Sunday, September 9, 2012

Playing In The Water

This past summer, I took a Sketchbook Journaling class, held at one of the local libraries. The class was a four week introduction to sketchbook journaling and was taught by Leslie Fehling. Go immediately to her website, Everyday Artist, and check out her great work. I was continually amazed by the endless stream of ideas that seemed to come so easily to her and by her pure love of painting. I'm not sure what I thought the class was when I signed up but the main thought I had was that it could a fun chance to learn some journaling techniques to share with patients. I have been working on a journaling booklet to have available for the patients I see in the hospital- nothing fancy at all, mind you, but thought this class would be a way of picking up some ideas.

Turns out the main focus was on watercoloring, and while that surprised me it was a very pleasant surprise though I must admit to being a bit intimidated at first. I've done a lot of crafting, drawing, painting, sewing, goofing-around-creatively in my life (just playin' around, havin' a goodtime) but other than a six week module in high school art, I've never really done any watercoloring. It seemed so much more difficult than even oils, which scare the pants off of me.


Guess what? It was way super fun! There were about six or seven other ladies and a young seventh grader boy (he was great) in the class. We packed our supplies to the library every Saturday and started each class with show and tell of our "homework assignments" for the week. So today I'm going to share some of my waterplaying with you, not because any of them are great but because it was just so dang fun!

First, after playing with the brushes and all that, we did the standard color palette activity. Let my apologize here for the quality of the photos in this post. My scanner is about 15 years old and while it generally serves my purposes, it is still old techology. It was really high-end when I bought it but now even the cheapy ones have more bells and whistles, and obviously resolution. I would love a new one but just can't justify it because there isn't actually anything "wrong" with mine.


My eyes respond so much better to a brighter palette so I did another one with my personal color favorites and a little jazz to make it different.

Another exercise was to do a couple of pages of color wash in our sketch books, then go back later and add to it. I think we were supposed to write a favorite saying, poem, verse, etc because we were supposed to be thinking about doing lettering but I didn't do that. Intro class rebel, that's me.

We also did some landscape kinds of things. Here's my garage. I can see now that I needed to do something different with the composition like place the garage a bit lower and a taddy-bit to the left. Oh well, it was my first landscape.

One of our prompts was to paint something from the past. I fell in love with the Cambodian countryside and always thought it would be nice to try to paint it. Watercolor seems the perfect medium for a Cambodian countryside.

No, really, Cambodia is much more beautiful than I am able to capture.

(Sorry, guess it was a bit askew on the scanner. Operator error.)

I love macro photography. Some of the gladiolus in the August birth month flower post are macros of my glads. Thought I would get all fancy and try some macro painting. The stamen and pistle placement are a "fail". This one is "over painted", meaning too much pigment for the look I was wanting but oh well, it was my first macro painting.

Zinnias, though the shape of the cup of water is totally wrong. Oh well, it was my first zinnias in a cup of water.

Another prompt was to illustrate a recipe. This one came out just so-so but I can promise you that Trifecta Cobbler is a fabulous dessert.

There it is, some of my playing around. In no way do I want to seem like I'm passing myself off as a watercolorist. I have just enough artistic talent to know how much I don't have but still, if you have constructive comments or suggestions, it won't offend me at all if you share with us.


Watercolor butterfly? Of course I'm going to try some in the future but for now let me show you my favorite of Amy Kirkpatrick's butterflies, a Blue Rajah.

Ms. Kirkpatrick did a series of 100 butterflies in 100 days and they are striking, each and every one of them. I am seriously considering a purchase from her site. Click here to check them out, or go to her Home page to start your exploration of her beautiful work. And don't forget to visit Leslie's page to see her wonderful watercolors. She can be commissioned to paint a portrait of your home. Cool.

OK then-- thanks for flittering along with me today. I love it when you visit.

Have a great one!


  1. Those are all gorgeous. You are really talented. Love your scene of Cambodia.

  2. What a wonderful blog! I just came across my Blue Rajah and want to thank you for telling people about my art. All 100 paintings were a labor of love and a few were published in a couple BHG magazines. I have an Etsy Store, AmyKirkpatrickArt, direct link is and just for you and your viewers, I've set up a 10% off Etsy coupon code: butterflyjungle ... good on any item(s) in my store. Thanks again, and happy painting! --Amy Kirkpatrick