Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Cheerful Little Yellow Warbler {Watercolor}

On this very dreary November day in Missouri, this cheeky little yellow warbler cheers my spirits. 

I am a Patreon of Maria Raczynska (that means I pay a small monthly fee to have access to all her detailed tutorials—costs less per month than a couple of Grande Lattes from Starbucks, so yeah, I allow myself...)... Her style of painting is something that draws me—I don’t love all of her tutorials (I do not particularly like landscapes, for example, and she does a lot of those).... but I have decided that my “rule of thumb” for whom I will  emulate is this: if their finished work is something I wish I could do, then, bingo. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many artists who fit that rule, in terms of most of their work.

Repeating from my last post, I love creatures. This little yellow bird appeared in a recent tutorial from Maria, but she didn’t identify it, so I searched for it, and it’s a Yellow Warbler. Apparently they are found in Missouri as well as many other states, but I have never seen one in person. I love the bright yellow color, and although we have tons of Goldfinch in Missouri, there is a lot of the year (like now) that the Goldfinch have almost no color.

As far as the art, this one is done on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 100% Cotton, 140 pound paper (I usually use Arches). It is on a 5x7 block, which I love to use, as it doesn’t warp as I apply water.

Paints - Almost all Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor:
Winsor Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Light
Iso Yellow Deep
Sap Green
Quin Red
Neutral Tint

This is Thanksgiving week. We will be spending Thanksgiving alone, by choice this year, as we have decided not to venture out to accept a larger family invitation. 

We are getting ready for Christmas, and being able to do that is actually one of the things I am most thankful for!!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

#yellowwarbler #WinsorandNewtonWatercolor #Fabriano #watercolor #watercolorbirds #MissouriNovember

Saturday, November 21, 2020

God’s Creatures: Sentimental Thoughts {Watercolor}

Always a lover of animals, here lately I have been smitten...my heart just opens up and wraps itself around any creature that I see. I know the reason for the uptick in emotions, of course. 

We said good-bye to our little Sassi Girl October 9, after having her with us (pretty much constantly) for 17 1/2 years. I’m still dealing with the heartbreak, to be honest. I miss her so much.

We left our Washington home for a few weeks, returning to our Missouri home, right away after the loss of Sassi. One of the things I have noticed since we got back to Missouri (having been in our Washington home for several months), with no Sassi in this house where we have lived for 14 1/2 years, always WITH Sassi until now, is that my heart is just so soft for little animals. 

The first thing I asked upon our return was for hubby to put the bird feeders back up so I could watch the birds. Then there’s the little gray squirrels, I just love them. We watch 10-15 or so little squirrels scurrying all over our 5 acres every morning. (Our bedroom sitting area is in a bay window several feet above the woods, so we literally have a birds-eye view of the woods.) 

Then the other heart-tug right now is that it is deer season in Missouri. Our neighbors have a deer stand on their property right next to our woods, and I have seen their orange hats some of each day this week. They have assured us they will only shoot bucks, because they enjoy watching the does also. We often have 3-5 (or more) deer come through our property regularly, and I love them. But I cannot bear the thought of any deer being shot in the woods right next to ours. 

Now, I’m not against hunting. My husband and son and many in my family are hunters. I’ve never had a problem with that. Until this year. I just want to run out into the woods and “call” all the deer over to our acres (Peaceful Acres) where they will be safe.

See what I mean?

And I have a Facebook friend who just found a stray cat, has cared for it for a month and has fallen in love with it. Now she feels she must try to see if it has an owner who is looking for it, so she posts about it on FB, before she makes the final decision to keep it. I can’t stand it. I want her to be able to keep the cat. I can’t wait to see her post that says there were no takers and she can keep it.

Yes. Unusual sentiments and emotions about creatures right now. 

So, for my watercolor art subjects, I find myself choosing creatures (sheep, fox, birds). I always do enjoy painting animals anyway (though it’s hard—fur and feathers? I’m not great at it...), but right now? 

Heart: tender. Tears: just below the surface. (Well, maybe not always BELOW...)

There is no doubt that God created animals for many purposes. There is no doubt that God gave us Sassi to enrich our lives for a time (and the memories for all time thereafter). 

My love for animals is part of who I am. And God created me to be who I am. I thank Him for His creation.

#creatures #fox #doggie #SassiGirl #squirrels #watercolor #watercolorfox #PeacefulAcres

Thursday, November 19, 2020

“Sheep in Snow” (and in My Heart) {Watercolor}

Those who know me well know that I love the seasons. I love change, and seasonal changes fit right into my “who I am” bucket. Here in Missouri, where we are at the moment, the leaves are all gone from the trees (those that remained “blew” today, with a strong wind). So, after painting some pumpkins and leaves and other “fall” stuff, I’m ready to move on into the winter season.

This watercolor piece is a winter scene, and the subject is sheep. I have always loved sheep (especially lambs). I just love them. I’m a sucker for any cute and cuddly creature, but there’s just something about lambs and sheep—whether they are the subject of a song, or maybe in a children’s book where they inevitably pop up so the child can say, “Baaaaaaaaa.”

But today as I was posting this picture of this watercolor, what came to mind is that there are so many references to lambs, sheep, shepherd, etc., in the Bible. I love the many names for God in the Bible—“Lion of Judah,” “Lamb of God who takes the away the sins of the world,” for example.

Here are some of my favorites today.

Psalm 79:13
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever,
 praising your greatness from generation to generation.

Psalm 100:3
Acknowledge that the LORD is God
He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

John 10:3-4 
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and
the sheep recognize his voice and come to him.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 
After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him 
because they know his voice.

John 10:10-11 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “
I am the good shepherd. 
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

#WordofGod #sheep #wintertheme #watercolor #LambofGod #WeAreThe Sheep #HeisTheShepherd #sheepinsnow #baaaaa

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Already? Fall AGAIN? (Or...Time Continues to Fly)

My purpose for today’s post is two-fold: (1) To get “back in the saddle” with posting on my blog. It gets harder to discipline myself, the longer I am away, and I have reconfirmed with myself that I do want to keep the blog alive. (2) To share some fall art, to make myself accountable, because I do want to paint, and I want to work to completion on a piece; sharing the completed work does hold me accountable (to me, of course—no one else cares!! Ha).

I painted the pumpkin a couple of months ago and did not pick up the brushes again until a couple of days ago, when I painted the autumn leaf.

The pumpkin was painted closely following a tutorial by Anna Mason online. It was way too detailed for my enjoyment, but I do like the finished product.

The leaf was painted loosely following a reference photo by Anna Mason.

That done (painted/posted), I have decided to return to following my favorite artist so far, Maria Raczynska, and I will soon post something I have done with inspiration from her (incredible) work. I have followed her before and always enjoy her teaching.

So, without commentary on what is going on in my country right now, I will just say, “Happy Fall, Everyone!” And be done with the posting for today!

#watercolor #annamason #pumpkin #autumnleaf