Friday, June 29, 2012

Princess Crosses The Rainbow Bridge

Princess - 1 - 3 - 2012 - The last time she played with her favorite toy.
Yesterday I took Princess to the vet because she has been failing since February when she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. She has been on medication, but improvement has been minimal. She continued to lose weight and only about 50% of her days were good ones recently. After taking an x-ray and finding a mass in her abdomen, I made the very tough decision to have her put to sleep before her condition got worse. I just didn't want to see my precious kitty suffer. She was good the first two times they took her into the back, to get her weight and an x-ray, but when they took her in that last time, after I said my teary goodbyes, she screamed her lungs out.  I could hear her loud vocal cries of distress as I was filling out the final paper work at the front desk, behind a flood of tears. Do you think she knew what was coming?  She had been extremely affectionate to me at the vet's office, very vocal, rubbing on me and purring, the whole half hour or so that we waited in the exam room.

Princess has been somewhat of a celebrity here on the web. Here she is herding her deer.

Always ready for a brushing, a cuddle or a walk about, she was definitely MY CAT and only tolerated everyone else.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.

~ Author unknown

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Hydrangea Paintings in Watercolor

Here is my second set of hydrangea paintings from my personal challenge on

Hydrangea Painting #3

5.5 x 7.5" - transparent watercolor on Arches 140lb. C.P., matted to 8 x 10"
Painting #3 was done wet-in wet with minimal pencil guidelines. Here I totally wet both sides of the paper with clean water and used mostly a dry brush with plenty of pigment.

Hydrangea Painting #4 - Step-1

For painting #4, I wet the back of the paper throughly, then wet the background, carefully going around the flower and stem area. Wetting the back allows a longer workable half-wet period and allows the painting to dry flat without taping or stapling it to a board. You can see the nice edges of my painting in these two photos. I crease and tear my sheets to achieve this effect. This gives one the option of various mountings and mattings.

Hydrangea Painting #4 - Step-2

After step one was completely dry, I wet the back of the paper first then wet the leaves with clean water, carefully going up to the edges.

Hydrangea Painting #4

5.5 x 7.5" - transparent watercolor on Arches 140lb. C.P., matted to 8 x 10"

After step-2, and the paper was throughly dry, I dunked the whole sheet in water and let it get real wet. I took it out and placed it on cardboard so it would dry flat as I worked.

I'm thinking I want to go back on #4 and do some calligraphy and detailing like in the painting below. What do you think?

The Spirit of Summer
11 x 15" - transparent watercolor on Arches 140lb. C.P., matted to 16 x 20"

The comments on these challenge paintings have been most appreciated.
Thanks to those of you who took the time to comment or email. You are awesome!

As always, I'd love to hear your feedback.
Which one(s) do you like or dislike and why?

Thanks again for reading and have an inspired week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hydrangeas Four Ways

Last week, on, I posted two contour drawings I did of a couple of my favorite flowers, sunflowers and hydrangeas. For a personal challenge, I decided to do four watercolor paintings, from each drawing, in different techniques. Here are my first two hydrangea paintings.

Hydrangea Painting # 1
5.5 x 7.5" - transparent watercolor on Yupo paper, matted to 8 x 10"

Painting #1 is done on Yupo paper. I drew on the paper with black Prismacolor pencil first, then painted wet-into-wet on this nonabsorbent, slippery, synthetic surface.

Hydrangea Painting # 2

5.5 x 7.5" - transparent watercolor on Arches paper, matted to 8 x 10"

Painting #2 is done on 140 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper. I drew on the paper with black Prismacolor pencil first, wet both sides throughly and then painted wet-into-wet on this very absorbent, slightly textured, natural cotton fiber surface.

More paintings to come!

The comments on the sunflower paintings were very helpful and appreciated.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. You are awesome!

Before I do the next two paintings, I'd love to hear some feedback.
Which one(s) do you like or dislike and why?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Update from the Sandy Land Funny Farm

All the plants Jerry has bought are doing well by the studio entrance. I love the baskets from Steve and his wife, at the Green Thumb Market. They mix in so many different flower varieties in their hanging baskets. There's always a surprise or two in each planter. Poor Princess (on the step), is not doing well. She is 17 now and has been on transdermal medication for hyperthyroidism since February. I will take her back to the vet as soon as I am able. 

My little herb planter by the kitchen entrance needs some trimming. It has basil, cilantro, parsley and chives. I think we have about a dozen hummingbird feeders up now. The action is nonstop and we are going through a gallon and a half of nectar a day.

Jerry has been busy with his "creating" and has welded up some new animals, wind chimes, bird feeder hooks and plant stands. Boy, I really lucked out being married to such an energetic handy man!

