Tag Archives: watercolor

Serenity in Solitude

Ever find life to be a little…..well…..manic?  I know I do.  The minute I step out the door I often feel like the world is going so much faster than it needs to.  I guess I’m getting old.   Let me rephrase that…..I AM getting old.

Between the connectivity within society via cellphones and other electronic marvels and the “acquire stuff”  lifestyle that the media and advertisers mercilessly promote, is it any wonder that we often feel like we’re trying to dart across an eight-lane freeway that’s full of freight trucks only to find that when we get to the other side we’ve got to jump the train tracks before the next commuter train roars through?

Stage 1 - Soft Pastel, Gouache, and Icky Masking Fluid

It affects kids and teenagers too.  They are seldom solitary.  Between school, friends, sports, and a plethora of other extra-curricular activities, they don’t get much alone-time.  Add to that the fact that their cellphones are seldom turned off and are constantly beeping the next incoming text, where can they escape to?  I’m still looking for the up-side to all of this connectivity.  I do know the down-side is the inability to escape negative peer pressure or  bullying.  In the olden days (way back in the 60’s and 70’s), you could just go home.  If you didn’t want to be around someone or deal with them, you didn’t answer their phone calls and just hung out with people you liked being with.  Now kids are subjected to all that negative stuff via Facebook and cellphones.  To me, that’s a real down-side.

I love my solitary time.  For some, me-time means going out with their friends, golfing, or traveling.  For me, me-time is the best when it’s just being able to be at home.  Whether it’s to knit, write, garden, paint, or build jewelry, it’s time that’s Mine.  While not strictly solitary as my hubby is usually around and about, he’s my best friend so it makes for a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.  Even when we travel, we’re happy to just put up a tent and stare at the lake for a week. It’s nice to just get away from all the zoom-zoom.

I encourage everyone reading this to try some quiet down-time.  Turn off the phones, shut off the computer, maybe even make the kids do the same.  Take some down time.  Some time for yourself and your family.  Talk to each other….listen to each other….have some fun reconnecting with each other without all the electronic bubble and fizz that has become such a huge part of your life.  Try it.  I dare ya.  Let me know how it goes.  I’m betting you’ll find some serenity…something we can all use a little more of.


Serenity in Solitude – Little Pink Houses Series

11″x15″ — Soft Pastel, Watercolour, Gouache, Archival Ink

For The Birds

As I enjoy my week off from the music studio I’m trying to finish up some projects I’ve had dawdling along for a while.

Pastels continue to intrigue me and watercolours are finally feeling like they’re a medium I could seriously work with.

The entire Little Pink Houses series has evolved out of a need to have relatively simple subject matter to work on while I explore all these new mediums in an attempt to discover what I might be good at.  After all, houses are one of the first things we draw as children, they’re the apex of the Canadian (or American) dream, and they come in all different sizes, shapes, and colours.

With Spring having finally sprung I’ve been awakened every morning by birds in my yard.  The twittering and warbling are very welcome…the crows I could live without.  But even the crows need a home, along with all their musical little friends.  So, this is……For The Birds.

8 1/4" x 11 1/2" -- Pastel, Watercolour & Archival Ink


Doing anything artistic when I’m at our music studio while my hubby brings home the bacon remains challenging.  I’m finding ways to do little things though.

Of necessity, the supplies themselves work better if they’re small.  I found this watercolour paper pad of hot-pressed paper and knew the 6″ x 6″ size was perfect.

Then I found this adorable little set of watercolours, complete with a mini-brush.  Add to that a nifty little water bucket that stores away inside itself and I was all set.

Oh….one more thing.  This stuff.  I hate this stuff, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil.

Now, if you’re going to use any type of masking fluid to keep areas safe while you apply a wash, be sure to use an old or cheap brush.  Swish the brush first in water with a drop of soap in it and rinse it IMMEDIATELY afterwards.  This does not guarantee you won’t destroy the brush you used, but it’ll at least give it a fighting chance at surviving to be used another day.

After sketching my design in pencil I painted the masking fluid over the areas I did not want to get colour on when I painted my sky wash.  You MUST let the masking fluid dry completely before painting over it.  I then applied a wash of blue fading to yellow after first dampening the paper.  I then let it dry completely again and rubbed the masking fluid off with my fingers.  Sticky gunk.  Yuk.

Much as I hate it, it works.  The areas I need to paint into are still nice and white.  I then layered in my colour.  I wanted some quick texture on the bottom to help simulate earth and bushes so I sprinkled salt over the wet paint.

After letting it dry thoroughly again, I worked the salt off the paper gently with my fingers.  It really wants to stick on there so you just have to be careful but persistent.

See the speckly-ness?  That’s from the salt.  Now to just lay in the colour of the remaining parts.

All that’s left is the ink detailing.


So there you go.  A cute little project done with cute little supplies.