Archive | May 2016


They are proliferating in my area now despite the colder weather. I find them very perky and happy flowers. 

Another one in a cheery yellow. 

DOODLEWASH REVIEW: Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors, Part I

Reblogging because this is so well thought out and researched–for all my fellow watercolorists. Thanks as usual to our dear Charlie.


Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors.  Extra fine- truer words have never been said.  I’m not sure this brand needs much of an introduction. These are artist quality paints. I’ve spent more time looking at Daniel Smith (DS) watercolor swatches than all other art supplies rolled into one.  Their line is so extensive, I wasn’t sure how to begin to tackle this post.  I’ve decided to break it into two posts.  Part one, the Extra Fine line, and part two, the PrimaTek and Luminescent lines.

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor tubes with a painted mandala stone by Elspeth Mclean Center Stone by Elspeth McLean

Mr. Daniel Smith started the company in the basement of his Seattle, Washington home in 1976. The company is based out of Seattle, they also have a store in Bellevue, WA.

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Gears and Roses-revised

Using black may be a crutch but sometimes it works. I think the black areas improved this painting. I might still cut it up though. Have a great weekend, beautiful WP people!

Sea Songs

ethereal blue border s

ethereal blue–
dancing your meandering
songs from sea to shore–
splashing silver sparkled mist
like forgotten memories


Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week included the above photo and the words:
Ethereal, placid, meander, forget, silver

And of course I needed to compose the Message In A Bottle…

message in bottle scan
what we seek is time
life arranged in pure music
impossible song

ethereal blue close up s

I’m off to the Outer Banks…see you in a week or so.  I’m sure Nina will keep you entertained!


md flowers comp

I first drew an impressionistic representation, and then I abstracted it.  Neocolor dipped in water.  Which version do you like?

Gears and Roses

I’ve been working on this one for a few days and woke up early today and sat down with it. I don’t know what went wrong but I’d consider this a fail. (It looks better in the picture). I’m posting it anyway because there are some good sections but as a whole I don’t think it works. I thought those teeth down the middle of the circle would be cool. I left them white, then painted them a couple of different colors. Don’t really know why but I don’t like this too much, any feedback welcome. 

Eat Up! It’s National Vegetarian Week!

vegetable mandala s

“Eat up, eat up,” their mother said.
She told them to eat up.
The children studied hard the plate;
the viands, patient, lay in wait.
She told them to eat up.
They tried distraction with their words–
“Remember the time we saw those birds?”
–they kept on talking–“Then we followed
home a sparrow and a swallow!”
She told them to eat up.
They moved their forks, they moved their spoons;
they played at drinking from their cup;
they sighed and asked to be excused–
she told them to eat up.

(with apologies to Edward Lear)

vegetable mandala close up s

 My mother almost never served fresh vegetables when I was growing up, except in summer when we got tomatoes and corn from the local farm stand, or when we had guests.  The rest of the time it was out of cans, boiled in water (remember those square carrots in the mixed vegetables?).  I think if she had served us a plate of what I drew above from my refrigerator, she would never have had to negotiate with us to eat all our food.

vvoice food s

I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk lately, but when I saw the cover of the Village Voice this week, I knew I needed to do my own food mandala.  Another contribution to Charlie’s doodlewash dinners.

The words from the secret keeper’s challenge this week
and Edward Lear provided inspiration for my memories of childhood dinners.

I’m not a vegetarian, but it’s a good week for everybody to remember to eat plenty of vegetables!


unfolding collage s

Boundaries fall away, opposites
navigating geography
leading to uncrossed bridges
over misleading paths.
You invoke spirits,
creatures that fly,

in secret
alignment of
illusion and air:
spell unfolding like wings
cloned from accumulations
of disorder and metaphor.
The map returned in another form.

unfolding collage close up 2s

Rattle Poetry has an Ekphrastic Challenge every month, and this was my response to March’s art.  It wasn’t chosen for publication, so I did my own collage response as well.  The original artwork is wonderful; you can see it with the poem chosen by the artist here.

unfolding collage close up 1s

There’s a new piece of art posted at the beginning of each month if you want to take up the challenge too!

I’m into the most hectic part of May…will catch up with your blogs as I have time.

Doodle with gear

I’m working on a larger piece but did this one at the same time. 

I guess you could see a face in this one. Here’s a stage before finishing with more black. 

Girl with Fish

The piece of wood looked like a piece of Swiss cheese with the wormholes in it. I put the big square crystal on it and started painting. The girl came out and then the head of the fish. Painting on little pieces of wood is a nice freeing experience: it’s just for fun. 

Here was a stage where I thought it was finished. After looking at the photo I saw some other things and did a little more.