In addition to two large hanging Cherry Tomato baskets, Farmer Jer's got three big tomato plants. He had to move them up on the deck after our momma groundhog, Chuckita, started munching on one. I hope they're the Big Boy variety. The deer demolished his big garden and I think he's given up on it.

The whole horse routine is down to a system. They hardly pay any attention to me when I make an appearance in the barn, although I have fed them lunch a couple of times when Jerry couldn't make it home.

My Paint, Rembrandt (Rudy) has been doing real well. They had their shots earlier this month and I had some blood work done on the old guy (32) and everything came back really well! Woo Hoo! The weather has been real nice and cool here and he's been pretty darn frisky. He doesn't do well in the heat and the National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning for Wednesday June, 2oth (also the summer solstice and the official first day of summer) into Thursday. They said;"MAKE SURE YOUR PETS HAVE PLENTY OF COOL WATER & ARE KEPT IN A COOL.WELL VENTILATED AREA. THE MOST HUMANE THING TO DO IS TO BRING THEM INDOORS WITH YOU."  Oh, Rudy and Rita would just love that!

Tigger spends most of the days sleeping and watching the hummingbirds from the screened in porch. Sometimes he stays up all night playing with his balls.

We put them back into his basket and few times a week, we wake up to his art. All four balls in a row, evenly spaced, like this photo taken today.

Since some of you have been asking, I went to the surgeon's office on June 12th and had these x-rays taken. They said everything looks good, come back in a month. The foot is stiff, swollen and still bothers me, especially at night.

It has been about eleven weeks since my accident on April fool's day. Along with going to physical therapy twice a week, I also ride my stationary bike and do my exercises at home everyday. Soon I can start driving! YAY! I haven't driven in almost three months. I am walking with a cane when I go out of the yard. When inside, I hardly use it. I am trying to go slow, which is hard. I'm learning patience. They said it will take about six months for a full recovery. The days still go whizzing by though, so I know it will be here before I know it.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."  ~ John Quincy Adams
Besides sketching everyday and painting, I've been videoing and photographing the groundhogs and hummingbirds! What fun! I'll be sharing some of that stuff here soon! Hope your summer is going great! Thanks to all of you for your comments, caring thoughts and healing energy!

There is no season such delight can bring
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring.
~ William Browne ~

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Two More Sunflowers in Watercolor

I just finished my personal sunflower challenge. Here are two more paintings, done from a contour drawing. All are using the same drawing and medium, but with each, I am employing different techniques.

Painting #3 -
The third painting in this series was done on Yupo paper.
I haven't used it in a very long time. If you paint with a water
based medium and have never tried it, you should give it a shot!
It is fun, challenging and surprising!

Painting #4 - 

The final painting is executed in my usual approach,
wet into wet in two steps.

Which one(s) do you like or dislike and why?
As always, your feedback is eagerly awaited.

Thank you friends!
Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunflowers -Four Ways

On my SketchingEveryday blog, I just posted two contour drawings I did of a couple of my favorite flowers, sunflowers and hydrangea.

I decided to do four watercolor paintings, from the same drawing, in different techniques.

Painting #1 -

The first sunflower is done with transparent watercolor over a drawing done in black Prismacolor pencil.

Painting #2 -

This second painting was done directly on damp paper with no preliminary pencil sketch.

More paintings to come!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Keep Moving BEAR!

I've been obsessed with bears since there's been several sightings in this area last week. I've been drawing them the past few days for my Summer Sketching Series and today I did this painting. I did it from a blurry shot of one of the actual bears someone had in their backyard. His gesture in the photo made me feel sorry for him. He must hear the words; "Keep moving, bear!", all too often. To me, he looked scared and lonely. The reference for the facial features came from a public domain photo on Wikipedia that I posted on my sketching blog. This bear painting didn't come out how I had planned or hoped. It is what it is, though. There's always next time and another chance to get it right. If you've got any suggestions for my next attempt, I'd be grateful for your input. Check out today's bear drawings on

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rescue a Cat or Two

 And It's Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

Each spring, thousands of kittens flood into the already overloaded shelters throughout our country. Litters of cute cuddly, newborn kittens join the millions of older cats desperately in need of a loving, forever home. Petfinder is a great place to start to find individual fur babies that are looking for a family to call their own in your area. Donations, foster parents and shelter volunteers are needed now more than ever.  You can make a difference! Please pass this post on and find out more about how you can help to place the many lovable felines in need. 

Rescues, Fosters and Shelters - I would like to donate artwork to help raise funds for this cause.
Contact me at: if you are interested.