Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nancy Salmon's Garden

What a treat!  This was my kind of creative gardening, a beautiful house, and art in the garden.  Nancy is a delight, has 3 gorgeous Bernese Mountain dogs, collects recycled items and incorporates them into her large garden.  She is lucky to have her own well too as the sprinkler was merrily watering the whole time we were there.  Down here in Langley, we pay big bills, even on a small lot.  I'm jealous!
Deb and I arrived a day early, thanks to Mary and Nancy.  I'm monitoring a class starting tomorrow and she had a Dr's appt five minutes away today, so we asked about sketching Thursday.
The front of the house caught my eye with the symbol of the salmon and the colorful orange umbrella.  Later, I slipped around the side of the house and drew the back of the "Outhouse".  It has a gothic window frame that really dresses it up!  Our sketchers group will have fun tomorrow!!!

Clever garden outhouse (back)

Mary in the front garden, Salmon on the chimney.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Singing in the Garden

I wasn't singing in the garden, but I did hum along. The group Triptych was performing at Lavender Wind Farm in Coupeville.  My artist friend, Claudia Mitchell invited Ted and me to come enjoy the afternoon and hear her sing.
Triptych is an instrumental group led by trombonist John Leeser; they play songs from the Big Band era. Eileen Soskin on piano and bassist John Hughs rounded out the group. Claudia Mitchell fit right into the group.  She has a beautiful, classically trained voice.  We loved being there!
I knew my husband would enjoy this music and he stepped right up for an afternoon relaxing outside.

Instead of a Lavender Festival, Sarah has been promoting concerts in the garden surrounded by the beautiful blooming lavender.

Thank you, Sarah!  If I had been smart enough to read your wonderful website, I would have seen you had sandwiches for sale and we could have avoided Bubba burger.  Nothing against Bubba dogs, but an Italian Submarine sandwich does sound really yummy!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Al Anderson house

July 30, 2017, almost ready! Back door entry.

June 7, 2015, under repair! Side view from Langley cemetery.
It's been a couple of years since they started remodeling this historic old farmhouse. I painted the 2015 sketch while sitting in the nearby cemetery.

My dog and I watch the changes happening while walking in the morning. The early morning light makes the old trees have dramatic shadows on the grass in the Spring; the late afternoon light puts a spotlight on the new green house color.   Amazingly, the front door faces North and is small and unattractive and I never noticed because it faces the Pea Patch and flower gardens, which grew up years after the house was built.
There are many apple trees on the property and three cows that love apples.  My idea of fun is to collect apples in the Fall and bring them to feed the cows.  It takes getting over being squeamish to put it directly in their mouth!  They have very long black tongues!

This house will become a vrbo, for rent.  The upgrades in the kitchen are modern but look compatible with the rest of the house.  It is cozy, sunny, and reminiscent of the era in which it was built; whoever stays there will enjoy the atmosphere and the neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Business cards

I love square moo cards, a painting on the front and information on the back!  Here are two of 10 different images.

But, let's get real, they go out the door fast!  A more realistic approach was needed so I used a colorful image of a painting I gave to my daughter as a house warming gift, and after cropping, it ended up as a squarish image on a vertical card with a pyramid of contact information below.
The original is 5x7; you would see more of the top and bottom.

This card was made at Vistaprint.  I hope that they are snappy enough to catch your eye in my cardholder at Whidbey Art Gallery.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


There was a chill in the air last week, so we met at Paula's and sketched forgeries.
A book on Modigliani immediately caught my attention.  I love the direct gaze of the sitter and the color blocking in the background.  The hands show she really is a "woman of the people", they are large and work-worn compared to her beautifully shaped head and organized hair style.  Her scarf or ribbon around her neck seem to be a desire to look pretty, yet the shawl sets the tone and makes the composition strong.  Even the pictures on the wall add interest bringing your eye up and around; then the block of color by her hip direct you down to the hands.  
He didn't need to define the eyes, it was all in the shapes, even the eyes were just shapes!  
I started this forgery from the cover of the book and then took the time to look inside and discover the hands.  With that discovery, she went from a beautiful young woman to a person with a laborious job.  I wonder how she aged?

