Friday, November 11, 2016

Thanks to all of our Veterans, including my son Ed who served in the US Navy for 26 years.
The painting above was a commission painting for the Illinois State Museum, painted in 1997. 
Here are two Adams County Illinois veterans, immediately following the Veterans' Day ceremony. 
We are proud of all those who gave their lives for our great country.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016


This is a painting I did in the fall of 2014. Here in West Michigan there are hundreds of blueberry farms. The berries are fantastic in the mid-summer at harvest time, but the bushes in the fall and early winter are breathtakingly beautiful! Especially if we happen to have an early snow! They pop.

The colors of the fall foliage of the trees aren't as vibrant as in previous years, but there is never a disappointment  of color with the blueberry bushes. Imagine it if you can...acres of bushes lite up as if on fire.
Colorfully,
Sandy

Monday, October 17, 2016

 Detail of Nippon Vase and Lily-of-the-Valley

After doing the rock and water paintings, I needed to go a different direction for a change. My still life paintings are always enjoyable to do, so I've started a painting of Lily-of-the-Valley flowers. I'm using a photo I took this past May in my garden.

I started the painting last Friday and didn't have a chance to get back to it until today. When I stepped into the studio and took a close look at it, I was disappointed. The greens in the top (unseen here)  were heavy and dull...lifeless. I  took the painting to the kitchen sink and washed off all that was there. When you do this, there is a ghost image left behind.  I was going to blow the paper dry and save it to use the reverse side another time. But then I thought that I might as well experiment with that Nippon Vase. there are many different colors in the little jewel, and now is the time to play with it, just to see how I would handle it in a painting. I am pleased with how it turned out. I've decided to complete the painting after all....this time going easier on the greens of the leaves.
Colorfully,
Sandy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ROCKS AND RIPPLES
watercolor 13" x 21"
completed October 12, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Getting closer. So many little details to capture and change.
Click on the image and you will be able to see some of the details.

I happy to announce that Blueberries and Butterfly won a People's Choice Award at this year's Grand Haven Art Walk. Thanks to everyone who voted for me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4
After spending time painting more than a hundred rocks and boulders, I needed a break and started working on the water. If you click on the image it will enlarger and you may be able to see the hundreds of tiny strokes used to create the effect of constantly moving water. The challenge is to create  the sense that there are boulders laying just just below the surface. Getting closer to the finish!
Colorfully,
Sandy

Friday, September 30, 2016


September 30th
I've been receiving questions about my process and will try to answer some here. When I work the many details of the painting, I am using #4 and #6 rounds. These sizes make it easier to paint the many little rocks that sit between the boulders. For larger areas I use #8 or #10. When laying down the early washes for some areas I use those beautiful mop brushes.

Another question I've been asked is why I work to 'finished detail' as I go along. The subjects that I often choose to paint are very complex. As I face my work, it's easy to become overwhelmed by so much detail. I approach it as a series of small problems to be solved, one tiny spot after another. Tiny problems are not so complex. before I know it the painting is complete. This is how I work even if I am doing plein air drawing or painting. One little area at a time, built upon another.






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28,2016
Progress always slows down when family comes first.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24
Yesterday was spent drawing all the minute details of my next painting, onto the heavy watercolor paper. This is the time that is important to the success of the painting. Since the white of the paper is the white of the painting, I need to make sure that I know where they are before painting. I use a technique called 'negative painting' to keep them. It's simply painting around the white ares. There are ways to block them out, paint over, then remove the tape or maskit, however these take time and sometimes leave a residue on the paper. I love the challenge of negative painting. 

Since this is another water scene, there are a lot of areas that will remain white here. I hope you check back regularly to see the progress.

Have a colorful day!
Sandy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Progress on Rocky Shore has been slow. There are so many things that get in the way of studio time!

Thursday, September 8, 2016



This painting is from the rocky shores of Lake Huron, along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since my first trip there I have been awed by these giant boulders dancing along the edge of the water. This is but one of many waterscapes that I've done over the past six years. There is such a wealth of beauty, yet waiting to be translated into art.

Life is never dull!

Progress #2 and #3, Thursday, noon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday:
I've started a new painting today, of the rocky shoreline of Lake Huron.
Last week I was able to enjoy the beauty along the Straits of Mackinac, from the upper peninsula of Michigan. Now I want to bring that beauty into a new existence as a watercolor, filled with the color, light, and the awe I experienced there.
Here is progress #1

Colorfully,
Sandy

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 2016
The rocky shoreline of Lake Huron, seen from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The air was sweetly scented with the smell of pines and cedars! The breezes refreshingly cool. The water was crystal clear. There was no better place to spend the day of my 71st birthday!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016





It's Labor Day Weekend. The last weekend of vacation season. Many schools have already begun, but here in Michigan-the vacation state, most schools are back in session next week Tuesday. We are often considered the 'vacation state' because of the many lakes and fresh water streams throughout the state. Above are just a few paintings created from my personal Michigan experiences. All three of these paintings are watercolors.

The top one is POND LIFE. In it I wanted to capture the infinite microcosm life existing on the surface of ponds. So much happening there! This little pond is just below a very busy highway...beauty is everywhere, we just have to stop and look.

The middle painting is ARROWHEADS. Very close to our cabin is a stream that feeds into the Grand River, which flows into Lake Michigan.  Along the banks of these fresh water streams you will find arrowhead plants growing near the cattails. These are in the 'plantain' family of aquatic plants.

The bottom painting is BUSH BAY BOULDERS. Michigan is surrounded by three of the Great Lakes (another reason to be called the vacation state!)
Bush Bay is a few miles East of Cedarville, MI, located along the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Its a beautiful, unspoiled section, where rocks and boulders dance along the edges of Lake Huron. the shoreline is covered with moss, wildflowers, and pines. This is in God's country.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend! Be safe and have fun.
Colorfully,
Sandy









Thursday, August 25, 2016

BLUEBERRIES AND BUTTERFLY, WATERCOLOR 18" X 18"
It's finished, Blueberries and Butterfly. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting very close to finishing Blueberries and Butterfly.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another progress image.
I had someone ask why I didn't wait until the painting was almost done before adding the darks. She said that she was taught to always go from light to dark. I do work light to dark, however, I need to know how dark the middle values need to be as I progress. By adding the strongest darks early in the painting process, I then can determine just how dark those in-between values need to be.

If you like following this blog, pass it on to others.
Colorfully,
Sandy

Monday, August 15, 2016

Among the Lotus Leaves

Finished painting: Among the Lotus Leaves, watercolor 13" x 18"

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

new painting progress

Last week I started a new wetland painting...here is a photo... Watercolor in progress.
Colorfully yours,
Sandy

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The challenge today is how to capture that sunlight sparkle on water, into watercolor on paper!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Today I am starting a Blog!
I hope to share with you the many things that influence my art, from the garden to the waters and wetlands around my home. Keep watching as I improve with this new method of communication..for me!
Colorfully,
Sandy