Cloud Practice 3: With Blue Skies

In these practice sketches, I tried several different techniques. First, I only partially removed the liquid mask. This resulted in a stippling effect in some of the clouds.  I also laid down a second blue wash on the sky. I tried different ways of sculpting the clouds with gray and black pigments. In the second […]

Practice: Clouds at Different Heights with Blue Sky

This was an attempt to combine clouds with blue skies.  First, I used liquid latex to mask areas for the clouds, then I painted the blue sky. I knew that the sharp edges around the mask would need to be soften, as clouds are soft.  On some of the edges, I added water, before the […]

Watercolor Sketches: Gray Clouds in Front of Cloud Line, with Evergreens

Here are a couple of more preliminary watercolor sketches of cloud formations. I photographed this cloud bank late last month. I was struck by the smattering of blue sky between the solid mass of white-edged clouds in the background, and smaller steel gray clouds hovering in the foreground. In the first sketch, I laid down […]

Watercolor Cloud Studies – First Trial

I’m dipping my toe back into the watercolor pond with these two sketches. I am trying to reproduce the cloud patterns from an early photo (see reference photo below). In the second sketch, I tried to give up some control back to the water. Reference photo:

Violin Memory – After Klee

I used to play the violin. I still have the one my friend from a violin-making school made for me. It is a beautiful copy of a Guarneri del Gesu. I’m scared to death to look at it, as I haven’t taken it out in a very long time. Paul Klee was a musician as well […]

Leaves – Sketch

Today’s watercolor is a departure from my recent spate of abstracts. The other day, as I was coming up the walk, something caught my eye. It was the color and arrangement of shapes on the ground. Two leaves were partially entwined. There were some interesting and subtle colors and shadows that I thought I could […]

Tonal Study – River

Today’s watercolor experiment: My experiment for today is a rendition of The Tiber from Monte Mario c.1640, a tonal watercolor sketch by Claude Lorrain.  I used the techniques from today’s warmup exercise to give the impression of faint, distant mountains, middle-toned trees and their reflections lining the riverbank and darker trees in the foreground. According to art historian, […]


I don’t know how old Arthur is. I thought I was a better parent than that, but I guess I’m not. It may be because it is so hard to tell from which point to start. Do I start counting the time from when his seed split? When the root started? When the stem sprouted? […]

Bad Day and its Identity Shift

Yesterday’s blog was a graphic metaphor about the terrible day on Friday. So here’s the story. My wife and I moved from our shared home of six years to a new place this past Saturday. Friday morning we had no idea we’d be moving, by Saturday we were loading suitcases in the car for new quarters, […]

Emotional Responses

My wife’s aunt (AM) is no longer gravely ill. She died this morning, just a couple of days past her 90th birthday. Joy took it pretty hard, since they were very close. I met AM more than 10 years ago, but got to know her better since we moved out here to the west coast […]