Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Postcards from the Lake: Painting and Pleasure

Ah, after festivities it was time to return to the lake!  Rick's prepping for his bike ride to Quebec (which means working like a dog before), so I'm up here -- just me and Lizzie. She's surprisingly talkative, so I'm not too lonely -- but I sure do relish the nightly Skype calls with Rick, though I'm having a devil of a time figuring Skype out! (I forgot my phone.)

It's been a pretty mellow week, mostly beautiful apart from one really horrible rainy day when I hit the road for Petoskey to see the Ansel Adams exhibit -- but that's another post! The rest of the time was spent swimming, reading and painting.

I have a new favorite subject. 

I like the matting on this. Centers the subject.


I like this one, too -- but I have to redo -- the lips are too red. I kept fussing to get just the right color and all of a sudden it was really off! Did I mention that painting when things are in shadow is really hard? And the eyes need a little work. Too dark around the outside. But the face is our Baby Grand, so back to the drawing board. Or painting spot.

This one -- not so good. Carson's lips look a little fat, I'm having a devil of a time with shading and poor Rick only has a partial resemblance. So that's due for a do-over, too.

But I've had a little better luck working with some photos Jemma shared with me of her craft projects. I was surprised this one turned out -- the baby's breath (white) is not easy to paint! Maybe it will turn pink. Or the background will get a little darker. Or both. Or I'll do it over!

I like this wreath too -- I think the browns might be a tad dark but it captures the warmth of Jemma's beautiful styling.

And this one -- her decoupaged dessert plates -- turned out better than I thought too. Whose name should be on that place card? I'm not sure if the fork looks a little wonky. The more I look at it, the more I don't think it's the fork's fault -- I think I got the perspective on the table a little off. I think I might be able to fix that. Hope so!

(Really, you should check out Jemma's blog if you're into crafting or gardening -- she has some wonderful ideas and good recipes, too!)

A friend sent me a photo she thought I should try so I did. I think it will benefit from the matting, but the shadows were pretty intense when I was trying to photograph it so there you have it. No mat here!

A couple of fancilful things -- my back-of-the-cat got a do-over...

...and so did the Martha's Vineyard porch chair. The left is the original one I showed a bit back and the one on the right is the do-over. I'm not sure if it's much better. 

Finally, my owl from Pittsfield, MA a couple of years ago. Not quite right either, but getting there.

And here's another Martha's Vineyard house -- very festive! (The gingerbread looks like how it did in the photo but to me it looks like icicles so I think I'll play with that a little more!)


I've been doing some landscape looking too and bought two Quick Fire hydrangeas, which are supposed to get to eight feet and the flowers are supposed to be a pretty pink... 

...  and staked out my planting area for three Blue or Norway spruce trees. They start out five feet tall and grow two feet a year. Aiming to get some of my privacy back!

I'll paint till the sun goes down -- unless I'm reading or swimming or working in the yard. But sunset is mellow time!

And the girl quiets down and starts to get a little tired too. 

Loving the lake. Oh, yes, I do!

So happy to join in these blog parties this week: Pink Saturday, Share Your Cup, Share Your Style


  1. Ah, that last photo speaks to me, I'm off to put my big feet up as soon as I have written this. LOVE your water colours, baby grand is gorgeous, as are the lovely flowers, and the cat' behind, too! Keep enjoying your vacation, hugs from sleepy Valerie

  2. Hello, cute photos of your Lizzie. Your paintings are all lovely. The little one is adorable, I love the owl, flowers and festive flag house too. The hydrangea and spruce trees look like great picks. Beautiful sunset. Enjoy your day!

  3. I am so impressed by your watercoloring. Absolutely beautiful - and always charming.

  4. You are really getting in some painting time. I love looking at your work. The back of the cat is adorable and I think I could do that :) I need to get off the computer and spend some time with my paints today. I'm really loving all your efforts (pink bike is so cute). Hugs!!

  5. Your summer sounds soooo perfect. Painting and reading, what could be better?
    Your paintings are beautiful.
    My two absolute favorites are the first one of the little guy and the pink flowers on the bike. Kudos.
    Continue enjoying your summer, my friend.

  6. I just love seeing your paintings in progress and get a wonderful vicarious pleasure in hearing about your idyllic summer days at the lake! I especially love the fact that you forgot your phone! Now THAT'S mellow!!!

  7. Great, great job on the painting. I bought some watercolor and paper a couple months ago and I have not played with it yet. Don't know why I am concerned about starting since I can paint....just not sure about watercolor. Love the pic of your kitty yarning....

