Friday, December 9, 2016

Watercolors during a snowstorm

In the last two days we had a snow storm hit Portland metro. The snow was accompanied by freezing rain which made roads impassable. The school was cancelled and the kids took off to the streets to slide around with glee. 
Here are three pictures from these last two days- starting with snow berries and ending with a hope that the snow melts soon. 

All of them are in my on-line gallery here: 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lotus Leaves

I'm back to playing with watercolor. Out of all mediums, it is the most portable one, other than pencil/pen drawing. I have two to post today- a painting of the lotus leaves at the Chinese Garden in Portland and a quick sketch of the countryside from this past weekend. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A creek in the fall

On a sunny day I went for a walk in a late afternoon and noticed this scene. The sun was dropping, but the last rays created a beautiful warm glow on the grass and weeds growing on the edges of the creek. I started with a simple block in, trying to be mindful of the atmospheric  effects to keep the background recede into the distance.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Strawberry Island

My friend Andra took this picture on Strawbery Island, on the Columbia River. Oil, 8x8

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Japanese maple in watercolor

Today I decided to do another rendition of the Japanese maple, now in watercolor. The maple is probably one of the most fotographed trees in Portland, Oregon- it is old and beautifully trimmed. The maple grows above a pond with green water and fish. I think it is one of the most beautiful sights to see in the fall. 
9x12, watercolor

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Grapevines in the fall

We decided to spend the rainy weekend at the beach. The beach is about 1.5-2 hrs away from Portland. On the way, we stopped at a winery to take pictures of grapevines in the fall, with yellow leaves. The sun picked out of the clouds and the vines started glowing. I was trying to paint the sunlight hitting the yellow leaves. 
Oil, 9x12,

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Blueberry farm in the fall

I was driving through farm land today on my way to tennis. We have had many days of rain, but today was cloudy and dry. One of the farms had a large blueberry field. The bushes are turning fiery red this time of year. It was simply breathtaking! I had to pull over and capture the beauty. 
Oil, 8x10

Saturday, October 22, 2016


I went with my friend to one of the wineries in Dundee,OR today. The winery is fairly new called "Purple hands". We tasted some wine and enjoyed ourselves.

The grapevines are turning deep yellow. I really enjoyed the back lighting on the vines. Here is my attempt to represent the beauty of the moment:

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I felt like painting something peaceful. What could be more peaceful that a beautiful lily in a pond? I used splattering and negative painting to get the flower to pop and to define the leaves.

 You can really tell how cascade green watercolor gets turquoise highlights once it dries. I love that green - by Daniel Smith, just a lovely paint!

Watercolor, /lotus-flower/517092

Watercolor sketches: a cat and a parrot

I received the duochrome watercolors by Daniel Smith and can't seem to want to stop playing with them.  DS is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. I love the sparkles! Here are recent paintings- the second one Is a close up, trying to show the sparkles. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New paints

For my birthday I got some watercolors that looked fun- by Daniel Smith. The colors included moonglow, duo chrome Cabo, undersea green, cascade green and saguaro green. These are like candy- the colors sparkle and change. These would not be my basic colors, but new colors make painting so much fun!  Cascade green goes on as a boring green, but when it dries out, it gets flecks of turquoise; saguaro green has specks of gold and bronze.  I painted a cat with green eyes, so I could play with all three green paints.

Watercolor, 6x8


I saw these boats in the Cinque Terra area, in Monorolo. They were real, working boats, made out of shiny wood. After visiting the village we kept walking on the trail that connects these small Italian villages. The trail is not challenging and the views from it are spectacular. 

The light and the color of the Mediterranean  are gorgeous! I keep painting  that water- I love the sea color! 
This picture is large- 16x20, oil.

Click here if interested:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Swimming in the lights

A small oil of two women swimming very early in a day. During one of our last days on the coast of Spain we went swimming early in the morning. The beach was deserted except for the two women that were slowly walking into the water. They were based in light. I had to paint them. 

Oil, 6x6

Friday, September 23, 2016

Snorkeler 2

This picture is of a Snorkeler in the Mediterranean Sea, a male this time. My goal was to paint in a looser way to let the viewer's imagination play. The water in the Mediterranean is transparent, with a turquoise tint. One could see 30 feet down easily. I used my new turquoise paint color to convey it. I love that color - it shimmers. Here it is:
Oil, 6x6,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Watercolor fun

I have three pictures to post today, representing different styles of watercolor. 

The above one was painted/sketched in plei air. I used black ink and watercolor paints. 6x8

This one is using layering technique and the last one is using wet on wet and some layering. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Today was a rainy, grey day in Portland, one of those that remind one of long grey months ahead. Watercolor painting of sparkly water seemed like the right thing to do. This is a picture of the beach with a clump of sea kelp that get washed ashore after a storm. 
Watercolor, 14x10,

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Up a creek

The afternoon light created beautiful highlights on people and rocks. Rocks on creek bottom were interesting to paint- I was trying to make the water transparent and at the same time not to attract too much attention, away from the hiking girl. 
Oil, 8x10

Sunday, September 11, 2016

And the river runs through it...

