Watercolor Words and Wanderings

Whoop there it is….gearing up for the start of a new class season! We are offering a drop in class on Tuesday mornings and another 6 week session on Thursday nights starting earl October.

Another great day with my plein aire friends! The foreground got all weird on me but I think there is still some hope for this painting. I think I am starting a series of blue hills in the back ground paintings! Below is a session from a new friends back “yard”- nice spot!


Keeping this short this week- Peace- Bec


Watercolor Words and Wanderings

While listening to ” A Way With Words” they recommended a youth book called Pax. This book is written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Jon Klassen. What a sweet-scary-straight forward and yet somehow deep story. Take an afternoon and read this book and then consider passing it on to any young person’s parent that you know. I say give it to the parents because there are some tough scenes and I think parents need to decide if their child is ready for this book. Pax is about war and love and what it means to be a part of something bigger than self. Vola is one of the characters in the book and she makes marionettes. Here is a paragraph about her bringing the puppets to share with the folks in town.

A little girl with a fountain of beaded pigtails tugged on Vola’s overalls. She pointed to the elephant. ” How do you make him dance?” she demanded. Peter held his breath. But instead of lecturing the girl about figuring things out for herself, Vola crouched down to study the elephant. Peter noticed that the movement was smoother with the prosthesis. She had an ankle joint now-such a simple thing, to be able to flex. How much she had given up. “what makes you think he wants to dance?” Vola asked. ” red toenails, like mine.” The little girl wiggled her toes in her sandals. Then her hand drifted up to stroke the feathers as Vola’s neck.

What a visual picture Sarah Pennypacker paints! Huh!? I am going to check out her other books.

Painting was going along this week…this is the first painting after the class. I think this is Pidgeon’s Bay in Stueben Maine. This is actually 2 starts the one above had almost no development. I began to think OH- HO the curse is upon me! I have not painted this opaque in a long time…DSCN4260Then I went out to Schoodic point and had a better day. This a W.I.P. using no masking. I am ready to bump up the contrasts and see what happens! OH and BTW- I did NOT finish those others paintings as I thought I would- GRRR. I really need to get better at finishing my work. I know you have heard this all before! Maybe like a new toy- I cannot start a new one until I finish an old one!? That would probably kill me!


I like how this one is developing- I just want to key in the rocks in front and perhaps add a bit of texture to the water. This is a similar view as the painting below.( Which I did during the workshop with Carol Douglas. )

Then the next day I went back to Blueberry Hill…had a good day. I met another watercolor artist from Connecticut. He says he actually makes a living selling his paintings. I need to check out his site. The fog rolled in so fast- I was painting along and then I looked up and BOOM! I am so glad I was not out on the ocean when this fog bank came in- I would have been lost for sure! Also below is a picture of one of my walking buddies in Maine!



The next day was the eclipse…the light was weird during the eclipse and I think I hurt my eyes even with the special dark glasses. I swear Mom I was not staring at the eclipse! – I am just so sensitive. I should have known better. Anyway once I started looking at the eclipse I could not refocus on the painting process.

And some where in there I went to my new friend’s house in Prospect Harbor and started this painting. This is very much just a beginning…composition was hard and that is why I included the bushes and stuff in the foreground, but the lunch was excellent! ;)Time will tell on this one! That is Petit Manan Light House in the background.


Good week of starts! Until next week and I am NOT making any promises about finishing these! 🙂 Peace- Out- Bec

Watercolor Words and Wanderings


DSCN4179It’s about a painting. As I shared with you all last week, when this painting came up for critique everyone made such a fuss about it. The teacher said when she painted things that she was not super fond of they often where tellers of places she was heading with her work. That when she looked back on them in a year she had a whole new perspective on them. Folks thought this could be a flagship painting for me- that I should try to enter it into a competition or two. I have had this happen a few other times in different classes…where the class really made a big deal about my work and it has ALWAYS kind of jinxed me from painting anything even decent for months! I hope that does not happen again. I would get right back on the horse again but I get to teach a beginner class today. Tomorrow I am going to the park and paint and try to leave all those well-meaning compliments behind me. I need to figure this out because the same thing happens when I lose weight. The first time someone says “Wow! You look good.” I go home and eat a whole cake. Why the self-sabotage and why do other people’s opinions sway me like a feather in the wind? If I am that feather shouldn’t compliments blow me in a positive direction? I have never thought of myself as a push over and if you met me …I bet that is the last thing you would say about but me and yet…

I have been busy making tags4peace and by the time this blog comes out I will have had two selling opportunities. I will let you know how that goes!

