I'm so excited that one of my paintings has been juried into the San Diego Watercolor Society 33rd Annual International Exhibition.  I've known for about a week but wanted to wait until the packet came in the mail so that it felt more official before I posted it here.

This will be the 3rd time that one of my paintings has been juried into the SDWS exhibitions so that makes me eligible for signature membership.  I know that probably doesn't mean anything to most of you but becoming a signature member of the top watercolor societies with international shows has been a goal of mine for a very long time.  This will be my first and now I'm motivated to tackle all of the rest!

Here is the painting that was accepted.


Morning Surf

I decided to use that paper without the sizing again that I used for "The Squadron" a couple of weeks ago.  I enjoyed painting on this surface just as much as the last time.  It gives a fuzzy look to the painting that I like but it looks fuzzier in this photo than it does in person.  I still have some small pieces of this paper so I think I'll try painting a still life to see how the effect is with a different subject.  Even though painting waves is really fun, it will be nice to see if this softness translate well when painting something else.

Morning Surf
Image Size 7" x 10"

Every Day in May—unfinished :(

A commercial job made it impossible to complete Everyday in May 2013. This month-long daily drawing challenge comes around every year in May. This year it was fun to follow on FaceBook. I made it about 2/3 of the way through. Maybe next year I will do better...

EDinMay #19—Something that belongs to someone else
George's can of old brushes left behind at the gallery.

EDinMay #20 My favorite drink
I absolutely love Matcha Green Tea Frappuccinos, so when I went looking for one in Singapore it came with red beans on top...

EDinMay #21 The last thing I bought
Lunch with my beautiful niece. She came to Portland so we had to indulge in 
the famous Sweet Potato Fries with Truffle Ketchup.  

Beach Dunes in Colored Pencil

I am working on a series of beach dunes and beach grasses in colored pencil and on cradled wood panels. The grain of the wood is showing through in some areas of the drawings adding texture. I've also left some of the wood showing in the areas of sand, the wood grain and wood surface make a nice addition to these organic types of drawings. Pictured are three, I am working on two


I have so many photos of beautiful succulents.  I really enjoy painting these plants.  The combination of colors in each leaf/petal/whatever-it's-called looks almost iridescent.  I think this is a type of Echeveria, hence the title.  If I'm wrong, please let me know.

This took a lot longer to paint than I thought it should.  I'm not sure why it did, but I was really ready to be finished with it.  I might fiddle with it a bit more to play with the value contrasts in the future, but for now, I'll just prop it up against the wall and look at it with fresh eyes as I pass by each time.  That's how I usually catch my mistakes or see something that looks unfinished.  What do you think?  Does it need something more?

The color is actually a bit warmer than it shows in this photo.  I tried to change it in Photoshop Elements, but I'm not very familiar with that program and couldn't find a way to change individual colors.  I'm used to using my old Photoshop CS2  on my old computer, which is a more comprehensive program that has more controls, and it is really easy to adjust colors to make them match the original painting.  I suppose I could upload it to that computer and fix it, but right now that sounds like too much work.  : )

Image Size 12" x 16"

Spinning in Circles

After several months and much thought I have finally finished this colored pencil drawing on two layers of Grafix DuraLar translucent vellum. To recap my previous posts, my original idea of working on layers was challenged by the fact the vellum is more opaque than I expected. I found I needed to add bright color to the bottom layer which would end up toned down when showing through the top

The Squadron

I checked with my knowledgeable friend, Google, to see what a group of Pelicans is called.  One of the names is a "squadron" which seems like a fitting description.   They are ready to launch an attack as they fly close to the water looking for a quick meal.

I love watching them skim the water as the waves are crashing.  Even though they are large, clumsy looking birds while on land, they are very graceful in flight.  These are brown pelicans, which are prevalent in Mexico on the Pacific side.

This was a challenging painting because of the paper I used.  It is a piece of Lanaquarelle 150# watercolor paper that I've had for a very long time.  I've never heard that sizing in paper goes away over time but this certainly didn't seem to have any on it.  I've used other Lanaquarelle paper that was purchased in the past year and really liked it.
As soon as I put brush to this paper, I knew it was going to be a hard surface for painting.  It absorbed the paint immediately like a blotter.  I was tempted to throw it out but it was the only paper I had with me (I was out of town) so I continued and eventually enjoying working on it.  One of the problems was that the paint kept absorbing into the paper and was pretty pale when it dried.  The back of the paper looks like it was painted also because the paint bled through.

I don't think this would ever be a favorite paper but it was interesting to have the paper completely soaked and apply paint and not have it spread.  I think working on surfaces that challenge my usual way of working is a good exercise.   But...next week I will paint on a less stressful surface.  : )

The Squadron
Image Size 11" x 15"