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Turned out the snowpocalypse was a NOpocalypse for NYC. Good for us.  Bad for areas further East and North. They did get the expected bazillion inches of snow.  I believe they are still digging out their cars.

Snow Day 1-27-15

Doggie Snow Day 1-27-15

I took a snow day because they shut down the subways.  Never before in the past 110 years have they shut down the subways!!!!  Since I couldn’t actually get to work,  The Husband, The Doggie and I decided to make the best of it and went for a lovely 2 hour walk in Prospect Park.  Someone (not me) LOVES the snow and will take any opportunity to roll around in it and stick her snout in the snowdrifts.

We also got to see a bunch of cardinals, beautifully bright red against the bare trees and glistening new white snow.  And finally, we saw a hawk, so well camouflaged in the trees I couldn’t see it until he moved his head.

Hawk in the park 1-27-15

Of course The Husband was the one who saw all the wildlife and pointed it out to me.  A lion could have crossed my path, I wouldn’t have noticed!

 

 

red tulips wip 11-30-2014Red Tulips WIP watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# coldpress Arches

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And if you read the name of this post you might be thinking “that smell” is turkey, gravy, stuffing or sweet potatoes. It’s not. I am referring to the smell of my dog’s paws.  They smell like corn chips. I had always noticed it but I recently read this article in the “Dog-ington Post” which says that smell is bacteria and yeast. Oh great.

The Husband and I were thrilled that we were able to bring along our pooch to the Thanksgiving festivities this year.   Luckily no one complained about her smell since she went to the doggie spa the day before and smelled like a nice, clean dog.   I am very thankful to have such a wonderful rescue dog. (I am the person on Thanksgiving who wants to watch the dog show instead of football.   I was out-voted.)

I’m also very thankful for all of you who read my blog.  Thank you so much for your comments.  They always make my day.   :)

Kaiya and a ballMy dog

paws

My dog’s Frito smelling paw

The painting above is a work in progress of red tulips I had purchased & photographed in the spring. I’m working on painting more loosely and saving more of the whites of the paper.   A little more to go and then I’m done.

Finally, in keeping with the dog theme, here’s the thought for the day:

Karma

 

birch trees

 Birch Trees – approx 9×12″ on 140# Arches cold press (SOLD)

figures 11-18-2014

figures A 11-18-2014

Many years ago I saw my then teacher and now friend Joan demo birch trees.  I was fixated on them and while I never got a chance to paint them in a class, I never forgot them.  On a recent get together I asked her to show me the demo again.  Finally, I got a chance to paint birch trees.  I have no idea where this fascination with birch trees comes from.   It’s not like there are stands of birch trees in the middle of Manhattan.   I painted this with a subtle background of blue and quin gold.   The trees themselves are painted with a flat brush held flat against the paper and then dragged up the page.   It was so much fun, I’m already planning another one.

More figure drawing with K this week brought us back to the Spring Street Studio. The model was a zaftig woman and was fun to draw.   I got there about 5:20 for a 6:00 pm start and apologized to the owner of the studio for being so early.  She looked at me quizzically and asked if I was the model.  hahahahahaha.   I told that to K when he showed up.  He looked at me and in a droll voice said “those gym sessions are really working out for you.”  Oh that K!  The studio is down a flight of stairs right next to a subway.  You get to hear the rumbling of the #6 train as you draw.  Helps with the creativity.  :)

 

Lest you think I’ve been hiding in my apartment wishing this winter would end without doing any painting, you’d be partially right.  I have a very bad case of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder).  Although like most things, I’m doing nothing about it but complaining.  And painting.

I finished a number of paintings:

Frankee 2-9-2014My cousin’s puppy Frankee the coonhound – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress  

Then I completed this painting:

Greenpoint cityscape 2-9-2014Greenpoint, Brooklyn on a cloudy day – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

And finally I finished this painting:

Prospect Park Lake WIP 2-9-2014 completedProspect Park Lake on New Year’s Day 2014 – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

The Olympics are on TV seemingly everywhere, all the time, non-stop.  Instead I’m watching a TV show about how the Beatles changed America.  Their  first American televised live performance was on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night, February 9, 1964.  Fifty years ago today.  Remember?

