Monday, December 12, 2016

Afloat on a Sunlit Sea

I just delivered this painting to The Naples Art Association for a juried show.  The theme is Hello Yellow.  I took a photo of this woman floating in the water in the Virgin Islands.  We did not see the sun much this trip, because a hurricane was close.  This was one of the few days we saw the sun.

As usual this was finished and delivered 20 minutes before the deadline.  Upon double checking the dates for this show I found out that I had not 2 days to finish this, but 1.   In a couple of days I will find out if it made it in the show. 

I was getting close in time so I took a quick photo of this with my iPad.  It is a quick way to check the painting for definite issues.  Of course I allowed time to take a better photo before putting it in the frame.

My husband felt that I should have created and horizon and had a sunset.  "No." was my response.  He said he knew that I wouldn't go for the idea.  At least he knows the artist.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Name Change

I have changed where I live and need to get active in new community.   Finally, I am developing a
a website.  It seems strange that I have never done this.  Now is the time.  I am continuing my blog, but thinking of changing the name.  I want to know what you think. 

                      Jane's Watercolor Journey

Cons:  I sort of like the old name.
           My business cards will...a new sticker on the back.
Pros:  Madness was the old me.  Now I want calmer waters to flow in my life.
          My life has been and still feels like a journey. 
          This becomes my business name and ties into my website...branding
          I uses my name and still seems easy to remember.

What do you think?  Let me know.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


This is the second repaint after the first photo in the 30 day challenge.  The underside of the hat and the upper face are in more shade.  I paid more careful attention to the eyes nose and mouth.  I think I can feel the heat of the sun more in the above version.

I developed basal cell skin cancer on my nose About 7 years ago, I developed basal cell skin cancer on my nose.  Fifteen stitches later all was put together again.   I react to sunblock and it makes me hot.  I wear it only if I am in the sun long enough to burn.  A hat helps to protect my face.  This one has a chin strap that can be tightened to hold it on in a stiff wind. My moisturizer and makeup has sun screen.   My dermatologist is not happy.  The next time I buy sunscreen I am going to try the stuff for babies. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Clean Up

After a heavy painting session there is a mess.  Creating art is often not neat.  Tools are everywhere.  There will be a pile of brushings.  Pencils are strung across the board.  Then there comes moment when things I need start disappearing.  Paint wheels are not organize, but are just stack, and ready to tumble to the floor with one wrong move. 

There is so much going when creating.  I often move and keep moving.  Once the flow is going I do not want to stop.

In the morning it is ritual to clean up, and put every thing in it's place on my art table.  Organization returns.  You can imagine how that makes the day's work easier.  I know longer have to dig around for what I need or just find something else that will do the job.

I am very intentional with my work, especially in the beginning.  As a piece has a strong beginning I get more experimental then everything flies.

The ritual serves me well.  The time I spend cleaning and organizing clears up the cobwebs and is calming.  When I finally sit down to the work at hand I look at it with fresh eyes,  and start planning what I need to do next. 

I often have several pieces going.  When I change paintings during the day I go through the same cleaning process.

When working on one painting for an extended period of time,  I am often dissatisfied with it.  I can get to a place of real dislike.  Paintings have been put in the closet for a few weeks or even years.  When I pull them out they don't look so bad.  I often can decide just what a painting needs, when I was clueless earlier.

Some work really needs to be finished.  I am not a fan of finishing paintings.  The finishing process often brings on anxiety within me.  Flipping from on painting to the other can elevate the painting exhaustion I get.  Pressure feels reduced with the thought that I can lay this down for now, if only for a few hours.  I will often formulate what I need to do next when working and the alternative painting.

I work at knowing myself.  I don't beat myself up with my quirks and kinks.  I just sort of trick myself into overriding them.  You can really be your worst enemy.   I guess I have learned to be my own, kind loving gentle teacher. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Well I am finished with this present journey.  I plan to spend a little time in the sun must and remember hat and sun block.  I have been an night owl, but soon I will become an early riser again. 

This was a work and a half.  It will be spiffed up and probable used as my profile picture for awhile. 

Bon nuit.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


The Naples pier was has a history with this community.  Now it is a gathering place.  Fishermen come at all times of day to fish.  No license is needed to fish off the pier.  At sunset the end of the pier loads up with people to watch the sunset. 

