Back to life drawing

This was the last drawing of the evening, and we actually had twenty-five minutes to work on it. It is great to have and know you have a time limit, as it helps you consider how much can I get done in this amount of time. In a life drawing session, there is not teacher and no input from other students. You can take the medium of your choice and try to draw what you see. It is challenging and a learning experience. I have fairly good drawings and some not so good drawings.

With this drawing, the model asked to see what I had done, and asked to take a photo of it. I have drawn this model before and she now always asks to see my work. I consider this an honor, as she did not ask to see any other work in the class.

I’ve drawn her in the past, and this was before the recent portraiture class I just took. This was a twenty minute sketch where I think I captured her essence, but the proportions are off. Her eyes kind of moved a bit off too! I just left it as it was, as it looks a bit abstract.

Life drawing sessions are good for improving a quicker drawing, and fun to have the camaraderie of different artists. It is fun to see the variety of styles and levels of expertise. I hope to do more in the future. Join my blog and hopefully we will see improvement together.

Back to life drawing

Happy Chinese New Years!

Watercolor is usually not my medium, but since there is a small class nearby once a week I thought I would give it a try. Watercolor works the exact opposite as painting in oil. Light to dark versus dark to light. The photo below is an oil painting that I did of a similar image about two years ago. Same idea, but two very different looks. I’m not sure which one I like working in better.

I’ve been doing a lot of pen and ink drawings with a watercolor wash of the houses in my neighborhood and I like the effect of the combination. Structure or no structure?

Happy Chinese New Years!

My Little Cottage (not by the sea)

Life brings you joy, happiness, challenges, changes and a long list of other things. This last year I sold my beach house, got a divorce and could only afford a small older cottage. It is amazing how well we all can adopt.

So begins a new story in my life in a small waterfront town in Washington half a year, and in California the other half. The little house has literally nothing in the yard, but brush that people left for years under the trees. My gardener from my last house took out two full dump trucks full of yard waste and etc. I have spent a lot of time putting down beauty bark, and will slowly plant the garden. (not today) Friends have been generous with gleanings from their gardens, so I know in the long run it will be lovely and carefree! (In appearance, not maintenance)

The entire little house has been painted the brightest white available, and I would love to replace doors, trim and cabinets, but that is not in the budget at the moment. I cheated on the drawing, as the house is actually yellow, not my favorite color! So hopefully next summer we can paint it a nice dark gray.

Every day is a new and mostly fun challenge. Today I discovered who ever lived here waxed the ceramic tile floor. It was already kind of an ugly light pink, but it never looked clean. Today Clorox and a brush on my knees, and a metal scraper, helped it look a tiny bit better.

I serendipitously came to see my first love from college again about a year ago. His late wife was a sorority sister, a beautiful and smart woman whose Celebration of Life I attended. It was wonderful to see they had a wonderful life together. I guess I had always wondered how his life had gone. It was a beautiful celebration and I was so happy to know he had a good life and two wonderful children. It was amazing to reconnect with so many of my AX sorority sisters from fifty years ago.

Over time Reed & I talked and discovered, both being widowed there was still some magic in life. We are having a amazing time getting to know each other in our seventies. You never know what will happen in life.

With the wildfires and COVET 19 life is not simple for anyone. The air quality was so bad in Washington when I wrote this, I was not sure if it is even a good idea to go to my garage to paint. We are having strange times. I feel lucky to be sharing it with someone so positive, loving and laughing.

My Little Cottage (not by the sea)

Love sketching

I was in Vacaville, California when the pandemic began and it was a time, when the big excitement of the day was going for a drive or sitting on the front porch having a glass of wine. I don’t sit still well, so got some pens and started sketching the neighborhood. My oil paints were still in Washington, so could not paint. (Won’t do that again). Here are some of the in house and neighborhood sketches done at that time.

I started with simple sketches around the house.

Beautiful roses in a vase. Probably should have added color. (Oh well)

Drew the house on the corner.

And the house across the street.

Then added color to the house on the corner across the street.

Another house right across the street

And added color

Drew a tree rose in the front garden

Drove back to Bainbridge where I drew my girlfriend’s flower pot. I moved to my little Port Ludlow Cottage and spent the next couple of months trying to organize and move in to the house.

