To travel and paint ….. to paint and travel.  To pass along the various methods I’ve learned or discovered to express the life I awaken to each morning …. To make connections, on a daily basis, with new people from all walks of life  and to add, in a positive way, to the rhythm of the Universe …. Those have always been my goals.

On the Road to Asheville, NC

On the Road to Asheville, NC

As those goals become reality, other aspects of daily life require adjusting.  There are only twenty four hours in each day.  I had filled those hours completely before needing to upgrade my online presence, before needing to plan for days lost to airports and cars, travel logistics, packing everything into manageable suitcases.  It’s challenging and totally worth every frustration that crosses my path.

Developing new approaches to teaching the basics drives me along paths I might not have explored.  I discover techniques I had forgotten and I stumble across techniques I haven’t tried before.  My own work grows when I share my painting experiences with others.

Sketchbook travel drawing:  Drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor using a waterbrush. Drawn from the passenger seat, en route to Asheville, NC where my friend, Pete, filmed the first of a series of online painting demos.

Luke’s great, great grandparents owned a carnival that traveled from town to town. Spin the wheel and you might win a bird in a birdcage.

Luke's Great Great Grandparents

Luke’s Great Great Grandparents

Their son, Luke’s grandfather, preferred the high seas and became a merchant mariner, traveling from continent to continent rather than town to town.  Eventually, the carnival was sold to Barnum and Bailey.  Though Luke didn’t inherit the wanderlust, he definitely inherited the love of theatrics and showmanship.  His great, great grandparents would be proud.

Watercolor Painting – The Carnival -commissioned by Luke’s wife, Carrie.  Image 8″ x 12″ framed to 12″ x 16″.  The painting will hang on the wall beside the player piano, across from the stand up Victrola (both in excellent working condition).

Limited palette: Burnt Umber, Raw Umber and a touch of French Ultramarine Blue.

Home again after an inspiring and adventurous ten days in California.  Great people, great landscapes, great food and great weather.

San Francisco Streets

One of my goals was to play with the perspective of the streets during the two days I spent in the city of San Francisco.

Slanted streets and houses

The one day in San Franciso that I planned to sketch rather than walk and snap photos, it began to rain as soon as I put ink to paper.

Slanted landscapes everywhere

Most of my time was spent drawing and painting on Moffett Field in Mountain View and exploring the hills in the surrounding area.  Though I love the beauty of the flat landscape in New Jersey where I live, I feel more connected with the slanted and rolling landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pacific Ocean Reflections

In addition to slanted landscapes, reflections and shadows turned out to be threads that wove the fabric of my trip.

Pacific Ocean Seaweed Shadows

Already, I  look forward to returning, perhaps in January, to teach another Color Scheme Game Workshop not only in Santa Rosa., but in Mountain View and San Francisco as well.  In addition to the Color Scheme Game Workshop I’ll be teaching a Color Value Workshop in Santa Rosa. (Thanks again, Joanie Springer, for helping to make this such a successful trip!  Thank you Kristen and Zak at Village Art Supply for hosting a last minute workshop in the middle of your amazing art store! )

Photos taken in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’ve enjoyed a fabulous week along the Wicomico River in Maryland, painting and visiting with friends.

rocks among the marsh grass

The water lapped at the rocks behind me. I turned and decided to paint them.  It’s been a while since I tackled painting a pile of rocks.  As the wind picked up the gentle smacking sound grew louder.  The sky darkened, clouds swirled and I felt like I wanted to paint in that spot forever.  It’s been a great week.

5″ x 5″ oil sketch, en plein air, rocks, water and marsh grass

If you love drawing with fountain pens and a splash of color, don’t throw away old file folders!  I love the smooth surface and the off-white, ochre color.  They feel similar in weight to 80 lb cover stock.  Light washes of watercolor or gouache don’t cause ripples. The nib of the fountain pen glides across the surface.

Oak tree behind the cabin at Carolina Landing

Overall, I’m pleased with the photos of sketchbook drawings taken with my iphone during the road trip.  The image above was shot on the back porch of the cabin under gray, morning light before we packed the car and headed to the Outer Banks.  The pale ochre tone of the file folder paper was lost in translation.

Starting my day on a porch (either my own or someone else’s), pen in hand, coffee within reach, my sense of sight and smell tuning in to the vibes of the dawning day is as crucial to me as eating and sleeping …. in fact, I am more willing to skip eating and sleeping than I am drawing and painting.

sketchbook drawing: drawn en plein air on file folder paper, first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor wash.

Another en route painting from the passenger seat yesterday as we drove through Delaware.

Neutral greens

The farm is along a section of Route 1 in Delaware where the foliage appeared to be turning directly from green to brown. Yellows, oranges or reds were nowhere to be seen.

When I drive south again next week, I won’t have the luxury of riding as a painting passenger.

Sketchbook drawing:  drawn first in ink with a fountain pen, followed by watercolor using a waterbrush and my Altoid Tin of watercolor pans filled with paint squeezed from tubes.

Each day is the opportunity for a new journey.

Route 1, Delaware Shoreline

I’m still finding it challenging to paint over splotches and splatters of previous, recycled paintings.  I feel my limits expanding….. painfully.

Dover Race Track along Route 1 in Delaware

It’s so much easier to paint on a fresh sheet of paper in a sketchbook, even when it is lined paper.

I can see myself, at some point in the future, heading off into the sunset with a teardrop trailer in tow and trunk full of coptic bound sketchbooks, fountain pens and paint………

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