Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eamonn's Room

A month ago Eamonn stayed home sick from preschool. We spent some time drawing in his bedroom. Then recently I picked up the drawing and started painting it over the period of about a week, whenever I had a minute here or there. He was inspired to draw and paint the rug while I worked on mine and also added himself lying in the bed. He used a little set of watercolors I recently got him.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Martha Stewart's French Bull Dog

In honor of the holidays, cooking and decorating, here is Martha's dog. I recently received a free subscription to Martha Stewart's Living Mag and I have to say it is great. Great recipes that I can fantasize about making, and some cool craft ideas involving glitter and color photos. I also wish my hair looked like hers.

The French Bull Dog is one of my favorites. They are hilarious and exuberantly friendly. Some neighbors of ours have a couple and they really brighten my day every time I see them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Desert

This picture is my stab at a desert landscape. Just for fun. Since work started again in late August, I have not made much effort to draw or post here, but recently have done a few silly things.

Eamonn drew this family picture right before Thanksgiving. It's Mama, Eamonn, and Daddy and a turkey. Actually, he said Mama is shooting the turkey. I think they were talking about hunting turkeys in his music class or somewhere. At home, we have not talked about hunting turkeys. As a matter of fact, I cooked "naturally raised" chicken pieces this year, and am considering tofurkey for next year.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Piano

I was up late last night practicing the bass clef and the treble clef notes on our new piano. It is an electric piano (not a keyboard), so I can plug in the headphones and play without bothering anyone, such as a sleeping child. I took a year of piano in high school but nothing more, so the two different staffs are kind of mind boggling. The measures of the notes are not difficult, though, because I played flute proficiently all through high school. I have a beginning piano book, and some nursery rhyme songs to start with. I think I may have "Lazy Mary" down and am close to mastering "Hey Diddle Diddle."

Eamonn was inspired by my drawings to make his own. The piano is in the middle, with a picture of "Mommy and Daddy before I was born" next to it. The headphones are the two circles above the piano.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Orange Tree

Here's my potted orange tree on the back porch. I got it last spring but have not harvested a crop yet. The oranges are actually still green.

We are finally getting some much needed rain around here so the plants are a little happier. This guy of course has received regular waterings all summer.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Seymour Loungin'

We have two cats, Seymour and Jose. While the black one, Jose, is more guarded and curls into a ball (usually up high somewhere, like on the grill or a chair), Seymour typically naps on the floor in poses such as this. Maybe it's a pose that lets body heat escape.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Non HDTV Corner

I sketched this last Sunday night while watching Inspector Lewis solve a murder mystery. Stolen books, forgery, and drawing were central to the plot. I'm thinking about adding some spots of color to it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bunk on The Wire

We've been watching The Wire on DVD all summer. Currently in the middle of Season 3. I think our favorite character is Omar, but we enjoy so many.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mueller Lake Park

Got to take Eamonn to ride his tricycle and play at Mueller Lake Park this morning. While he climbed on one of the playscapes and tried to befriend another little boy, I drew one of the mothers there. Then I quickly sketched Eamonn while he stood beside the swings yelling to me "Push me Mom!"

Mueller Lake Park is part of the Mueller Redevelopment, a former airport (Robert Mueller Airport) about a mile from our house that is in the process being turned into a mixed use residential and commercial community. The park is wonderful except for the fact that the trees are all pretty small so it is sunny and gets hot quickly. We haven't played there much this summer.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jose on Front Porch

Another drawing I started a couple of weeks ago while Eamonn and I were drawing in chalk on our front sidewalk. I finished it later and added a bit of color yesterday. Jose is our black cat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

After Dinner

This has been a busy week preparing for students to return next week, so I didn't have much time to sketch. Here's a quick found still life of the dinner table before it was cleared.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Waiting to be Recycled

These empty containers were clean and waiting patiently on the counter to be taken out to the single-stream recycling bin. No more sorting. Glass, paper, cardboard, even different plastics all get thrown together now if you live in Austin. It all goes together and some type of machinery probably sorts it later? All part of Austin's effort to become a zero waste city.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eamonn's Flower

Eamonn drew this flower this morning. He says the dark shape coming out of the middle, that looks to me like a stamen, is the flower's hat. A future botanist?

He wrote the F and A himself and then asked me what came next.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Drawing with Chalk in the Driveway

Ever try to draw a 3 1/2 year old child from life? Impossible. They do not stand still, at least this one doesn't. I thought that while he was drawing in chalk on our front sidewalk and driveway, I might be able to sketch him. Well, I got a few partial sketches done!

When he saw me sketching in my notebook, he ran in and brought his notebook out and drew pictures of me and of our car.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rosedale House

Rosedale is a central west neighborhood in Austin. I often take my son to play at Ramsey Park, which is just a few blocks from this house on Rosedale Ave. and 41st St.

I sat on the lawn across the street to sketch and paint this. The man living across the street, as well as a woman down the street seemed pleased that I was sketching there. This house had a nice little garden with Poinciana and Plumbago growing in front.

I love the new sketchbook I am using. The paper is thicker than in my other sketchbook and handles watercolor much better. It is a Maruman FO S970 with a Renoir portrait on the cover.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yoga Gesture Paintings

I've been reading some of Charles Reid's book on rendering the figure in watercolor, The Natural Way to Paint. Today I had a short time to try out his exercise in painting figures in action without sketching first in pencil. The skin tone is made by mixing (either on the palette or on the paper) raw sienna, cadmium red, and either cerulean blue or cobalt blue.

