Duck Hunting

24 Mar

So, again it is no secret, I love ducks.  When my husband and I got up this morning, I asked him if he had any plans.  Well he did.. I asked him… well do they have to be this morning.  He looked at me with a look of familiar curiosity and asked what I had in mind.   I said DUCK HUNTING!.

The huh?  look on his face was priceless.  I handed him two cameras and said …let’s go!

I have an idea for two more, maybe three more painting ideas..sharing the photos – just not the ones I am going to paint!

Here a few expamples of my duck paintings, Mallard Trio , Dapper Dabbler and Sitting Duck



Fresh batch of Art Supplies-ez

16 Mar

There is nothing quite like receiving an order of fresh art supplies.  I remember when my daughter was young, she would pluralize pluralized words such as school supplies-ez.  Whenever I reference the word in this type of context, my memory takes me back to a young Jenn, who with all the enthusiasm she could possible muster, would begin to insist in early  July that we must, absolutely must venture out to the stores to start to purchase her schools supplies-ez. She would then touch each item as if there were magic.  Or somehow loved her back.


I get it. I love my art supplies-ez. I just recently received an order of Ampersand Claybord, Aquabord and Pastelbord in various smaller sizes that I would normally use.  I am now dreaming of all the possibilities in front of me.  What colors I will use and which texture for which subject.  It is a lot more than I can bear. And Oh, now I can use my beautiful Prismacolors on the pastelbord!  So excited!

And then there is the new, fresh tubes of paint.  Replacement colors, except for the luscious red I could not live without.  There is something delicious about red paint. About finding that tube of pure red, no pink, no blue, pure red! And it is EXPENSIVE!  Such a treat!  As I lovingly held my precious new tubes of color, placing them gently in my storage containers that I  sort by color for easy snatch and grab, I noticed I now have three tubes of  RED????  you got it – I have a few!

Note to self.  Check your stock before you get pulled in by all the delicious colors available on-line!

Stick to your list Helen!

WIP – Begonias On Parade- Update 2

10 Mar

Begonias on Parade

Working along on this painting – I have a few observations on working on Aquabord.  Small areas work great – large washes – oh my – give me the heebeejeebees!  But I love the way the watercolor shines on this surface. My next Aquabord project will be smaller – just saying!

Each of the pots have about four layers of washes – will require a few more.  The trick with this surface is that each wash has to dry completely – I am most happy when I am patient and give it 24 hours for larger areas!  So, the problem is, I am really not that patient- I mean – wait for paint to dry?


Stop Art Scams Now! This is Frustrating & Unbelievable!

9 Mar

I have to admit I was curious (oh, yes somewhat excited and apprehensive) when I received an email from a lady looking to purchase two of my paintings.  My spider senses were tingling right out of the gate – but I decided (naively – click on spider senses link) to respond to the inquiry – just in case it was legitimate.  I mean they were inquiring to purchase not one but two of my paintings by name Drama Queen and Shades of Maple!

She referenced my web site and then she proceeded to ask if they are still available– both are clearly indicated on my web site.  What got my spider senses tingling even more though was that the inquiry came directly to my email.  Normally any place I have my art work come in on a contact form –as in a client from FASO, Facebook, linked- in, etc.  This was straight to my gmail address.


Third email was the clincher – she asked about my inspiration!  Getting personal, establishing rapport…..

On the advice of my IT husband -I googled the person’s name.  The name that appeared was a similar name only with two letters transversed… hmmmmm.  Apparently in this whole world this is a unique spelling.  So, I know people who get creative with their names in order create email addresses but?  Spider senses once again….Oh, by the way, her first name was the same as mine – we have something in common right away!

She responded to my email as follows:

Continue reading

WIP – Begonias on Parade?

3 Mar

This is a new way to torment myself.  Little flowers ans icky picky detail.  What in the work am I thinking – I can guarantee my next two paintings will be poured paintings! I will need to get the cobwebs out after this one!

Thinking Begonias on Parade but open to other titles.  This is a  22 x 30″ watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord.