My friend and I were out and about and stopped in Port Gamble in a newly opened wine bar for a glass and a charcuterie plate and I like the house so I took a photo on the way out and drew the house below. I had an extra frame, so I framed the house and dropped by as a gift to the owners.

Once in a while it is just fun to do a nice and unexpected gift!

Love sketching

Commission Artwork

Tara's House

One of friends that sells real estate asked me to do this for home she is selling.  I had such fun doing this today.  It was challenging, as the photo from the MLS was very small, but I think it turned out well.  I used water color pencils to give the orange a little punch.  Let me know if I can do one for you or one of your clients.


Commission Artwork

Housewarming Gift

Staci's House

Happy Housewarming to a good friend of mine and former interior design student.  Snuck by a couple days ago to take photos of this adorable house in downtown Poulsbo. For every house I list or sell I will do a drawing for the owners, as a memory for selling and a fun drawing for buying (with cards to share with family & friend).  Hopefully you will be seeing a lot more of them here.  I did not sell or list this house, but thought this might make a nice housewarming gift for a very special person.

Happy to do one of your house if you would like.

Housewarming Gift

Trains and Things in Edmonds, Washington

Red TrainOn August 20th I have an art show at “Interiors of Edmonds”, so am trying to come up with more drawings that make you think of Edmonds.  I seem to always be waiting for the train to pass in front of the ferry in Edmonds, so a train seems appropriate.  Maybe I should do one of the Sounder for those that use it to commute.

Edmonds White house

This house is one of the oldest in Edmonds.  Seems so new after you travel overseas and see temples in China, ruins in Italy and quaint villages hundreds of year old.  Send ideas if you have any of anything else to draw representing Edmonds.

Trains and Things in Edmonds, Washington

Walker Ames Historical House in Port Gamble, Washington

Walker Ames House BW
 Walker Ames ColorThis beautiful Victorian home in Port Gamble, Washington is stately and beautifully designed.  It has not been used as a residence in many years.  In 2008 a group interested in paranormal activity came and definitely felt the presence of “ghosts” in the house.  Built in 1888 it was the home for William Walker, master mechanic,and his wife Emma, daughter Maude, and son-in-law Edwin Ames. The house was close to the mill so Walker was nearby in case of emergencies. Ames was the resident manager from 1883-194 and then general manager until 1931.

This is the rear of the house. It faced the waterfront to welcome ships and captains.

When I was teaching Interior Design at The Art Institute of Seattle, I had the good fortune to teach a class called Adaptive Reuse.  My students had the choice of redesigning this or another structure.  It was wonderful to see this elegant home come to life as a Wine Bar, a Bed & Breakfast, a Wedding site and several creative venues.  It is too bad that zoning makes most of that impossible and for the most part the building sits empty and sad.


Here is a photo of the house in it’s 1888 glory time.  There are no color photos from that time for obvious reasons.  I love to draw historical houses and places and you will see more of these in the future.

My drawings are available for purchase at Liberty Bay Gallery in Poulsbo, or from me.

Walker Ames Historical House in Port Gamble, Washington

Shining Through

Shining Through

Imagine the sun slipping through the gray clouds with a little glimmer of gold on the roof tops.

It is fun to try different things.

When I was in the same painting class/group for twelve years, the lead painter/instructor was always telling me what I could do and what I should not do. Now that I no longer go to that painting session, I feel the freedom of feeling good about trying a lot of different things without someone trying to put a stop to my experimentation.

I realized when I left the class and walked by this persons new studio/gallery that all the paintings looked alike and that mine were mini replicas of the artists work.

At that moment in time, walking with my youngest son, who pointed out the same thing I realized I could make my own educated choices about what worked and what did not work (for me)

For an artist it is important to sell your work so you can sort of make a living, but it is also even more important to feel good about what you are doing.

In my other painting experience I was doing a lot of traveling and bringing in enlarged photos, which I shared with everyone in the group. Later I thought about it and it devalued what I was doing, for there would be four or five paintings of the same scenario, that photo I shared with the group.

Sometimes it takes doing and looking back later to realize you learned all you could from that situation and it is time to look forward.

If you look closely at this painting, there is gold leaf attached to the oil paint, and if you look even closer you will see more drawing on the clouds. I love sketching and this painting combines those two loves.

Hope you like it.