This subject is much too intricate for just a day painting .  The perspective is off or maybe more of the pier has to be shown to make sense.  I experimented a lot in using rich colors to set the scene.  I will definitely visit this one again.

My last painting will have to be tomorrow.  I have started a self portrait.  I am reluctant to paint.  I have so many other things to do, but I am pressing on to finish the 30 paintings.  I have not made it easy on my self with the subjects I have chosen, but I love the challenge. 

This will be the first time I have finished the thirty days.  Several of the last couple times I attempted this, I fell away within a few days.  Life just got in the way.  Not there yet but I have almost made it.  Unless I rebel you will see my last painting of this series tomorrow.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pomegranet, Seastar and Moon Shell

Today is a still life.  I joked that I may have to paint a pomegranate, but the seashells add a twist.  I think the moon shell needs an red shadow at the bottom, but that will be another day.

I grabbed a bit of printing paper it is acid free and has lots of tooth, but is too soft for much abuse.
One more day.  I have a painting half done.  I will post two tomorrow or one tomorrow and one early the next day.  That 48 hour window is my grace.

Island Biker

Very Loose.  The drawing on this one took awhile.  We were invited to dinner at Bone Fish, about when I was ready to pick up a brush.  Boom boom shrimp, mac and cheese with white truffles, sautéed spinach with black grouper...dinner was well worth it.  I see things to fix.  That is my job for next month.  It is crazy how the unpainted part sort of works, or am I just tired. 

Two more days.  I want to paint two paintings tomorrow and then I will be caught up.  I want the last painting to have time to develop, on the last day. 

Then I have to pack because I going on a little adventure.  Five days to collect photos.  I usually don't paint when I travel.  There is too much to soak in and then I am too worn out.  Must get beauty sleep so I am not grumpy. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sand Searching

I see real promise in this one.  Again this is loose and fluid especially in the skin.  The colors in the skin work well and change often.  Sap green is the base.  the worse problem I see is the shoulder line.  I will fix that when revisit this painting next month.

Yellow Slicker

I did not feel good today.  I went to breakfast at 11:00.  I slept a lot today.  In the afternoon I had accomplished the drawing.  My husband indulged me with takeout Chinese.  After dinner I took another nap.  Watched the debate.  Painting started at 10:30 p.m. 

Necessity kept this very loose and fluid.  Had a little problem with things being too wet as I progressed.  I used to do life drawing with watercolor.  The short poses present a problem that nothing can dry enough to get some real definition.  I learned to use colored pencils, but now I use watercolor pencils.  I line here a tough of color there goes a long way.  

This man is on the beach.  I think he is working on a net, but the net does not really show up in my photo.  I am happy with this.  I like working with yellow.  It is easy to muck up yellow, but it stayed fresh in this painting.

I think that I will finish off the month with various people.  Five more paintings to go.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016


I am not sure this one got away from me or not.  Working on the octopus, things were looking good until the background went in.  The octopus was too washed out and I had to beef up his values.  I am in love with undersea green it separates and does all kinds of crazy things when spritzed with water.  Of course it got to be too much so, ultramarine blue was introduced along with some indigo. 

I am liking this one more as I look at it. What I do know is that I am cross-eyed tonight.  Good night

Saturday, September 24, 2016


This is Charlie, Maxwell's best dog friend.  He appears to be about Max's size, but he weighs nothing.  He can sail through the air and land on my lap in a heartbeat.  I did a photo shoot of Charlie earlier this week.  I go a pretty good shot with lots of back lighting. 

Charlie is a fluff ball with lots of personality.  The fluff plays well with this lighting.  Cutting the background with a large angled flat brush is the technique that works well with all the fluff.

Charlie still needs work.  I like addressing a different subject each day.  I am getting tired of painting in such a rush.  I will go back and work up many of these paintings to get them where I want them to be.  I will repaint some of them on a larger scale.

Working fast is in my slow manner is good for me.  I ought to do this exercise every couple of months, maybe for 10 days.  Then there is my few days of getting up to speed.  It took me longer this time, because I went a period time without picking up a brush.  I am definitely loosed up now and ready for serious painting.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Worn Whelk

This is a large, mostly white worn whelk shell.  It is about 10 inches long.  It is one of the largest I have found.  These animals bury themselves in the sand with the pointed end sticking out at low tide. 