Until next week- Peace Out- Bec


Watercolor Words and Wanderings

The watercolor workshop was AWESOME! I was dubious at first due to not receiving a syllabus/schedule and not having much communication just prior to class. I was determined to keep an open mind-especially since I signed up so last minute! Then I thought we were painting on Sunday afternoon but we did not start painting till Monday. Once we started painting we did not stop 8 to 5 every day with a short demo during our lunch. Our teacher, Carol Douglas, worked her petuttee off! Monday, she asked us to just begin so she could see where we were at. We painted at Blueberry Hill. My sunscreen failed on my face and I got a burn (darn it!). I spent the whole day on this one and got to where I get when I start to feel like I am wrecking it. I was working hard to paint those rocks! I have both “kinds” of Acadia rocks to paint here. The shelf kind in the mid ground and the pebbly kind in the fore ground.


Tuesday, it rained the morning and early afternoon. We hung out at the Schoodic Education and Research Center (S.E.R.C.) at their outside pavilion. It was cold-especially since I was sun burnt. Carol did an oil demo- I mostly checked out but watched on and off. I started this painting of what I think is a mountain ash.

Tuesday afternoon it cleared and we went to Frazier Point. Carol insisted we all start with a value sketch. I started this looking back toward Winter Harbor. A view I have painted many times. I am not quite done but hope to be for next week’s blog.

Tuesday night we tried to capture the moon rising over near the guard shack at S.E.R.C. overlooking Little Moose Island. This is another spot I paint often. The bugs were off the charts. The idea was to set up the painting before the light goes and then drop in what you need. I had no headlamp and was totally using my memory of my field kit to choose pigments.


Wednesday was a beautiful day and we went to the Mark’s Island side of the peninsula, where folks could paint a light house, if they wanted. I wanted to pick Carol’s brain about rocks so I looked inland toward Winter Harbor. We all I put the graduated wash down to the sky and used too much lemon yellow and fought the color throughout the whole painting. Carol really helped me united this painting with shadow purple. She did a demo about color theory and light that is still not clear to me. I am going to hunt this info done. Basically, if we determine that the light is cool then shadows will be warm and if the light is warm the shadows will be cool. YIKES warm shadows…she gave me a head ache. I think I get it because the way the eye absorbs the light you can only be left with warms or cools…I think… stay tuned on this. I am tempted to add another set of mountains to tone the sky down but I think I should stop. The yellow if weird but so am I! I am going to darken the water and plan to have this done by next week’s blog. I was overcome with gratitude and just had to let it out. I jumped up and yelled out “I love my life! I cannot believe I get to live this life!” I have been so happy lately…it has just been oozing out of me.

Thursday was ANOTHER stellar day. We painted out at the point and there was almost no wind which made it hot- we melted-and we all got some great work done! Below is my work. I am going to do a whole other blog about this painting. Suffice it to say I got to my usual stuck spot and thought “OK-I have already wrecked this, so I am just going to keep on…” Carol coached me to just keep connecting the shadow areas and not get to detached/choppy. We had a lobster cook out that night and after we did a group critique. The class just loved this one.

Friday, we went to Corea. Carol made friends with a person who allows her to teach there. We ate at Lunch on the Warf- the food was much better than it was the last time I went there. I will go back. I just wanted to do a simple painting about large blocks of color and value. I got way out there with this one- not sure if there is any coming back from this! I had fun and it was hard to say goodbye to everyone. Like the last day of camp…hoping you will stay in touch.