We picked up our daughter from a 30 mile three-day hike and decided to do a very short hike in the Gorge to a waterfall. The weather was gorgeous. The afternoon light was illuminating the river and the woods. Here is how it looked to me:

Oil, 8x10, SOLD

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Into the Blue

Images of Spain and the Mediterranean are still fresh in my mind. Travels provide an ample opportunity for new, fresh source material. For now, water, people and water is all that I want to keep painting. Here is my last one -- this one is very large - 22:30, on a whole sheet of handmade watercolor paper. The paper has very nice texture, but allows no abuse or mistake correction, so it was a challenge to wrap up. 

This is my son, jumping off rocks in Sa Riera. I wanted to show the sense of scale and gradation of water from blue to green.

Friday, September 2, 2016

I am doing the 30 in 30 challenge with Leslie Saeta! Here is the link:

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Below is a sketch I did on Costa Brava, in Spain. Here is how blue the water looks there. Pine  trees there have an interesting shape, resembling umbrellas. 

A snorkeler

We just came back from a wonderful trip to Spain. I was amazed by the color and the transparency of the water in the Mediterranean. The color was sparkling turquoise. I fell in love with that color. 

Here is the first attempt to reproduce that unique blue. Oil, 6x6

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pals, Spain

We just got back from Spain and I could not wait to get my hands on my oils. Here is the first in the series of images from our trip. Oil, 8x8, on primed board.

The image is of a small village of Pals. It was close to the place where we spent the last week of our vacation and unexpectedly cute! We came back a few times to wander the streets and enjoy all the town had to offer.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Costa Brava

We are on the coast of Spain. I only have watercolors with me and am trying to paint when I can. Here are a few of my most recent watercolors. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

A bulldog

I signed up for a "30 pictures in 30 days" challenge and am looking forward to it. I'm thinking of painting cats and dogs. 

Here is a picture of a bulldog on a beach.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hydrangea and sunflowers

I was playing with watercolor today, trying to make as loose of paintings as I can. Here are the results.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Koi reflections

We have family visiting from out of town. Yesterday was s gorgeous day, so we all went to the Chinese garden in Portland. The garden is small, but very tranquil  and beautiful. As any Chinese garden, the Portland one has koi in the pond. I was fascinated by the movement of the fish and the water. 
This painting is pastel, 8x10

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I wax working on a commissioned painting today.  This is a small oil painting. 
 I have been painting more with watercolors lately, but it was very nice to go back to oil. It seems each medium's unique qualities teach some different skill that is usable in other mediums. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Same cat, different medium

This is the same car, but in watercolor. I'm comparing different mediums. Which one do you prefer? 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Basking in the sun

I was painting the light on a cat today, trying to make is glowing.

Watercolor Koi x2

I was trying to explore how bright I could get the colors to be, yet still maintaining their transparency. The blue is mostly ultramarine, a pretty opaque watercolor. It allows the artist to wipe out the paint layer and reveal the white paper underneath. This is how the ripples were painted. 

This painting is from a beautiful photo taken by Jan Russ, with a full permission of the artist. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Watercolor experimentation

I have not blogged for a long time and wanted to get back to posting at least two to three times a week, at a minimum. I have been painting a lot and lately, have been getting more and more into watercolor. Here is my latest watercolor. I'm playing with keeping the background loose, drawing all of the attention to the star of the show. I used some salt on the neck of the bird to create a different texture and some in the background as well. This painting is 11x15.

The painting has been done with White Nights artists quality watercolors from Russia. They are absolutely wonderful- semi moist and bright, as well as very economical. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lavender fields

I have been busy making my own pastels these few days. Today was a trial run and I'm happy to report, they turned out as wonderful and creamy as I had hoped. I made purple shades, so the logical subject was... Lavender field, of course! Pastel on gessoed mat board, 7.5x10. 
Here is the result:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Water lily

To join the challenge of the week I painted a water lily.

For the under painting I used Derwent ink sense sticks. 

The sticks are water soluble, so after roughing in the colors I used water to toner the picture. 
After the underpainting dried out, it was time for the pastels.

Here is the finished painting:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Feathered pinks

It was a pretty gray and rainy day tonight, so I was dreaming of a beautiful sunset with many pink clouds. 

Friday, February 19, 2016


I could not stop playing with pastels and painted one more. 
Reflections, 10x7 on sanded paper. 


I have been wanting to paint with pastel after seeing some gorgeous works by a local artist. Finally, my new boxes came and I spent the last hour or so removing the wrappers and sorting them by color and value. Here is my box:

And here is my painting: ( 7.5x9 in on sanded paper):

Monday, February 15, 2016


It is not frequently I try painting the night. Here is my today's attempt. I was trying to make the waves shimmer. 

Here is an exciting update-  the Dailypaintworks picked this picture to be the pick of the day!