The Blue Trickster


The Blue Trickster
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

Kicking up dust and trailing utter chaos, the Trickster appears at what seem to be most inopportune moments. But, boy, if you can dance with him, keep your balance and get enough sleep, there's no telling what might happen!

Wow, I thought last night while finishing this up... Positively Aztec, Incan, Mayan. But isn't this what my life feels like right now.

I'm dancing. Barefoot, I might add.

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A Perfect Example

Landscape demo
Watercolor, 5 x 7"
25 June 2011


I lead with the one that worked.

At the end of 12 sessions together, I bid my students farewell with a landscape demo on rough India paper. It's always a little stressful to make a demo, performance anxiety and all that, but it's a rush and, once into it, I can't stop till the process allows. Although I do crank out demo duds on occasion, mostly I succeed because (in front of students) I simply have to hold my seat and complete the work.

However... Just before this demo, I broke one of my own cardinal rules. I started a new entry in my Nunjabi book in the middle of class and interrupted myself early to go back to teaching. I was never able to recover my place or pace. Naturally! The rule in this case is to never start a watercolor if you expect to be interrupted (or without taking the phone off the hook.)

Actually, I broke two cardinal rules. The second? Don't overwork your watercolor — from the strokes to the piece at large. I so overworked parts of the one below, that I had a chance to try the new Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground over a horrid sky and stream. I tried, too hard, to recover my place in the painting and, as these things go, each further attempt to fix created a worse scenario. My intention is not to berate myself in public but to demonstrate what happens when we forget or go against our basic principals. Every watercolorist knows exactly what I'm talking about.

So, I'm posting my overworked Nunjabi entry below. Only because it's the next page in my book project. If I hide a not so great one now, I just may lose momentum. Also because, in relation to the demo at top, it's a perfect example of classic watercolor defeat.

To quote Patrice Bart, while harshly coaching the Corps de Ballet of the Paris National Opera Ballet in rehearsal of La Bayadere by Minkus, he says...
"It's not bad, but it won't make them cry."
"Yes," responds one dancer, "but it makes us cry!" as she wipes away tears.
And so it is with watercolor. I tell my students that they must learn to accept that some pieces will work and some won't. Some results will be better than others and some will be disasters. As in watercolor, so in life.

When you feel like giving up, give yourself a pat on the back for effort and do the next right thing. Take action, it's a sure cure.

Me? I'm turning the page to see what happens next.

Storybook Stream
Watercolor, 8 x 9"

Nunjabi Book I

Only 2 more days to sign up for my Online Basic Drawing + Watercolor Course!
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When you were the sky


When you were the sky (where was I?)
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

Ahhh... Midsummer. The days are long,the trees are green, flowers are in bloom. It's nice!

The sky is wide open, the light flooding through... This is an optimal time for transformation.

Join me this summer for a course in basic transformation.
Come visit my teaching site to learn all about it.
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Fester

Fester
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

I made this watercolor last week in the throes of an awful stye and brown recluse spider bite. Although I could have done without the ailments, the painting was a good little exercise. The process helped express a bunch o' junk from my psyche. And that's a good thing for a painting to do, thinkest thou not?

As I look at the painting, I can actually feel the memory of my misery while I made it. But now it's something separate (and out of the way). At first, I thought  "Oh, gawd! I can't show this!" But now, I rather like it.

I know that I must be sounding like a rickety old lady and hypochondriacal but I'm not and I'm not. I've just gone through a long string of physical ridiculousness over the past year. I am not yet 100% but I'm feeling good again and doing pretty darn well, thanks. The sty is almost gone and the spider bite is healing up beautifully. (Miracles! I'll have to share my healing tips soon.)

This morning, I was listening to a Pema Chodron talk on Learning to Stay from Getting Unstuck
(which I highly recommend). In light of the above, this part is worth sharing:
"So...I think for many people, when you have a lot of pain in your life, whether it happens to you when you're young or whether it happens later — Crisis, trauma, a lot of pain of some kind. People who have this are usually the ones who get really serious about the spiritual path and are highly motivated to learning to stay. So really it's a blessing in disguise. I think a lot of the spiritual path is about blessings in disguise and it's a good expression to keep in mind because, usually, people who have no pain — everything is kind of a game and fun and trendy and the latest thing or something, but then when the shit hits the fan, that's when you get really serious because the stakes are really high." —Pema Chodron
That pretty much wraps up certain aspects of how I feel about and have responded to my physical hardship this past year. After all, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
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Glade Shade

Glade Shade
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

Busy in the studio here preparing for the maiden voyage of my new online course:
Basic Drawing and Watercolor Online. Registration opened last night (!) and closes June 29.
We begin on July 7.Click here for details.