Until next week- Peace Out- Bec


Watercolor Words and Wanderings

I got all messed up on my blog posting dates…no pictures this blog. Sorry I missed you last week, I meant to have this all typed up. I got busy doing some volunteer work on the computer and that sucked up my time. So here is how the week shook out-Wednesday, we did nature weavings at the farm and it worked out well. Everyone who came made a wall hanging. In the afternoon, we hung out at the dog park in Newport, NH. This park is next to the Sugar River and it has a picnic bench under the trees, peaceful and relaxing. I worked on the “top secret project” design, while my friend worked on her own project. Thursday was a beautiful day and we went to a farm in Piermont to paint. I was all OVER the place. Here is the start and maybe the finish😊

Friday in class we talked about Matisse. We tried to paint a picture that covered the whole page and was like a jungle. Folks created tigers and flamingoes and all kinds of creatures based off Matisse’s work. It was a great day. I miss teaching that class when I am in Maine. I will post pictures as these are finished up.

I then went to Maine for a 5 days workshop. I will tell you about that in next weeks blog.

Peace Out- Bec

Watercolor Words and Wanderings

The heat of the summer is upon us in New Hampshire and I find my self (much like the dead of Winter) wanting to nap a lot! I have seen the signs of fall already- red leaves on the ground and birds gathering at the shore-yet I am still in denial. I find myself thinking I will have plenty of time to get outside and paint. Some of my fellow Odanaksis Plein Aire painters brave it in there cars for much of the winter! As much as I like to be outside I am not sure about this practice! I just finished watching an episode of Open Studio on WGBH and they had a piece on an artist named Craig Galentine. His take on Japanese wooden Kokeshi dolls is too good to miss! He has been honing his skills on these for five years. He said he typically paints right on the wood with little to no drawing. Here is his Etsy site https://www.etsy.com/shop/temple7e

I taught weaving at the farm on Wednesday, painted with the Plein Aire group on Thursday and taught watercolor on Friday. I worked on the turtle project from last week. I am also working on a surprise project, so I cannot talk about it, I will show it to you after the big reveal. Nothing earth shattering just mostly fun! I also took the leap and for my one big splurge this year I signed up for painting class at Schoodic for 5 days in a row. It costs more money than I make in a month but I just had the feeling it is the right thing to do. Trying to get connected to the folks in Maine and also this teacher has been teaching for 20 years…so I am sure my next post will be filled with painting from that class!

Below is the rather rocky start… and the work on the turtle gift…Until Next Week- Peace- Bec



Watercolor Words and Wanderings

I just finished reading Second Glance by Jodi Picoult. I think Jodi writes well. What I love about her books is that she usually takes a subject and dives in deep while making sure the lay person can get the gist. This book brings the eugenics occurring in Vermont in the 1920-1930’s crashing into today. She has in some cases taken direct quotes from historical documents that will make the bile rise. I found myself thinking-‘really someone actually wrote this down for all to read?’. Not only was it written down but some of these “great minds” got together and made decisions that have had long running ramifications. They were putting folks in prison, mental institutions and performing sterilizations to help save the “Vermont’s good quality stock”. If I am following Jodi’s lead correctly it looks like folks who had Abenaki blood were lumped into one of the blood lines that needed cleaning. How does this impact today? For decades folks who had Abenaki blood lines hide it to prevent these atrocities and who knows how many were sterilized  which would end their ability to build on the Abenaki family tree. How shall these folks “prove” they are a native people? These practices are part of why it has been so difficult for the Abenaki to gain access to their lands and culture and try to save their heritage.  Jodi Picoult did a good job opening my mind- I knew that people had done this but I had not thought deeply about the larger issues this creates. Then I got to thinking about how we are probably doing this today. People who consider themselves black are about 13% of our population. They are also 39% of the prisoners in our jails. ( according to prisonpolicy.org) I know there is a number of reasons we can site as to why this is the case and I bet the eugenics folks had a bunch of reasons too. Any way enough said….good read…thought provoking.

I did a bit of art this week…taught a private class with three of my favorite folks to hang out with. Below you can see I was teaching about how to apply a flat wash.( the yellow ochre at the top) and about negative painting (the darker blue  on the bottom). I worked on the Bradford NH church a bit and of course ran into perspective problems ;). I also started a new painting with our plein aire group but spent the whole time drawing before the rain came. In art class this week we used some adult coloring books as guides to make our art from. I started one as an example that is a thank you gift for a friend. I also went to the Lyme NH library to see the art show and it is really nice! The colors are so bright and spring like- get there if you can to see the art of  our Odanaksis painting group!


Until next week-

Peace Out-