  8. It is obvious that you are doing what all Artist should do.....practice, practice, practice! Your paintings are lovely, You are painting what you love and it shows. Off on another note......talked to my Son, the Lawyer. He recommmends you don't wait to sue over what your neighbors did to your property. What they did is illegal and if you allow them to get away with it, you may regret it. They should have to replace the trees, and not little but big ones. Also, something sounds fishy that they put their septic on your property.. Must have not had a permit, or inspection. Tom says you usually don't have a big window to sue, so go for it. You have a winning law suit if they went onto your property. They should have to pay to replace as well as for the emotional damage.

  9. Pets make such good company. I've been home all summer with the 2 dogs most days, or like today just one of them while the other goes to doggie daycare. They follow me around and so who gets lonely? The spruces look like they will do the trick for privacy. Nice they aren't little tiny saplings and are starting off pretty big. And I'm also impressed Rick will ride all the way to Quebec. :)
    But I also need to say I am loving the paintings. You do know how to do children. I was trying to paint a child's face today and it still looks like an adult.
    Sounds like your summer is as wonderful as mine. I'm going to go climb in my hammock and read for a bit, not that I've done much all day. :) Can;t wait to see the Ansel Adams photos. I went to an exhibit of his once many years ago and all I can say is wow. he had talent.

    happy day-Hugs-Erika

  10. Jeanie,

    Your creativity and the natural way you express yourself is not only beautiful but charming!
    I am beyond thrilled that you have taken on my little project with such gusto and talent. I hope this journey is not only enjoyable but maybe a little exciting for us both too!

    What fine specimens of Spruce Trees, I do believe they are some of the finest Pine Trees there are.


  11. I'm glad Lizzie is talkative enough to keep you from getting too lonely. Howard is our chatty kitty, but he squeaks more than talks.

    You've been buys with your painting! I especially like the cat one. I really hope you're saving at least some of the ones of Carson for him to have when he's older. I would like those would be very special to him and/or whoever he ends up with in life.

    I'm anxious to hear how your hydrangeas do. We've tried planting some, but haven't had any success. I may try the variety you have next year if yours do well.

  12. I must admit that I read your lake post and found it so unbearably sad that I just couldn't even comment. This follow up is the perfect antidote and I'm thrilled to see you here smiling and picking out trees to retrieve your privacy.

    Your series of watercolors are wonderful and I fell in LOVE with the blue house.

  13. Looks like you are keeping really busy with the painting. They are lovely and colourful and I especially like the ones of your new subject. The new trees look like they will do the job nicely :-) Enjoy the rest of your week. It's a heatwave here and the skies above me are very smokey from the fires which are miles to the north.

  14. Lots of lovely art here. I especially like the 'back of the cat' one as it resembles my Annie with the peachiness. :)I do hope you soon feel better about the loss of your privacy. You are doing the right thing planting trees and shrubs that grow quickly. It won't take long. Lizzie looks like she is enjoying her cottage time. sending hugs, Deb

  15. You're painting a lot! Way to go! Good work!
    I think I'd float on a noodle all day.

  16. Oh my . . . very talented . . .
    I can't imagine tackling some of the watercolor you create . . .
    Easy peasy it is for me these days . . .
    I must admit . . . I am so not a SUMMER . . .
    I think we have had twenty plus days of full sun,
    high temps, back and forth from high humidity, to low.
    Seriously, the only time I have been enjoying outdoors is from
    eight to nine in the morning . . .
    I will cease with my whine, go back to my book
    and enjoy absolutely everyone of your watercolors . . . in between.
    Forgive my Debby Downer spirit . . .
    I promise to shape up soon!
    Maybe if I had a cottage by the lake and some flamingoes . . . ???

  17. You have been painting up a storm. Gotta love each one, especially of Carson and Rick. the chair do over is wonderful, but if I had created the first one, I would have been happy. You are gifted and don't give yourself enough credit.

    Glad to see you have figured out a way to get your privacy (and nature) back and so glad Lizzie is vocal. So is Bleubeard, but Squiggles rarely talks. Have a super weekend, dear.

  18. Love the portraits of your grandson.
    I think the spruces will do the job, and they are pretty trees. I hope you and Lizzie enjoy your solitude, but I know you'll be glad when Rick is back int he picture.

  19. Jeanie, You have described the best vacation, lots of swimming, reading An of course your painting. Speaking of painting, I think your first is my favorite. You sure captured your grands sweet face, adorable! Happy to hear you are planning your privacy landscape, it sounds perfect. I'm sure you miss Rick but you will enjoy time with Lizzie doing what you love at the lake. Maybe it's a good thing u forgot your phone! Enjoy the lake.....