Above is a copy of a smaller painting I made earlier this year. I forgot that I'd named the earlier Respite and inscribed Glade below this painting. I then discovered that I already made a painting called Glade in 2009. Hence, Glade Shade. Fascinating, n'est-ce pas?

I love this painting (as I did the earlier one). I think it's the palette — the jewel-like greens and turquoise — with the small aperture of palest Quinacridone Gold set in deep scarlet. I'll play more with this set of colors. But I love the painting also for the feeling of comfort, safety, security and peace in the composition. Something primal for sure. Let's go there!

Click here to learn more about my NEW Online Course in Drawing and Watercolor.

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Free Fall

Free Fall
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

I don't mind telling you that it's scary to move into these free forms. But, as I make them, they feel natural and right. A convergence of all the marks I've made since childhood.

I got stuck on this one though. It took me over a week. Although there were extenuating circumstances, I kept going back at it trying to make it work. Some minor fussing. Letting the thing dry. More minor fussing. More letting dry.

Well, at a certain point, I had to stop. One thing that helped me let this go was making paintings beyond this entry. Because this is a book project, I'm committed to each page. No crossing out or tearing up (as I've done with so many paintings over the past 5 years.) Part of my commitment is to post each one. So... Woila!
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Far Afield

Far Afield
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I

This is the third installment of (page in) my nunjabi watercolor book. I am enjoying making each painting work (no ripping out pages!) and when the book is filled, it will have a tale to tell.

If you're already on my mailing list, you've read about my upcoming online course. If you're not on my mailing list, you could be. You could be receiving your very own copy of my weekly eZine, Stroke and Flow. Want to? Look up to your left, enter your name and email and you'll find a copy in your email every Wednesday. Each week, I publish a little note, a little news, muse on a word related to life as it relates to drawing and watercolor (or vice versa) and offer a limited time, special price on a small watercolor.

I am so excited about what I have to offer you in my new online course. I've taken the best of my workshops and classes and distilled the basics into a fun and friendly online presentation over 8 weeks. You can read all about it by clicking here.

The 8 week course starts July 7th and registration opens on June 15th. I am limiting the number of students in this first go round and already have a waiting list of more than half my capacity. Click here to add your name to the waiting list. No obligation but first come, first serve.
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Yellow Birds

Yellow Birds
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches

Nunjabi Book I


"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." —Chinese Proverb

Traditionally, birds represent the soul, transcendence, ascent, communication, freedom, and sight.

Yellow is the color of the Solar Plexus Chakra, or Manipura. Located in the stomach area it's linked to the stomach, liver, skin, large intestine, muscular system, and solar plexus area. It represents vitality and will. When open, it empowers a person and helps them find their personal strength.

At the moment, I am short on energy and long on tasks. Still, I am heeding these winged messengers and putting aside time to clear my third chakra. To open my city of jewels.

If you'd like to receive my Weekly Zine, Stroke and Flow, look up to your left, enter your name and email in the fields and you find a copy in your email every Wednesday.

Want to learn more about my online course? Click here to visit drawandwatercolor.com or contact me to put your name on the waiting list.
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A Place to Begin

A Place to Begin
Watercolor, 8 x 9 inches
Nunjabi Book 1



I've just published the first issue of my new eZine — Stroke and Flow. Yay!

Now to attend to final preparations for my first online course in Basic Drawing and Watercolor.

To keep myself painting (and sane), I've started a Nunjabi watercolor journal and plan to fill up every page. These are what I'll be posting here this summer.

I've restarted My Great Day blog and will be posting there once a week or so. Just for fun.

If you'd like to receive my Weekly Zine, Stroke and Flow, look up to your left, enter your name and email in the fields and you find a copy in your email every Wednesday.

Want to learn more about my online course? Click here to visit drawandwatercolor.com or contact me to put your name on the waiting list.
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