Full portrait found inside the book

From the cover of Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse,
this is titled, Young Woman of the People
 This is Rebecca sitting sketching in the sunshine on Judith's porch.  It was a bright beautiful afternoon, so I made the lighting delicate.
A bright light filled afternoon on Judith's porch.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I just read the post before last.  It said I would post some oils.  Oops!  Here is one, more coming!

Spring is finally here!

We have started sketching outside, mostly!  In the case of Sue's home it was a bit too windy and cold to actually be out there except briefly, but we enjoyed the view, bright colors and wonderful art on the wall.  We also enjoyed Phyllis's company one more time before she moves to Mexico with Robert.

Spring beckoned me to visit my daughter in Westport.  I drove down the 101 from Pt Townsend and enjoyed all the beautiful views.  The beach was wonderful this morning!

The Cameron Rd.  Fire Station in Freeland was one of the first days most of us sat outside.  Even our old member Mike showed up to sketch the station!

Old store in Bow WA.  It was cold outside, but we did it!

Fire Station - see Mike?

View from Natalie's living room of the valley off Shore Meadow Rd.

Washington's tallest lighthouse

I love imagining what these "girls" were giggling out from the last century.  If you look you can see a figure I forgot to paint up in the tree!

Holding Pond one block from the beach in Westport WA.

The slough, Bow Wa

View of the inside and outside at Sue's.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

True Confessions

True confession from a paralyzed mind, and a getting chubbier body.  Has life since Elections and January 20th taken you, shaken you, left you wondering what the hey?  It has me!
Without going into too many details, except to say I live on Whidbey Island in Western Washington, you might get the picture.  I have marched in my little 1000 person town with 1200 marchers, men, and women, (where did they all come from?), read numerous Newspapers, FB, TV stations.
Our current Resident in chief at the White House leaves me wondering; then, like a murder mystery, I stay hooked, wondering even more what the outcome will be.
Some of my friends and family are supporters of the Resident and I almost wish he would live up to their expectations, but he is no Harry Potter with a magic wand and I bet he wishes he had an invisible cape!
I'm actually reading Catherine the Great and loving it, but it is looong.  I yearn for a good whodunnit that doesn't involve politics, just to relax my mind.
So, even though I haven't been posting, I have occasionally sketched and hid in my studio painting.  I've also traveled to Santa Fe for a beloved nephew's wedding, had my gallbladder removed six months after receiving a pacemaker.  Not to worry, I am getting back up to speed, increasing the dog walks and dream of finding a chair yoga class.
Following this true confession, you will find some results with descriptions of when and where below the photo.  Next time, I'll post some oils.
Kachina dolls mounted on a wall at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe NM

More Kachinas!  Yes, I did go to the wonderful Georgia O Keefe museum!

It was so cold, sketching outside was out of the question.

It's whale season on Whidbey.  This is a replica in our fantastic whale museum in Langley.

Whale museum Walrus skull!

Welcome to Blueschool Art center, Clinton WA

The outside of the charming Blueschool!  Rainy day, but still sweet looking with the wipers swishing away.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Colorful night countertop

Or, decoration by Ted!  While cleaning up, my husband washed and left many items on the countertop to dry.  I thought it was so colorful it had to become a sketch.  I liked the way the red towel picks up the other reds that are a part of our color accents.
Left side of sink

Right side of sink

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scotland continued

Where did the month go?  I've been trying to read more of Kate Tristram's book "The Story of Holy Island". Seems like November and December obligations have interfered.
If you want to learn more about the subjects and places here are two more titles to read.
"In search of Bede" by Simon Webb;
"Around a Thin Place" an Iona pilgrimage guide by Jane Bentley & Neil Paynter.
The topic is interesting, however my type of reading is more escapist.  We just found a program on PBS call "Sacred Places of England" and last night it was about the connection between Iona, Lindisfarne, Durham Cathedral and the Benedictine Priories.  It covers several centuries, Seventh thru to Henry VIII; the scenery is beautiful and story interesting, showing how Christianity arrived in England.

