Thursday, December 30, 2010


Cold today but the sun came out for a moment. Hope everyone's holidays are going well :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

playing with string

I had a sudden whim (prompted by a gift request) to see if I could learn juuuust enough crochet to make a cute creature. Here's what I made - it's one of those learn-as-you-go projects since I hate making practice sketches/stitches/swatches. I'd rather just try it and see what happens - which is why any experienced crocheters out there will undoubtedly see tons of mistakes. It's nice to pick up a project that's low stress because I don't really mind mistakes if it turns out cute :)

The kitties have been also been playing with strings (see what I did there?).

Monday, December 13, 2010


Our tree is up and decorated, and I'm even pretty much done with xmas shopping (although the wrapping is way behind). I try to add a couple new things each year and this year it was pom-poms and sort of Scandinavian looking straw things. The heart above the fireplace is straw and I got a couple little garlands for the tree. The pom-poms are made with this brilliant little item and inexpensive yarn. Full disclosure: making them is very addictive.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

wintry things

I noticed a lot of pretty things stacking up in my favorites, so I thought it would be nice to put them all together. I don't know why these are so fun to make - must just be the eye candy factor.


Hey everyone -

Thanks for all the kind words I've gotten here and in my email. I really appreciate it.

I'm doing ok, I guess. It's very odd to go from being outside to do horse things several times a day and having my whole schedule for the day organized around feeding times and such to...nothing. I think I still expect to see her when I catch myself looking out the window. I know things will get easier in time.

We had a nice Thanksgiving at home by ourselves. The weather was pretty wild around here that week (you may have seen the footage of the bus sliding sideways down a steep Seattle street). So we made some food and relaxed and it was very peaceful.

Hope you're all doing well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


We had to put Boo to sleep on Sunday. She colicked again and this time she needed surgery...unfortunately the section of intestine that would have needed to be removed and reattached would have given her a low survival rate and a terribly painful recovery so we thought it was better not to put her through that. I know she was fine up until it happened and we got her to the vet hospital really fast, so she didn't have to suffer for long and this type of colic hits very suddenly. For anyone who has an old horse, I had never heard of old horses having tumors on their intestines until this June when she colicked the first time. They're benign but they tend to block things up and cause colic. So that was almost certainly why she colicked the first time, according to the vets. Probably more detail than anyone wanted to know...

Anyway, I won't be online much and I guess I like to know about other blog-friends' animals so I wanted to let you guys know what happened. Hug your kids (human kids and animal kids) and tell them you love them. I did every day, and I know she was happy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A little branching out

8x10" watercolor, gouache, and graphite on Stonehenge.

I wanted to try putting down a watercolor wash before I added the gouache to this piece and I think I like how it turned out. It gives the various opacities of the different areas of gouache a different effect. I'm trying to incorporate more brush-y, wash-y, scribbly looking areas in these drawings to loosen them up a bit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October sunshine

One of my projects last week (in between medications and wrapping a hoof and such) was to take some pictures of my pieces framed. Last week was still pretty nice out and sunny, so I wanted to make the most of it. Lucky I did, too, because over the weekend the weather changed and it's rainy and windy and miserable out today.

Anyway, here's what I came up with. It's kind of fun setting up little vignettes out of things that are sitting around the house. The main problem is keeping the kitties from wanting to strut their stuff for the camera and invade all the photos :) I guess that's my fault for setting up in the middle of a warm cozy sunbeam.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretending to be a photographer

While Boo's foot is healing, she's wearing a wrap/duct tape boot. It works pretty well but it isn't perfect, so even though I'm making a fresh one for her every day I go out and check on it frequently to make sure it isn't sliding off. So I'm getting lots of chances to take cute pictures with my phone.

I'm not a great photographer but I really like how these turn out. I think I'm definitely getting my $2 worth out of this app :)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Nothing to show you from the studio - my mare has been having some trouble with a mystery lameness. I can tell you all about nursing an unhappy foot but I somehow doubt that anyone wants to hear the unpleasant details :) Let's just say that it's time consuming and kind of exhausting because we're still not sure what's actually going on.

In other news, as you can see from the photo I've been messing around with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. I want to use it a lot because I'm usually too cheap to buy a silly camera effect app that I don't need.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


11x14" graphite and gouache on Fabriano hot press.

I used a pair of scissors that were my grandma's as the reference for this drawing. They're very old and not at all sharp - I should probably try to get them sharpened as I don't have any other scissors this small. I think they work ok as a model, even if they can't do any actual cutting :)

While I was working on this last night I had an idea to try to incorporate some brushier, more expressive watercolor areas into this kind of thing. It was too late to try it yesterday but I'm trying to work out how I want to do it and I think I'll give it a shot on the next piece. Maybe a small one, just to see if it works.

I'm always intimidated by the thought of ruining a big piece of nice paper, so working small lets me worry less. It's taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel like I can dive straight in and start drawing on a nice sheet of paper.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Still experimenting with paper size - this one is 8x10". It feels like it's easier to work with a smaller sheet when it's a less complicated subject.

