26 November 2008

Waved goodbye to J and T and the big dogs after a short but wonderful visit. In exchange for the fresh from market fried sticky buns…( Who knew ?)…they made quick work of the last of the leaf piles and moved the trailer and made the mothers smile.

Now the rest of the holiday can come and go and we can enjoy our log cabin’s fireside and studio’s tidied space and ponder the rest of the things for which we are thankful.

Be safe out there,



22 November 2008

As the snow squalled around the studio and the sun tried to set, I reached the tipping point and the furry of the feathers came to rest. Then the final decision to add the muse herself…for Gully…

and it is finished.

Vineyard Vanitas


For Gulliver

It will be a few months before this dries, is varnished, and then my wizard of a photographer, John C., shoots the professional images…but I’ll post them here when that day comes.

Gully and I were up early scoping out the snow covered evergreens in the yard for the next painting. And Russell and Holmes are well into their next adventure so as soon as I can warm up these fingers…it’s off to the brushes.

Time now, I think, for some of you to share what’s on your easels this season.


Studio Snow

21 November 2008

I did manage to get in a few hours of painting last night and this was the view from the easel window at sunset…

last night's sunset

With a very little bit to show for the day except the lack of leaves…

Day 10 detail

Which is a good thing because this is what we woke up to this morning…


And now I get to snuggle into the warm studio, rest the weary bones, and paint the day away…



20 November 2008









Been raking since 8am.

Two piles left to move.

The size of Nebraska.

And one more lawn to mow.

It’s 3 O’Clock.

Here’s what I finished yesterday.

Day 9


Gonna try

to lift

a paint brush.

After I pop 2 Aleve.


Inching along…

19 November 2008

Brilliant light raking the hardwood trunks at sunrise this morning. A dusting of snow and the Bernese Mt. Dog is in heaven.

Slow, deliberate tiny strokes make for lots of fun but little noticeable progress…but here’s the pic from yesterday’s 7 hours of painting…


 Lay some paint down one day, clean it up the next, move forward to add another feather. Got to build it up the way nature created it in the first place. It takes a whole lot of feathers to keep these big birds in the air.

Speaking of feathers and mother nature and such… today marks the 75th year in flight of my dear Aunt Lorrie  !!! One of the strongest, sharpest and most courageous women we know. HB Lo, keep on soaring !



Early to rise…

18 November 2008

First, make that only human and dog, at the lake for a brisk morning walk. Worth the effort for the peacefully snoring good dog Gulliver by my side.

Back on track yesterday with a good block of time to lay some paint on those feathers. First couple layers are about color and shape, now I can get in there and bring up the contrast and see where the light needs to fall.

Better energy today, from the walk and the beginning of the next book, The Monstrous Regiment of Women. This one, borrowed from the library. is on cassette tape… a dinosaur of an audible device, which has been abused by listeners for years so just about the time I settle in and get focused on the painting…the tape snarls and garbles and I have to climb over the sleeping old dog to reach the machine to coax it along. Worth it ONLY for LRK.

Day 7

Detail day 7

 While Herself mows the frosty lawn….

 to the easel…


Day off.

17 November 2008

Not much progress to report as I took most of yesterday off to deep clean the clutter in the log cabin. I would have taken a photo of the seven bags of trash we filled…but that was then and this is now and the sun is out and flurries are predicted for tonight and the easel awaits.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.

Meanwhile, a very special happy birthday wish goes out to our neice ABIGAIL !!!!  She turns 19 today and we’re so proud of her. Sorry I missed your call last night sweetie…we’ll see you soon. Love, the Ants.


16 November 2008

The promised cold front is blowing all the leaves to New Jersey. Good thing I waited to rake.

Long day of detail yesterday, which I will probably obscure completely with today’s layers.



 These photos are kind of wierd looking today. Freakishly pixilated. No time now to fuss. Need to paint.



Them bones…

15 November 2008

Dark morning, rain slicked leaves, slippery grey mist… a thermos full of hot darjeeling tea …ready to paint…

Not as much progress yesterday as I had hoped. Them bones wanted more and more paint to make them twist and catch the light.

Got twisted up my own self after hours of leaning in with the tiny brushes…and needed to get some circulation back in me own gams so I took a break and power-washed the studio walkway. ( Eyes on the weather station show that this mild stormy weather is soon to give way to the coldest temps of the season. One last window of opportunity to strip the concrete of that green slimy film before it becomes an ice rink. ) That done, Gully and I settled in to an early evening session and worked our way up to the wing.




When last we checked in with Russell and Holmes they had finally made it to Jerusalem. The plot has thickened and the game is afoot…. I can’t wait to get back to the easel…and the story…and them bones…


On a Wing…

14 November 2008

A foggy morning…dismal and dreary…ah the muses are smiling.

A quick look at yesterday’s progress …

sketching in the wing

close up of last few rocks completed

close up of last few rocks completed

Now it comes down to anatomy. The bones and feathers are not as forgiving as the rocks. They have to be rendered true to nature… so believable that the viewer doesn’t get hung up on the realism but has an open door to see what if anything might lie beyond. So now I get to have fun with all those wild feathers.

PS- I’m listening (for the third or fourth time) to Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell Series, book 2 – O Jerusalem… and it was great fun to be sketching-in the chaos of the wings’ feathers while Holmes and Russell were traipsing across the deserts of Palestine, fighting off a sand storm.

Breakfast and then back to work,