Green and more green, somehow it took gouache and watercolor to
get the right combination for these two sketches.

Facing the sun 

The quiet room window in Iona Abbey.  I sat facing this window on a bench
 and viewed this window and then turned and sketched the window by the altar from a distance.
 It was peaceful and slightly warmer than outside where the wind and rain were blowing off the sea.

This is just a step down from the altar.  The musicians use this space.

From a photograph, so much brighter colors and cleaner shapes because it was outside.
This was taken the day we arrived while we meandered around the Abbey grounds.
 (we hadn't received our entrance ticket yet)

The most disappointing thing about Durham Cathedral was a ban on taking photos
 and the lack of time to sit and record all the wonderful art in this incredible space.
I took a break from standing when I got to the Treasure House. An empty chair and dramatic
 lighting on the cross said break time.

A small replica of Columba's Coracle sits in the window to the left of the Altar.
There was beautiful light coming through this window, even though the day was so cold, windy and rainy.

Note the figures on the beach, Ted and I hiked up thru the fissures on the right and
 came out in a beautiful cove farther away. 


A quick stop in Edinburgh for lunch and a run back up to the bus to do this quick sketch.
The views of the skyline in this country of old buildings made me want to sketch all day.

We loved the Kelvingrove Museum.  It was large and lively, filled with children
 visiting from school and other tourists like us.  We traveled here on a city tourist on, off bus,
visiting another museum of transportation that would make MOHAI look puny.  It had
whole trains,trolleys, boats, bikes, you name it.  This is another skyline view outside of
Kelvingrove Museum.

While listening to the history of St. Pauls church I sketched as fast as I could
to remember these amazing pews from the 1500's.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

United Kingdom

Picture these sketches zipped together and you have a perfect
vision of the Priory ruins just beyond the graves at
St. Marys church

The United Kingdom. A trip from Seattle/Glasgow to Lindisfarne (The Holy Island) UK, acrossScotland to the Argylls ending up at the Island of Iona.  

My husband and I went on a Pilgrimage this past September to explore the roots of Celtic Christianity, time period 700AD.  The Saints we learned about were humble men, monks, who gave up everything to live and teach Christianity.  These Monks cared for their parishioners, traveling miles by foot are still honored in Scotland, Northumberland, and by those who study this period of history prior to the Roman influence. 

My interest, of course, was to record what I saw in my sketches.  Along the way, I learned to admire, Aiden, Cuthbert, Hilde, Bede (early centuries) and in this century incredible story tellers like Kate Tristram, who wrote a book about the story of Holy Island and incredibly went back to the University in her 80's to study Gaelic and brush up on her Latin!  Lillian, also in her eighties, is a docent at Durham Cathedral, and has enlightened people like Sting and Princess Margaret.

Much of this early history would be lost if it weren't for Bede, a great scholar born around 672.  He was a teacher, a chronicler of history; wrote a book called Ecclesiatical History of the English people, the story of what happened before his birth.  He writes about the monk and bishop Cuthbert (he was fifteen when Cuthbert died).  He chronicled the history of Holy Island which includes Aiden, the first monk, and Cuthbert.

I am an artist not a writer.  The sketches that follow will have snippets of who, what, when &
where, not to mention how difficult it is to paint the color green!  Curses!
Beautiful ancient church on Lindisfarne,
the home of Aiden and Cuthbert.
The story will continue next week with travels to
Durham, Oban, and Iona.

2. Huge carved wood sculpture of Cuthbert's funeral.
A super size version of this called The Journey, is in the square in Durham England.
Cuthbert's remains took years to arrive at Durham because
 his casket was taken everywhere he preached so he could
 be honored by his parishioners.
1. Beach by the castle with a view of the Priory in the distance.

Nancy Salmon's Garden

What a treat!  This was my kind of creative gardening, a beautiful house, and art in the garden.  Nancy is a delight, has 3 gorgeous Bernes...