Friday, April 15, 2011


No emergencies at work and an almost sunny morning meant ESCAPE TO THE GARDEN!

This is a photo of several of my favorite gardening tools.  The little hand spade is one
I found in my mother's tool shed after she passed away.  It's made of some kind of 
tough, hard metal that doesn't bend and holds an edge.  I just can't find 
things like that  in stores anymore.  I also love the plastic coated gloves 
since, unlike cloth or leather, they work well even when they're wet and muddy.
The pruning shears are great for whacking at branches and sticks.  
Gardening just makes me happy.  Must be the farmer in my blood.

I got in an hour or so of puttering around; gathering up sticks and stems
and digging up a few weeds.  Our long-long winter is fading into flowers.  WooHoo!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So what do I do with this false start?

How about--turn it upside down and splash on some primary colors.

Then define a few shapes and add some values.

This will have to do.  I can see some design problems,
but they would be difficult to fix.  Time to move on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Two years ago I wrote a post about a famous mansion by the river.

The residents are the kind who spend the harsh 
winter months in their home to the south.

This is a well known osprey nest that's been occupied
and added on for several years.  Unfortunately, the big
bird's nest has taken a beating in the wind.

(photo from our local paper)

When they return this spring they will find most of the nest
gone.  A big storm scattered their mansion on to the
bridge below.  They'll have to hurry to rebuild before
starting their family.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Although I’m really feeling fine, I’m still 
under doctor’s orders to stay away from heavy lifting. 
So looking out the window at my garden 
in dire need of clearing of winter debris is making me crazy.

To take my mind off that, I decided to take on 
the challenge presented by an article in my
 April issue of Watercolor Artist called “Grappling with Grays.” 
 Laurin McCracken teaches how to mix an use grays in watercolor
in a most enticing way.

I set up a still life picture for reference.

I got this far in my first attempt and decided
 the background was getting muddy and dark,
and the size was wrong.  So I started over.
(after looking at it again, it has a lot of potential. Oh well...)

 I wanted the focus to be on the glass 
so I totally dropped out the background 
and went to work on the bottles with a limited pallet of cool grays.

 This kept me busy for several loooong hours.

(transparent watercolor by E.B.  18x12 inches on Arches 140 c.p.
(this  painting has been sold but many others are available here)

 But I’m pretty happy with the final result.