Goodbye July 

I’m taking a cue from a fav blog I read, The Modern Mrs. Darcy, and listing a few things that  I’ve learned this month.

Botanical watercolor. I took a three week Saturday class on the subject this month.. .totalling 9 hours of instruction and painting. I learned a great appreciation for this art form! I also learned how important drawing skills are, and how important it is to practice, practice, practice daily. I know these 9 hours really helped my understanding of mixing colors and washes. Here is a page that I painted during class…

Salad for dinner. Just about every night. We seem to  make a salad out of any protien and grain with a base of leafy veggies. So refreshing this time of year. Maybe its just a different way of arranging food on a plate, but I know we are enjoying many more veggies as a result. Thinking of dinner this way really opens the doors to creative alternatives.  

Blog posting.  I have posted almost daily for a couple months, and glad I did as I’m continuing this journal/ legacy project.  But its a bit much for me and maybe for you too! I seem to be running out of things to talk about too! Its been fun, but I could use that time in the evening to focus on projects, my peoples, or perhaps nothing at all.  I’m just being called to disconnnect.  I’ve decided to post once a month, a look back and reflection. Of course, I reserve the right to break this habit if needed! I also hope to connect and converse with more of you as a result of fewer postings….this is the most fun part of blogging for me.

Here are a few pics to finish up July.  We had the twins for 4 days over the weekend, and kept them busy!

Tailgating with all our Littles

We visited Matthei Botanical Gardens with them over the weekend

It was a hot and humid day, we all felt a little prickly.

Bad pic, but that prickly face just had to be posted…

Also boated on the Detroit River…fun was had by all

Looking forward to August adventures.


Favorite genre

I enjoy reading novels/biographies about the lives and habits of artists. Anything relating to making art and art history really attracts me like a magnet. So why not make a list of those I’ve read…which I have read many more but can’t seem to recall them right now. And a list of those I would like to read. Let’s go….and I hope you will comment on your favorites so I can add your selections to my list.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Mason Currey

Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland (She wrote many books on the subject)

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

The Passion of Artemesia, Susan Vreeland

Clara and Mr Tiffany, Tracy Chevalier

Luncheon of the Boating Party, Susan Vreeland

The Forest Lover, Susan Freeland

As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel, Rudy Rucker

Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell

An Illustrated Life, Danny Gregory

The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova

Strapless, Deborah Davis

The Painter from Shanghai, Jennifer Cody Epstein

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Norton de Trevino

The Agony and the Ecstacy, Irving Stone

Girl Reading, Katie Ward

The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham

How to be both, Ali Smith

The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud

The Shadow Catcher, Marianne Wiggins

Impressionist: A Novel of Mary Cassatt, by Joan King

Hope you can add your thoughts and favorite books in this genre.

Summer entertainment

I visit our little pond several times a day this time of year.  It’s a way to relax.  I love to count my fish….yes I am simply entertained!

I have found the perfect plant for the containers in my pond….Creeping Jenny! 

Note Aubree’ s painted frog choreographing the fish dances.

Jeff’s heron stands guard over the fish….

Goldfish, shubunkin, koi…..

Pond with goldfish….backyard escape.

Magic in color

The magic of color mixing!

I’m taking a class at the BBAC, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, on botanical watercolor.  The instructor asked us to use just 6 colors, the Daniel Smith Essentials set.  If I get nothing else from this class than learn about color, I’ll be happy.  I took our homework assignment seriously and made page after page of color mixing charts.  Each page used two colors, starting with a puddle of the lightest color and adding in the darker color drop by drop.  I’m amazed how the color shifts with each drop.

These are the six colors in the Essentials set:

Below are a few of my charts showing the color shifts, drop by drop, with the two original colors shown as the first and last swatch:

I have seen so many charts that just give one space to each color blend.  That just isn’t enough….after seeing the range of colors on each page! 

Now, if I ever want to closely match a color, I can start with my color notebook.