in the Americas done with a bamboo pen and ink on a piece of paper that Jorge created and traded with me.

 Direct watercolor sketch using no pencil or pen lines.

Sketched with jumbo multi-color swirl colored pencil.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


While washing the upper most windows on the deck I had a bit of a "mishap". Not realizing the small bench I was using to reach the last spot had rotted from being outdoors all winter. It gave way and I slipped through the wooden slats scraping both shins on the way down. The right leg took the hit and immediately started to swell. I iced it as much as possible, but I will be heading of to the 3rd Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium with a giant blue leg...UGH!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Long summer days—Back in Maine

I have been back in the USA for a little over a week. The weather has been perfect for those wonderful long days of summer on the Maine coast. Lots of time catching up with friends and getting outdoors. Not much sketching...and I'm heading to Santo Domingo for the 3rd Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in a few days...

The view from the deck watching the full "Thunder" or "Buck" moon rise over Portland harbor. The sky was still quite light.

4th of July at the beach started out with this delicoius cheese and fruit platter along with a lovely bottle of champagne.

A very quick sketch of our friend Mike while we enjoyed the wonderful food in the above drawing. I had to sketch the food first because, along with the champagne, it was going fast.

Sketch of friend Ben using black and gray shades of Pitt Pens.