WIP Drama Queen

1 Mar




Finally, Finally Finished!IMG_4266_new

After a rather lengthy hiatus from completing this painting distracted by a few commissions and a ducky diversion  I  finally got back to work on this painting.  I have to admit I have produced a number of large watercolours over the past two years and have been holding on to them.  Not entirely sure why – but I think they would look good in a show all together.

Drama Queen is a painting of Dizzy Lizzie lily. Say that three times.  Phew!  And they belong to the rather regal Oriental lily family.

If you don’t already know and love these beauties, with flowers often larger than your hand,  you may want to introduce formally yourself.  A garden royalty they would appreciate an admiring nod.  Lilies are among my absolute favourite blooms – likely stating the obvious as I paint them so often!

These lilies always live up to their royal statue by providing large and dramatic blooms each summer – if the deer do not get them.

April and May are the perfect months to plant summer blooming bulbs, including Oriental Lilies in the United States and Canada.

WIP Drama Queen – Update 3

12 Feb

Wow, it sure has been awhile since I posted on this painting.  Actually since July 8th!  In fairness (to me) I did have a few commissions this past fall that took my time and attention.  And I am pretty happy to have had the opportunity to do them.  And then there were the ducks!  I painting them just because I could and I loved working on them.  Now back to work!

Drama Queen - Dizzy Lizzie lily

Mallard Trio

30 Jan


These birds are the most abundant and widely distributed waterfowl species in North America. Although common, I think they are uncommonly handsome – don’t you.  Take the drake for instance, who would deny the iridescence of his head to be less than magnificent? With his striking white-collar and white pin tail tips.  Dapper Dabbler Ducks!

And then there is the uncelebrated mallard hen by comparison.  Various shades of brown leaning towards warm orange, yellowish orange bill upturned in a perpetual smile.  I have actually painted many more hens than drakes over the years.  Just because.

Back to this composition… when all the duck photos I took did not line up quite the way I envisioned for the Ducks in a Row idea, I decided that this would be better as three separate companion paintings.  Still love the title Ducks in a Row  – but it does not really work anymore.  Mallard Trio is as good as I got.  I love the attitude of ducks.  They are confident and almost always look as if they have a secret they are not sharing.  The perpetual upturn at the edge of their bill and the well, their cheeky cheeks!  Of course, I personify them.  They make it so easy to do.

And if you have a better name – I am open…..


Dapper Dabbler

22 Jan

As part of the Ducks in a Row Series (apparently) I had taken this photo of a mallard drake just kind of strutting his stuff among the flock.  He has a look of pride that I found to be irresistible.  A Mr Look at Me Now –kind of duck strut.  Standing tall and proud.


What I found to be quite amusing was settling on a title for this  – Do the Duck Strut, Dapper Drake, Mr Handsome, Duck Strut, Dapper Drake Dabbler.

Mallards are a dabbler ducks after all!

And here is likely why I love ducks.  My Mother used to sign this song to me as a child… and I have sung it with my children!  Very happy memories… my daughters added the quacking 🙂

Little ducky dawdle

Went wading in a puddle

Went wading in a puddle so small – says he it does not matter

How much I splash and splatter

For I’m just a duckie after all

Quack quack

Sitting Duck

14 Jan

Awhile back, I started another watercolor painting that I was laying out and referring to as Ducks in a Row, working from various source photos.  As I laid out the painting one duck at a time, I began to realize that some of my favorite photos of specific ducks would not fit well into the group composition.  Such was the case of my Sitting Duck.  If I layered her in,  you would miss her backside and the neat perspective.  So I decided she would have to be a stand, er sit alone painting.

Sitting DuckThis particular painting took forever and was pure joy to work on and see it develop.  Ducks make me happy.  Their round cheeks and happy, almost smiling bill make me smile.  To draw and paint them is absolute fun!       On to the next one Dapper Dabbler and back to Ducks in a Row (which may be renamed soon)!

This photo shows the painting darker than she really is.



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