  20. I'm glad you're getting in plenty of reading, painting, and relaxation time.

  21. Good morning, Jeanie! Yeah, it's raining here today too. But I'm not going to let that stop me. I'm going to see what mysterious looking photos I can come up with in between the raindrops!

    Your watercolours are fabulous. Like I've said before, you hold the brush, but the water runs where it wishes if you let it, then who knows what masterpiece can come of it! Excellent likeness to the baby.

  22. I love to follow along with you on your critique of your work...I appreciate and admire your desire, drive and love of the watercolor me, your paintings show pure joy. :)

  23. I enjoyed seeing your works in progress, Jeanie. The first of baby grand really resembles him very well!
    Glad you've found a landscaping solution to the rude neighbors.

  24. Jeanie, Lizzie is adorable; and a chatty cat is always good company! Love your new favorite subject. You're doing so well with your painting.

  25. I love that one of the martha's vineyard one with the bright and bold and well, I just like it! Neat colors.

  26. PS--just saw where you'd been by...thank you for the compliment on Beckie, yes she is a sweetheart! Im so glad you enjoyed the blog about the kitties. Sounds like you have many kitties find you the same way the find me. I do believe kitties have that way about find where they need to be, to get to the people who will help them, to get to the people they in turn help. They have that sense about them I think. And I will not turn away one who needs help.

  27. Oh my goodness, I missed this post. Jeanie, I can't believe these paintings you did of the baby. You are getting so good at this. Love the one with the little red bird too.

    Hello there Lizzie. : ) You sure are soft and cute.


  28. those are really great art pieces! I paint too and I think you're really awesome <3

    xoxo, rae

  29. Deep breath of ahhhhhhhh:)
    I love your lake life:)
    And feel reassured by your skype difficulty:) Techy things are the bane:/
    Seriously, your Summering is so sweet to my soul.
    Thanks for sharing it (and what keepsakes you're creating, Jeanie!
    I mean, really! You're leaving such a gift to be savored long.
    I so admire your talent and the love it spreads)
    Happy, happy land-caring and sunsoaking and lake-living:)

  30. You have been painting up a storm Jeanie! You are so brave to paint your grandson, I think he looks great! You seem to have a lot of self doubt, DONT! Your paintings are wonderful, you must stop being so critical and pointing out what you think are flaws, art is all about character and individuality! I love the wreath and the bicycle especially, they are loose and free~ keep having fun!

  31. Beautiful watercolour paintings, Jeanie! Bravo! You've been prolific even when lazing by the lake. :)

  32. Lizzie sure seems to be enjoying her summer:)
    Have a sun-drenched weekend.

  33. I'm glad you have Lizzie to keep you company! I always feel less lonely when Oscar is around! It's just nice to have a little companion. She doesn't 'talk' much but makes her presence known.

    I love all of these painting! The Martha's Vineyard ones are always my favorite as I love the bright pop of color - especially that bright pink house! But the others ones are all great, too, especially the ones of Baby Grand!

  34. What a wonderful summer, you are being very creative and productive. How lovely to also have the time to say this needs a bit of work (your words not mine, they all looked brill to me!) and knowing you'll get to it. I imagine your cup of gratitude is running pretty high and right up there is the time to cherish your Grandson through your art. You deserved it. Happy days!
    Wren x

  35. Wow your pictures are beautiful. As hard as a critic as you are on yourself, I couldn't do half as good!

  36. Jeanie your paintings are so beautiful they warm the heart especially those of your little grandbaby. It doesn't matter if you get them perfect it is the feeling they evoke that makes them special. I too know all about Jemma and her great blog and loved all your paintings.

  37. Jeanie, I love visiting with you at the lake! I loved viewing all of your paintings, you are a little tough on your work! I see great beauty in each piece, especially the grandson! Have a beautiful day!

  38. Sweet Miss Lizzie... hello, sweetie! Fun to catch up with you, Jeanie and see what's been happening with you lately. (I'm late getting back here, as TJ had some TJ of last week. :) What a lovely venue for viewing Ansel Adams--look forward to seeing more from that! LOVE your portrait of Baby Grand--it's wonderful! You are getting brave with your painting--portraits now too!! Just so much enjoy seeing what you've been working on and trying... Oh, and your piece with the plate is such fun! And lovely hydrangeas you've planted! Good with the fast growers you've chosen... you'll be shieled from "next-doo-suburbia" soon! ;) Happy Summer Days, my friend ((HUGS))

  39. I think you are so talented sweet friend! Absolutely love your paintings. Thanks for sharing with SYC. I'll be featuring you this week.


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