I was mixing colors to see what I liked and this green is indigo and olive green in W&N gouache. I didn't think this is what I would get but I liked it :) Clearly I need to just sit down with all my gouache colors and mix up a sample sheet. I haven't gotten that many colors so far (even with all these gouache projects) so it wouldn't even take that long...but it feels like work. Maybe some other time :P

Friday, October 1, 2010


A cute kitty picture on the internet! What a surprise!

I felt like I should share this one because I've been trying for weeks to get a picture of my kitty with her paws up in the air. She only does this last thing at night and I either didn't have a camera handy or if I did, she never rolled over. That's kitties for you :P

I've got houseguests this weekend...back in the studio next week. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to drawing

I got in a drawing mood after playing around with abstract painting and collaging lately. These two are graphite and gouache - the top one is 11x14" and the bottom is 9x12". I thought reducing the size of the paper would make it easier for me to fill in the composition when there's just one hand that I'm drawing and it seems like it worked out ok.

One of my challenges with these pieces is figuring out what exactly I want to show and what is unnecessary and can be left out. So I try to think of that when I'm putting together my reference photos or I end up wanting to put too much in. Even cropping down the image so it's showing only the bit I want to draw helps me simplify. Most of these drawings are a sort of composite of multiple images and the hands are usually pictures I've taken for reference. Not that it probably makes that much difference but I thought maybe other artists who work from images would find it interesting :)

Friday, September 17, 2010


Three little collages this week - the first two are 5x7" and the last one is 8x10". I had an idea to put some kind of texture in the background of a collage, so I did some watercolor washes with a big flat brush. It's one of my grandma's watercolor brushes so I feel like it fits with my themes even though all you can see on the paper is an abstract wash :)

It's good to use the things I inherited from her - makes me remember her but not in a sad way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm not ready for fall

Ok, I know that everybody seems to be delighted that fall is almost at hand...I keep seeing blog posts about scarves and leaves and hot chocolate. To fall I say "meh." I am not ready to let go of summer yet.

I'm still getting used to the idea that I live in a place where it rains a lot. Like really a lot. This year we had an unusually warm January - 50 degrees and rainy. And that is warm, for January. Here's the problem: it was also 50 degrees and rainy for the entire month of June. And it's been hot in spells but not for long. And now we appear to be skipping straight to October.

That horse you see up there? She does not go out in the rain. At all. She will throw an absolute fit if she gets wet while we're out. And I'm not ready to stop riding for the winter yet.

Enough grumbling. I haven't been in the studio much lately - more working on knitting and sewing projects that I can pick away at a little at a time. I keep forgetting to get pictures but I'll get around to it soon, I hope.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

brushy brush brush

Two square oil paintings - small one is 6x6" and the larger one is 10x10".

I can't remember what I used to mix the greeny blue on the other pair of these that I did. I don't think this was it but I already mailed them off to their new owner so I can't confirm :) I need to get in the habit of noting some of the color mixes I use when I'm doing oils because I have just enough random tubes of color to be confusing. I used to make little swatches on canvas paper and stick them into a sketch book with a note about the colors I used. I should get back in the habit of doing that when I get something I'm especially happy with.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cut and paste

A couple collages today. I printed out the pink scanned images a while back and hadn't got around to actually putting anything together. The weather has been sunny and hot until yesterday so I thought I would go in the studio for a change :)

I like mixing it up a bit and incorporating that certain vintage magazine pink. I like the blues and greens and all, but I need variety, too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garden update

Apparently the people are demanding a look at my garden this year...well, one person, anyway :) Here's a peep at the flowers for you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer evenings

We've had some gorgeous summer weather around here lately. There's been a few fires around - nothing close enough that we could even smell smoke but enough to give the sun an orange tint and make some crazy sunsets. So here's a summer evening treasury that was just the thing for me to do last night when I was feeling too lazy to knit :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Miss Boo's summer so far

This summer hasn't been our best, I guess. Here's my poor baby horse at the vet hospital on June 30th. She colicked and we had to get her to the hospital at 2 in the morning. She pulled through just fine and didn't need surgery, fortunately. She's 27 this year so things like this can be pretty serious.

I'm bringing this up even though she's feeling good again to explain where I've been lately :) After my June-of-the-migraines, I'm doing better and one of the things that made me miserable while Boo was at the hospital was wishing we could have gone out more this summer. I was worried that she would either come home after surgery and need weeks and months of recuperating or she wouldn't come home at all.

So I'm doing my best during the nice weather to make up for all that riding and exploring we didn't get to do before she colicked. She loves going out on the trail and meeting people, watching other horses, and sniffing any dogs we happen to meet. We even went out on the trail with my neighbor and her horse on Friday and Boo (who hasn't been ridden out with another horse in years) did great. She made the stink-face when he got too close but she was good.

I'm taking advantage of the sunshine to be outside as much as possible because I figured I can paint when it's raining. I'm sure there will be plenty of rainy days as we get closer to fall :P

How's your summer going?