My sketchbooks are a place of pure play for me. Sketching is a way to experience where I am, a way of relating to where I live, what I’m doing, and where I’m going. With a sketchbook available, I always have entertainment – sketching people while waiting in line at Costco or the back of a pickup truck when stuck in traffic.

My sketchbox has traveled to Japan, Central America and Europe, and I can look at these and I’m immediately drawn back to what it was like to be there. I can remember exactly what was going on around me, even though it was years ago.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I am delighted to be invited by longtime friend Marilyn Webberley, to join the Around the World Blog Hop. Marilyn has been an inspiration in her life and in her beautiful artwork as accomplished oil painter, master calligrapher and set designer. Thank you Marilyn.

                       "Chorus Line" Pastelon paper  7 x 17        From my archives.

These questions are timely for me right now as I step off into a new direction.

1. What am I working on?
A 24" x 24" sits on my easel right now, an enlargement from a 4" x 6" plein air landscape from last summer.
I have been  a longtime figure and still life painter working in pastels, with occasional plain air landscapes.  A door has opened and I have walked through into almost exclusively  landscape for a number of reasons.  I love the feel of oil paint in my brushes, (bigger brushes)  and the marks they make on canvas or paper, as well as the freedom in just exploring space, value and color!  I've been privileged to join a group of beach painters along with a  dynamic teacher for a week each of the last 2 years, attempting to paint what is essential in a constantly changing light, magical light. It is a challenging transition from my deeply ingrained habits , vastly exciting!

As my blog title indicates, I  have for years been a dedicated pen and watercolor sketcher, and now have a group of wonderful like minded friends who meet every week  and sketch life on Whidbey Island.          
We love to draw,  we enjoy each others company indoors or out, its a treasure in my life.
My husband and I just returned from 26 days exploring and sketching in Italy. I know as I look at these pages in years to come I will be taken right back into those delightful days! I teach sketch classes and am an advocate for  anyone with the slightest interest to find a personal way to add this to life.


                                    "Last Sun"  Oil on canvas 6 x 8

                         Returning from the beach with a vanload of wet paintings!
                                  Oil on sized 140 lb watercolor paper

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Visual artists share a common language and we each find our own way with it. Where I  find my strongest emotional involvement  is in color and color relationships. Presently I am working very hard to find  what is the necessary concept in each painting, and let go of what is not necessary. This will joyfully  take up the rest of my life.

                                   "Veiled Afternoon"Oil on canvas  12 x 12
                               From a Storm Watch visit to the Washington coast

3. Why do I create what I do?
Painting brings more satisfaction than most anything else I do.

4. How does my creating process work?
I love to start paintings! Its all about possibility as I work to get the canvas covered with the best
decisions possible. Then I get more constrained, what needs correcting? How much correcting? How will that affect everything else? How much can I let the script change in reacting to what I see?
I do spend time in pre planning. I look for not only color but value and shape.  My i pad has become a reference when we can't be outside. I can tweak and play with shapes from the photos and compare options as well as work with fleeting light tho it is never the same.

  Tagged names on their way!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


My husband an I just returned from nearly a month of exploring and sketching  in Italy. It was a magical time, each day filled with discoveries  as we wandered the beautiful countryside and hilltop towns. We both sketch, and it became like a treasure hunt as we collected images and memories in our sketchbooks. and wine.

 Our first week was in the home of friends in southern Tuscany with this view from the terrace, looking out over rolling hills and vineyards all the way to the Mediterranean! Memorable sunsets as we sipped local wine.

            Colorful windows and doorways, potted plants and charming little gardens everywhere.
Montemerano and Montalcino

 Gregorian chant filled the air during our visit to the Abbey of Sant'Antimo just south of
Montalcino. It is a beautiful Romanesque abbey near the Via Francigena, the ancient 
pilgrim route from Cantebury to Rome.

Waiting for lunch.

Porto Ercole

Marina Grande in Sorrento

180 degrees of Mediterranean blue from the rooftop of the Hotel Regina.
Mt Vesuvius with a cloud hat in the center.

The  view from our  kitchen window in Sorrento looking down at a portion of the old wall 
and the red rooftops. Church bells chimed on the hour.

This iconic grove of cyprus is just off the road near San Querico. They are a symbol of 
the Val D'Orico. As we sipped wine and sketched  a constant flow of cars pulled 
over to photograph.  

The colosseum in Rome.