In case you don’t remember, they sang:

  • “All My Loving”
  • “Till There Was You”
  • “She Loves You”
  • “I Saw Her Standing There”
  • “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

Beach sketch from PMP Karina Robin

Beach scene from Paint My Photo – photo courtesy of Karina Robin

Winter.  I’m tired of it.  And what is the polar vortex?   I thought it was just called winter?  Since I was too tired and too cold to join the NYC Urban Sketchers today I decided to stay home, watch watercolor videos on you tube and play with my watercolors. Using a watercolor sketchbook given to me by my nephews, I did this beach scene using a limited palette, no more than 2 washes and no drawing first. I’d like to be there right now.

Dog  from pmp ESP

I moved on to this dog, again courtesy of Paint My Photo using ESP’s photo. No drawing first, only using a few colors and a few washes.  He looks a little sad. Why do all my painted dogs look sad?

Pears 1-25-2014

And finally I did every watercolorists’ favorite subject.  Pears.  I did sketch the shape of the pears, but again used a limited palette and not many washes.

I’m off to do some weight lifting. My friend Christine and I were talking about how we can’t remember things anymore and she told me about how weightlifting helps to stave off Alzheimer’s.   And I hear curls keep you warm.

Greenpoint cityscape 1-19-2013Greenpoint Cityscape Work In Progress – watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# Arches coldpress.

I started another cityscape, pictured here and already I don’t like it.  I think it’s because I’m cranky.  I tend to get crankier than normal in the winter months. You may insert The Husband’s eyeroll here.  He will say I am cranky year round. I will work on the painting some more and hopefully I will like it better. At least I still get to put graffiti on the buildings. That’s the best way to be a vandal.  Virtually.

Carol by Carlene 1-19-2014

This is a portrait my friend Carlene did of me.  I think it’s great.  My eyes are a little too big, but at least they don’t have bags under them like my real eyes do.  I think that’s also why I’m cranky.  I’m getting old.  Today in my spam folder I got an email about cellulite.   Talk about timing.  And here I was just thinking about going to the gym.

Frankee

Finally, here is my cousin’s new puppy, Frankee.  He’s a 5 month old coon hound mix.  He was rescued from North Shore Animal League and he is an absolute delight.  He doesn’t care about the bags under my eyes.  He kisses me anyway.  Yay for dogs. They are the best.

My doggie - 1-5-2014My doggie – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress approx 1/4 sheet

This painting turned out to be a very late Christmas present for The Husband. It’s not quite finished, but finished enough to post.  Just like my hot air balloon painting that I was going to leave alone and then I didn’t which is here.  My pooch looks a little sad because we were up at my sister’s house and that’s where we usually leave her if we go on vacation. She gets to play with her cousin Gus the golden retriever and always has fun, but I think she has a little anxiety when we first arrive thinking we are going to leave her.

My old dog who we would also leave with my sister when we went on vacation would sit and stare at the front door of her house  resulting in my mother once declaring she thought my dog was “a little disturbed.”

We had a wonderful holiday season made extra fun by the kids in our family. One 4 1/2 year-old  niece who is a fan of Doc McStuffins (a  Disney cartoon doctor) got a child’s medical bag as a gift and proceeded to give everyone check ups and diagnoses.  One of my favorite diagnosis was when she told my brother-in-law he had “two inches of allergies.” Achoo!

My biggest faux pas of the season was sending gifts to my family in Alaska with the wrong address.  They took forever to get there only to be “returned to sender.”   Ugh.  I’m still waiting to get them back so I can resend them. Merry President’s Day!