This painting was purely experimental.  I started with smooth paper and water colorpencils as line.  Then I shadowed and contoured with a brush.  I used pigments that granulate and separate, painting wet into wet, in the background.  Where water is not painted the color will not flow, which protected the shell.

At the end I scraped more white out with knife and then brushed some of the green cascade pigment into some of the shadows.  Putting some of the background color into the shell helps unify the painting.

I like this.  My husband says he is not a fan.  My efforts did capture the roughness and the patina of the old shell. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reddish Egret

I was on a shelling party on the outer Islands of Naples.  I saw this egret dancing in the surf.  I worked hard to get good shots of this bird.  This photo has haunted me for years.  I do not know why I have not tried to paint it yet. 

I see problems with the water fighting the wings.  I will fix that on my next go round with this subject.  I had used a cerulean blue, but it granulated too much on the smooth paper.  I switched or covered with horizon blue.  This is a new color for me.  The bird actually popped with brighter blue.

This is a reddish egret.  I have only seen this one.  It is a larger but very graceful water bird.  He spreads his wings to create shadows.  The fish seek these shadows.  Then he will chase his prey.  This is the only egret that fishes this way. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Swirling Koi

The thrashing koi are causing broken reflections in the water.  The water is as much as subject in this painting as the Koi.  I worked from a photo but much was made up.  Water can be so fascinating to paint.  Koi are so fun with their variety of color and markings. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Old Friend

Old Friend

This is a dog who has pasted away.  His owner is really feeling the loss.  A friend of mine knows me and ask asked to hire me to paint a picture of this dog for his friend.  The photo he sent me gave me pause.  I have to have a good enough photo to get a good painting. 

I gave the image a little tilt to horizontal and the dog looked a little perkier.  Once I started painting I realized that there were many shapes and value changes in his coat and face.  This would work out well.  My initial drawing of the face was a little off.  I think I got the adjustments right. 

The fur on this dog is dark.  My job is to give him life, and not end up with a mass of dark paint.  No brown pigments were the right color.  Blue, and violet and sometimes green became the the under painting or was mixed directly on the paper. 

This was more work than I expected, but I think this is a success

Monday, September 19, 2016


Pulley on Table

I decided to show a picture of this one my work table.  I was painting to Susan Boyle "Hope."  Could have painted all night on the wings of her music. 

Actually, I had planned to paint a dog for a friend's friend.  I have never met the dog, and the photo given me was workable, but not pulling me.  I can do this.  Well there is a lot of fur and subtle values.  My time today was limited today.  I wanted to work on the dog in the morning.  I am fresher. 

So this is time management within the challenge.  I set the dog aside this evening and started on a simple still life.  This is of one of three ship's pulleys, collected by my dad.  He was in the Navy so he was drawn to this kind of stuff. 

I will post a cropped version of the painting for the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" blog.

Don't worry Hugo, the dog should appear tomorrow.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Two Pelicans

This painting is a happy dance.  My husbands statement was, "You painted that in one day?"  Yes.  That little voice in my head was questioning my sanity for doing two pelicans in one day.  These two where in a group of immature pelicans.  I zeroed in on the part of the photo I wanted.  How could I cut either bird.

The drawing started with the line of the top of the head of the left bird then I drew the eye and went on to the bill.  Paying attention to shapes and their relationships to each other helped me to simply nail the drawing.  Pay attention and don't be in a hurry at this point.  It really pays off

When painting, I did the eyes first.  No matter how loose I would become at the end of the day the important details are there. 

I used a true mouse color to do the water.  The wash was pretty good, but water is moving and has different values and is really a forgiving thing.  the reflections where laid down the end.  I reached for Payne's grey and Davey's grey. 

Pelicans are the bulldog of the birds.  They are solid and humorous.  I loved them from my very first encounter at 10, on the Naples Pier.  I should paint them more often.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lavendar Water Lily

This was a crazy image for a one day painting.  The thing about a one day painting is there comes a time that I have to work to pull the painting together, even though I want to develop some of the details more.  There is roughness in this work but it still has a pleasant flow.  The darks in the water became very important.  I also brushed the water lily pads with a watered down gold ochre.  This seemed to flatten the pads as well as giving them an unifying glow. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Snowy Egret

These medium size shore birds are always looking for the next meal.  They hang around the docks and wade in the surf looking for food. 

