fooling around digitally

Not as welcoming a surface to work on, glass, but when given the opportunity I try to learn more about sketching etc on an iPad. Here was yesterday’s quick “pencil” sketch. I think it was with the 6B setting. Brush, pencil? It’s all software.

Maybe it’s just been a sort of black and white week.



It’s not winter without stopping to smell the… no… sniff the… not that… admire the frost crystals!

Frost January 2018//


Sometimes I just really need to paint. I knew that was true this morning when I heard the price of something and my brain did a painterly conversion: that would be ten blocks of watercolor paper. What would give more pleasure, for longer? Puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

Anyway this needs to really dry before doing the dark distant trees etc.

the inspiration:

Weather of January

Poured all morning, windy, dark. I look up this afternoon and the sun’s out. I stick my nose out the door, as they say, and there’s a monster rainbow to the north so I hop in the car and take off to chase some clouds. Here are most of those photos.

23 January 2018//

Wednesday in Oamaru NZ

On the way back from our walking tour of shops with interesting things including Adventure Books, we found a bakery and, needing bread, went on in. We left with a loaf of bread and two speculaas cookies, one each with and without almonds. Gotta love a baker who is more than eager to tell you that the rye bread is 70% rye flour — my kinda bloke!

After trekking back up the hill we sat down and enjoyed some tea and the cookies. Then we were treated by some fabulous blue skies and clouds including a patch of rain which moved across the view before moving back out to sea. Best of all, while it bumped into the land we got to see a beautiful rainbow above the streams of rain.

See downtown Oamaru and more in the slideshow below:


Doing The Work, The Learning Process

Tuesday when I went over the hills to the east, I did two paintings at the Clark. The first was smaller, 5×7″, and my intention was to try sketching, color and value while trying out the plein air “thing”. My paper and board tried to blow away, my water tried to blow over, my brushes fell into the bottom of their travel bag. You know. Juggling in the wind. Meanwhile I was sitting on the cold ground with my little beach backrest hoping it wouldn’t suddenly dump rain on me.

The second I did I moved to my 8×12″ sheet of arches and started from the covered but still breezy Crystal. Man those colors did not want to cooperate. I saw pinky orange, bright yellow-green and dark trees and well. Part of it I know was impatience. I know I should let things dry before adding more color, filling in darkness but for whatever reason it wasn’t happening and so it didn’t work out all that well.

[Note to self- this is why you should bring a thermos and a snack – to divert yourself while letting things DRY!]

This really bugged me so I decided yesterday I would NOT do a scene but work on hot press paper which isn’t my favorite just on trying to get those colors. I didn’t tape down the paper – just stuck it with water to my table. I stopped before I got fiddling with things. Like the bluish color of the main distant hill better. Like the trees more but… meh still not quite it. Will try a different approach next.

On to the next!

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

and keeping on keeping on!

Today in the Sunshine

Also found planted in the nearby garden, in case I ever need to verify my location:

I’m off to the Clark Art in Williamstown to look at new things and see the movie I, Claude Monet. I wonder if future people will be rummaging through our emails to gain insight about what we did today?