I took out a couple of yoga and pilates books to find figures in action, and quickly did some gesture paintings while Eamonn had "quiet time" (not actually all that quiet, ahem).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Barton Springs Sketch

This morning I took Eamonn to Zilker Park to play and ride the little train. We had our snack on a picnic table overlooking Barton Springs, a large natural spring swimming pool. It was a little hard to sketch because a bunch of kids were running back and forth, alternately feeding and chasing away the pigeons. I sketched this in a moleskine. Those picnic tables are covered and actually make a great place to sketch in hot weather.

Happy Birthday

I sent this cupcake painting to my mother as a birthday card. Her birthday was yesterday.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Red Chair in the Kitchen

Today was a busy day. Cleaning, grocery shopping, had some friends and their two kids over for dinner, which was a lot of fun. Their son is a good buddy of Eamonn's from preschool and the two were rowdy and had an altogether fabulous time.

So I am cheating today and posting a watercolor I did back in 2004. I guess it is appropriate because we did a lot of socializing tonight in the dining area of the kitchen, which is the area in this painting.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eamonn With Train

My son Eamonn loves trains. This is a block train his grandparents have in Cleveland.

I don't know why I sketched this in my sketchbook rather than on watercolor paper. I will probably need to redo it so the paper isn't so wrinkly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Driving Towards a Rainstorm

Hallelujah! It finally rained today. I was driving back home from the dentist's office on the northwest side of town, dark clouds pouring down rain, and I could see a line of white sky on the horizon. I prayed that the rain had made it all the way east to my house. The rain got lighter and lighter the further east I went. When I got home, as I sat parked in the driveway doing a little sketch of the inside of my car, the rain finally made it east. Not as heavy as west, but at least we got some. The most we've had in 6 weeks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hyde Park House #2

Another Hyde Park house, this time on the 4100 block of Avenue F. I sketched it from across the street in ink, then used my portable watercolors to give it a sketchy wash.

By the way, it was 102 degrees F out today. I'll vouch for the thermometer.

Hyde Park House

I love so many of the older bungalows in Austin. This one is at the corner of 42nd and Avenue F in Hyde Park, a northeast central neighborhood. I stood on the curb across the street to sketch this.
Publish Post

Monday, July 27, 2009


Rock Garden

I planted this garden in my back yard a couple of years ago when the ground had cracked and left gaping holes because of how dry the soil had gotten. I put in plants that need little water, such as Aloe Vera and Yucca. The Plumbago has blue flowers and looks great even in this deadly heat.

I did the one on the bottom first in my sketchbook. The one on the top is on watercolor paper.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tiny Flowered Tea Cup

A tiny painting in gouache I did this summer. I started doing some of these tiny pictures last December after attending a local art fair where I saw some tiny acrylic still lives in fancy frames.

Yesterday my new watercolor palette arrived in the mail. This new one is a Fusion 18, and has wells for each color and an airtight lid. I just started reading Charles Reid's book Painting Flowers in Watercolor and am excited about trying a more organized use of color.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Visit to Genuine Joe's

After yoga today, I went to Genuine Joe's for a latte and a scone. I sketched in a moleskine I had never used before. I like the off-white color of the paper. I wonder how it will handle a wash. There were also plenty of people with laptops to sketch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Desk

My desk is the first thing you see when you walk in my front door. I got it at the Austin City Wide Garage Sale not long after my husband and I got married seven years ago.

I drew this in my sketchbook with a fine line sepia Faber-Castell drawing pen and colored it with a watercolor wash. The paper is not watercolor paper.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Juana at Mr. Natural's

Today I attended day two of a teacher's workshop on Questioning the Author. Juana, another teacher at my school whom I worked with quite a bit this year, also attended, so we went to lunch together at Mr. Natural's. The original (and my favorite) Mr. Natural's on Cesar Chavez. Afterwards I had a few extra minutes to do a quick sketch in my drawing book before we went back to the rest of the workshop.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lemons on Pink

Some more tiny art gouache lemons. I was trying a warmer background rather than the blue I had been using.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Window Fern

This little plant is sitting in my living room window. I started it last night, then worked on it today while my son was having some "quiet time", and finished it while he built a castle out of wooden Russian blocks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is a picture my 3 1/2 year old son, Eamonn (pronounced AY-man), drew with marker yesterday. I was impressed by the ears he gave me. I think it is the first time I have seen him draw ears on a head. I was wearing my hair in a bun, so maybe my ears were very prominent. That is an upside down car above my head.

Our family recently took a two week trip to Ohio to visit grandparents and my sister's family. Eamonn made huge leaps as far as fine motor skill and ability to draw and write. Until then, he had mainly been drawing abstract pictures to illustrate stories he narrated. On this trip he drew for sustained periods as if on a mission, and he began drawing recognizable people and cars. He also wanted to know how to write words, such as car. He wrote this word Mama with no help from me except that I did remind him to start the word off to the left so he wouldn't run out of room.

You can see that on the back of the paper he was practicing the number 8.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back Porch Papasan

This is an ink line drawing in a sketch book that I filled in with watercolor. The papasan chair is on my back porch. Even in 100 degree Austin weather, looking at or sitting in the big blue pillow makes me feel cool.

This is a painting done en plein air, meaning I actually sat on the back porch, braving mosquitos to sketch and paint it. Now that I have the basic shapes, I might paint it again on watercolor paper with a smaller floor and maybe a striped rug.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Lemons

I am starting this blog with the intent of posting a painting a day all summer. My 3 1/2 year old son loves to draw and paint, so we sometimes do it together. If I don't have anything to post, he always will.

These tiny lemons (3 1/2" x 2 3/4") are done in gouache. I enjoy gouache because it is thicker and more opaque than watercolor. I have a small house and paint on my kitchen table, which means I have to clean up every day, so acrylic or oil are not very practical. Sometimes I just want to feel like I am frosting a cake when I am painting.