The new year in NYC brings a new mayoral administration and possible changes in my job. I don’t know exactly what they will be, but I hope they won’t be too stressful.  I plan to eat better, following a “real food” diet. I also plan to do more exercise, draw and paint more and I swear, this year I will learn to speak Spanish!

I’m already exhausted.

Necesito una siesta!  Happy New Year everyone.

Mountains 10-12-2013

Mountain exercise that I did once before here:  https://carolking.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/the-human-family-tree-and-6-degrees-of-kevin-bacon/ .  Wet in wet and lots of fun.

Annie the Beagle mix

Rescued today and brought to her forever home in New Hampshire by my friends Rob and Diane.

Audrey and Roberta – two kittens rescued last weekend by my friend Judy

 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m really not a puppies and kittens and rainbows and unicorns kinda person.  But this weekend I got to meet and love Audrey and Roberta the kittens and Annie the puppy.  What a weekend!

No rainbows, but what country has a unicorn as its national animal?  Nicola?  Can you answer that for us?

This particular buzzfeed article made me laugh.  6 castles that cost less than NYC apartments http://www.buzzfeed.com/benrosen/6-castles-that-cost-less-than-an-apartment-in-nyc

Again, if you see an ad on this post, it’s not cause I agreed to it.  Grrrr.  Wordpress!

The mountains were a wet in wet technique I did with Joan of the famed subway series.  When I need to get back to basics I know where to go.

(The answer is Scotland.)

Arches National Park Utah on Masa PaperArches National Park, Utah – watercolor on  21″x 14 ” Masa Paper

Toned MasaToned Masa Paper

First WashFirst Wash

I showed the final painting to a few people before this post and not one, not two, but THREE people told me it reminded them of the Flintstones’ house.   Fred and Wilma, I’ve renovated your place.  You’re welcome.

Quin colors

A while back I got a box of Quinacridone colors from Daniel Smith.  I’ve used them on occasion, but decided to do a test of all of them on watercolor paper to see all the colors together since many of them are similar.   Here they are in all their Quin Glory.  I had started the painting at the top using some regular watercolors, but decided to add some of these colors to the mix.  I like the splash of Quin Pink in the bottom left corner of the painting.

And again, for no reason, here’s another picture of my dog.  Hey, get off the bed!

Woof

watertower on masa 7-27-13Carroll Street water tower – 101/2 ” by 14″ – watercolor on Masa Paper

June was one of the wettest on record here in NYC.  I think it rained every day.  July was one of the hottest with temps in the 90’s and with the humidity making it feel like it’s in the 100’s.  And don’t even get me started on what it feels like down on the subway platforms.   I feel like I’ve been damp (a nicer word than sweaty) for two months.  Apparently you can’t use the word moist since a study showed that people HATE that word.  I never had a problem with moist especially when it’s paired with the word “cake”.

Well, I guess I’m mad for masa now.   I so enjoyed the first one I did here that I immediately started a second one.

Watertower on masa first wash 7-27-13

Here’s what it looked like after I toned the masa paper, drew the image and laid down the first washes.

I’ve already got another piece toned and ready to go.   Using the masa paper and toning it first is allowing me to be freer with colors.  Once the paper is toned you now must work with the toned paper and sometimes colors aren’t where you’d expect them to be since you are toning the back of the paper.

Speaking of colors, did you know that the definition of vermillion is?

a strong red that is deeper than geranium, yellower and deeper than geranium red, and bluer and deeper than average cherry red

How did I know that?  I was looking something up on the merriam-webster on-line dictionary and came across 10 definitions of colors. http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/top-10-words-for-unusual-colors/vermilion.html Now really, would you describe vermillion that way?   It almost sucks the life out of the color!

And for no reason, here’s a picture of my dog.

Kaiya 7-27-13And finally, why is the spacing all screwed up my my posts?   I have paragraph spacing, but when I post it all bunches up.  Ugh!  Anyone have any suggestions on how to fix it?

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