They can be smooth and white when wet, but the wind fluffs their fine feathers.  They make me think of clown feet with their yellow feet set off by black legs.  Once in a while I have seen an egret with orange feet.  Their toes are not webbed so swimming is not their main activity.  Come to think of it, I am not sure I have ever seen on swimming.  Their long legs make them good waders and long sharp beaks are suited for fishing.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Walking on the beach, observing people enjoying themselves is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I always try to photograph my subjects without them knowing I am there.

The interaction of water and sand are an element here.  Reflection on the children crouching in the water complete the scene. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Air Plant

I bring these home when find them laying on the ground.  I will put them bowls or on the coffee table.  My daughter told me to soak them in water once a week to keep them alive.

Today my husband and myself tore up my studio.  We rearranged furniture.  I took the closet doors off.  I hope to add more shelves and stacks for paintings on the floor.  A table top will go on top of a dresser and the flat file.  The dresser is higher than the flat file so bins for storing framing pieces will go between the table top and the flat file.  The room will soon be quite functional.

My body is sore from all the moving of stuff.  I am headed to bed because rearranging the other room into an office is for tomorrow.  I am hoping not to have to move my desk back into the studio.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bird of Paradise

These exotic flowers grow in yards and in street plantings in Naples, Florida.  I have seen huge black ones or colorful smaller ones like in this painting.  So why have I not planted one in my yard?  I will have to fix that.

Two Fish

The was experimental in a lot of ways.  I layered blues and greens.  Indigo was used for depth of value.  Near the end I washed much of the painting with watered down violet.  Using a color not in the painting can unite the piece.  I feel this peace is a little tortured.  Maybe the paint will flow gentler tomorrow.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Modeled Duck

Posting tonight is difficult.  I am using a different computer that has not been turned on for a while.  It is stopping me at every turn.  I am finally here.  I plan to set up my camera equipment tomorrow for a better photo.  I will also try to post earlier so I have time to work out the bugs.

This is a modeled duck.  The distinguished pattern on its back identifies this water fowl.  The deep brown feathers with a white outline are stunning. 

I think tomorrow I will paint a sunset.  I am longing for more color.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This is so quick.  The white spot under the shell is water shining in the light for photographing.  Ugh.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I usually look for the perfect shell, but sometimes one that is missing parts of it's exterior, revealing the insides are beautiful.  The water can work wonders.
Things are crazy around my house.  All of my reference books are loaded into the car.  I am getting tired of painting only with a round #10 brush.  I will be reunited with all my brushes soon. 

This is a sandpiper.  He is a smaller than a tennis ball.  notice the long legs and the long bill.  Both of these suit him well at the shore.


These fish are not the most beautiful.  The sit on the bottom of the Gulf and in secluded areas.  They have special muscles that vibrate the swim bladder, making grunts and croaks.  The is noisy enough to be hear through the hull of a boat.  They have broad flat teeth to crush fish and crustateans. They are not very active and sit around like land toads.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

This is a koi swimming up to the surface with one thing in mind.  He thinks that I am standing at his waterhole to feed him.  I stayed at at hotel where there was a tropical greenhouse in the middle of the rooms going up the sides.  The koi were fed about 4:00 in the afternoon.  I showed up a little early with my camera.  Several of the koi swam up to pose.

This painting was fun and simple but sort of tedious in drawing and then painting the different areas.  I think this one is definitely an keeper.

This is a rough rendering of a pond, painted outside on a canvas.  The canvas has been treated to receive watercolor better.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I am behind and yet I am ahead.  I have several little paintings going, and plan to post two paintings tomorrow.  There is a 48 hour window to post.  Part of my struggle with this challenge is picking subjects that can be quickly rendered.  Since I love detail, I can easily bite off more than I can do in a short time period.  It always takes me a few days to hit my stride.  

I might do a couple of koi and other fish.  They are not that easy.  First of all, the fish has to appear in the water.  Tomorrow I am going to try a painting with more surface reflections. 

Friday, September 2, 2016


I am starting September with the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  We will see how this goes.  I have very limited painting supplies for the next 9 days and will be traveling 3 of those days.  We will see how this goes. 
Seahorses are small and hard to photograph.  They are usually in dark tanks in aquariums.  I did get some good photos in Tampa and the Aquarium in Key West have decent light.  These creatures seem to be in groups and use there tails to cling to plants.  they move with a fin along there back.