Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This woman and I have a lot in common.  We both hit the bottle....the dye bottle, that is.  The red dye bottle, to be exact.  She, however, is bolder than I am.  I always tell my hairdresser it has to be a color of red that someone could actually grow.  I have noticed in my European trips that this shade of red is very popular.  It really draws my eye and I have a nice collection of redheads in my photo file.  This lady kept showing up in the same places I was visiting one day.  I was finally able to get a good photo op.  This is painted on hot press paper with square brushes.  I started out trying to put a landscape background but it was not working.  This background keeps the focus where it needs to be.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I was sitting at Gallery Concord yesterday, so I thought it would be a good time to start creating some paintings from my extensive photo file from my recent trip to Bruges and Amsterdam.  This was one of my favorite images.  The weather was so changeable, one minute sunny the next overcast and the next rain, then it changed back to sunny in a blink of an eye!  It was one of those rainy moments when we were on top of a small bridge as a canal tour boat passed by.  All their umbrellas were up and mostly the same color.  What fun!  Definitely a memory to cherish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Our model today was Jane F.  She is tall and elegant and every little gesture and pose looked so graceful.  These drawings don't do her justice but it was fun working with the iPad and trying to figure out strategies.  I had the most trouble fitting the entire figure onto the page.  Practice, practice, practice.  The usual combination of very short to longer poses were done in a two hour period.  It was fun drawing a friend with other friends.  Hopefully, these sessions will go on once a month.  We are heading into the holiday season so, we'll see what happens.  

I would like to get better using the iPad programs.  It was nice having so little equipment to haul around.
Here are the rest of the drawings for the day.  I used the Sketch Club program for these.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Auryn Ink digital watercolor sketch
I received an iPad2 from my husband for our anniversary!  I am planning on creating videos of painting techniques as soon as my Joby flexible gorillamobile Yogi stand arrives.  This is by the same company that created the gorillapod tripod for cameras.  I love mine.  This stand will allow me to position the camera perfectly 

In the meantime, I was playing around with some of the art programs I have downloaded from the app store onto the iPad.  I decided to try Auryn Ink again.  This is an app that simulates a watercolor painting.  I had attempted using it when I first got it.  It was a little frustrating.  Actually, it was a lot frustrating.  I was watching tv tonight and decided to give it a go again.  It took awhile, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it.  This is an imaginary image.  Next time, I think I will attempt using a visual reference to start with.

Tomorrow I am going to a live drawing session.  I think I will just bring my iPad and see what I can do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


On the train trip back from Brussels, our tour guide sat next to a woman who told her about a charming little village called Lissewege that we might want to visit and paint.  It turns out that the village is only a few kilometers from where we were staying and, as luck would have it, there was a major sculpture exhibit for the month all over town.  The day was sunny and beautiful, the town was charming and the sculpture was amazing!!....every style, every material and everywhere!  I loved the cows grazing in the pasture right next to very contemporary sculpture pieces.  All the restaurants were closed that day, so Gail and I stepped over the chain barrier and set up shop at some outdoor tables and chairs overlooking this beautiful little canal that was lined with gorgeous flowers.  Jackie brought us back some sandwiches and we had a wonderful time painting and visiting.  There was a tavern open (didn't really serve food) but we were able to use the wc there.  All in all, a perfect day!  I have made a slide show of all the sculpture.  So much talent in the most unexpected places.

Here are a few more paintings by Gail in front of the actual scene.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This is a little painting I did of the beautiful floral bouquets surrounding the antique light posts in a Brussels Plaza near the train station.  The buildings in this plaza were incredible but so complicated and I didn't have a lot of time to draw or paint so I photographed them.  
The first shopping galleria in the world

Formal gardens overlooking the city

View of the city from the rooftop restaurant
Open Plaza near the train station

Brussels is a beautiful city.  We were able to tour the Palace which is used for official state occasions but is not where the monarch lives on a regular basis.  It was so tastefully and elegantly furnished until you get to the last room, where the entire ceiling and one chandelier were entirely covered with iridescent green beetle wings!!!!!!  There was no photography allowed so I can't show you how unbelievable this is but here is a link to some images of it  I did get a post card.  Fortunately, this monarch died before he could get the rest of the room covered with the bugs.
So many waffles, so little time!
Beer is taken very seriously in Belgium.

Here are some photographs I took representing a few of the sights and specialties of the city.  Naturally, Belgium Waffles were a big hit, along with chocolate and beer.  It turns out that fries originated in Belgium, not France, and they serve them with mayonnaise.  I guess there aren't enough calories in fries alone, so add some mayo!  Mussels are the specialty of many restaurants as well as lots of other seafood.  How to escape without packing on the pounds?  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


On the third day, the painters had a choice of locations to work from.  We chose to go back to Bruges for the day.  Here are a few of the ink drawings that I did.   The first is from Damme, the second from Bruges and the third is from another small town near Damme that we discovered.  I have this wonderful book that has paper that looks like parchment.  I only put ink drawings from my trips in it.  I started it in 2007.  It brings back wonderful memories every time I work in it.  

Monday, September 12, 2011


Here are two of the watercolor sketches I made on the trip.  The first is from Damme and the second is from Bruges.

I was having all sorts of difficulties trying to upload and post while on the trip.  I am finally home, tired but so satisfied with all the fabulous things I was able to see and do during the two week sojourn in Belgium and Amsterdam.

There is always so much to do when you return and I am working on sorting through all the photos.  I will try to post each day with a slide show of representative images.  Today I am sharing just a few of the photos from Bruges so you can get a flavor of this gorgeous town.

Jackie, the owner and guide of French Escapade, did an excellent job taking care of us from the charming hotel she selected for us to stay in, the places we traveled and the relaxed pace of the trip PLUS her vast knowledge of the area, language, customs and history of Belgium.  We discussed working together again in 2013 in Provence, France, where she would arrange for us to draw and paint some of the local villagers along with the usual countryside.  If this sounds like an exciting twist on  a painting trip that you might be interested in, send me a note.  I am compiling a list of those who want to be informed of future plans.  In the meantime, check out Jackie's website for more information on a Provence itinerary and accommodations.

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