Wednesday, April 15, 2015

watercolors and gouache in hahnemuhle sketchbook, 4" x 6"

i've been delinquent, but i must post now because tomorrow i leave for a five week trip to virginia.  if i don't post now it'll be may before i do!    that's just too long!

after a maira kalman painting in 'my favorite things' ~ colored pencil and pencil in hahnemuhle sketchbook, 4" x 6"

my arm has healed beautifully, that's not why i haven't posted.  partly it's been laziness, and partly it's been a lack of anything to show.   i felt like the woman in the drawing above; everything i did left me uninspired.  it felt old, boring, bleh...   i tried a lot of different papers and a lot of different books, and everything i did in them felt bleh.

then a few things happened.  i read this post by julie ford oliver and what she described felt so much like what i was in the middle of that i better just knowing i wasn't alone.    i saw the flower paintings of bari j. and instantly felt "YES!" inside.  and last but not least, another post by julie ford oliver showing a watercolor painting in a moleskine sketchbook, which i've always thought of as the worst possible books for watercolors.  but hey, it was obviously time to shake things up so i painted in an old one and loved it.  it was the first thing i'd done in months that truly made me happy inside.

watercolors and gouache in hahnemuhle sketchbook, 4" x 6"

since then i've been painting gleefully...  this bird and the painting at the top of the post were done in a hahnemuhle sketchbook that i got in february - and quickly decided was no good for watercolors (but fantastic for pencil).   now i think that watercolors (especially gansai tambi watercolors) are gorgeous in it.

looking back it feels like i was in a maze, taking lots of turns that i thought would lead to soulful paintings, but were instead dead ends.  it was very frustrating and i'm glad i'm out of it...

one of the things that i'm gonna do in virginia (besides visit my family) is go on a long hike on the appalachian trail.  i've been walking *a lot* lately to get ready for it.  i'll be taking a sketchbook for sure, and this paint set which is (most) affectionately known as The Badass Paint Set.  i took the cotman paints out and put in my own choices...  also a small tube of white gouache. 

and now on to things that i've been wanting to tell you about!   this pencil sharpener for starters!  it's the best...  i know, i know, i've recommended other sharpeners before, but this one's better!

pentalic 100% cotton watercolor journals now come in a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" size;  larger 5" x 8" books are also available.  the paper in these books is *nice*.

legion paper company sells samplers of many kinds of paper - watercolor, book, digital, drawing, etc...  you can order them here.

the best list of journals, sketchbooks and visual diaries ever, here!  thank you, beverley!

okay, i can go on my trip now...   : )

* * *

“A journal is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think that you control it.”

~ John Steinbeck, via tumblr


  1. Beautiful work as always! And yet again - I have a list of art things I now have to buy -)
    Have a wonderful east coast visit.

  2. What a great post!
    I admit to getting a big grin seeing the expression on your face in your self portrait. I am still there!
    Glad that you have kicked that dry spell out on its butt and are back into your delightful, creative and inspiring mode. Love love the bird. Beauuuutiful colors!
    My Cotman box is so old one of the flaps has gone but I squeeze my own colors in the pans just like you. It is a treasure to travel with.
    Moleskin comes in different papers. Maybe you have one not good for watercolor? I love mine because the drawings work so well too. Anyway... Good to know my post inspired you and I hope yours does the trick for me too.
    Have a fabulous trip. I did the Trail in my thirties and loved it.

  3. Love the bird, it seems so you! I could feel the energy change in this post as I got nearer the bottom. By the time I got to the part about the pencil sharpener I could feel your joy and enthusiasm bubbling over!

    The reality of the human realm: we all go through some sort of dry spells. It's what we do with them that counts. And it's hard when we're in the middle of them. Curiosity and trust are important factors for me (not that I always have these).

    Have a wonderful walk in the woods! I am reading a book you might like right now called The Untethered Soul. :)

  4. Have a lovely time away! :)

  5. Hello sweetheart I'm so glad you posted I was thinking of you the other day , I'm in the same void and not liking it one bit , glad you are back and enjoying painting ,love that green bird , not liking my Gansai Tambi still ,oh well glad you are....

  6. *love* that lime bird.
    Have a wonderful time. I'd give my left whatever for 5 weeks off work...

  7. Lynne!! I have missed you! I'm glad your painting mojo has returned and your arm healed. I felt very old and grumpy for many weeks after my injury but I think the Spring has renewed my Vigour ;) Your sweet bird is WoNderful... Have a fantastic break my friend.....

  8. Happy Spring to you
    The nature trail and family will heal everything.

  9. I was just about to email you and thought...wonder if she's posted...and here you are. You have been SO missed my friend. Julie is like medicine...her honesty and willingness to share is inspiring. Your green bird is the beautiful and natural...perhaps a prelude to all the green that is about to engulf you on your hike. Happy trails dear safe.


  10. I have missed you so...Love the lazy lady and the bird! We all go through those periods of being bored by what we do, thank god they don't last. Have a most wonderful trip and hike! xoxo

  11. Hi Lynne, I just wanted to say you have been missed so much! So happy to hear your arm is healed and you are happy with you art again! Its so hard to be unsatisfied with our own art making! (I really understand that feeling!) I hope you have a wonderful trip and an excellent hiking experience! I recently read the book "Wild" - and was inspired with the idea of having a hike myself, but the moment passed, I shall be very excited to hear about your experiences! Take care, gurl! XOlivia

  12. Hi Lynne! I think we have all been in that "bleh" place at one time or another, and I'm glad you got through it. I'm kind of in one myself, right now. I'm totally in love with your green bird, and that drawing of the woman after Kahman. Also, thanks for all the advice and recommendations of art products!

  13. I missed the arm post! Glad it is healing now! I am pleased you are happy with what you are doing again. It is horrible when things don't seem to be what you are looking for. I love that green bird and how you are always experimenting with different papers and books. I hardly ever use the same book twice. My last one was a converted book-gessoed papers and my current one was a two for one cheap deal from Rymans's (a stationers) that is uite good considereing how cheap it was. The paper is quite smooth and absorbent-better for thicker paints. I have been trying alcohol pens too-something I always thought I didn't like but find I quite do! I hope you enjoy your trip to Virginia and your walking. I read 'A Walk in the Woods' by Bill Bryson a few years ago and loved it. (Appalacian trail-not sure what part of it though) and am currently reading a book set in Virginia weirdly enough! (Patricia Cornwall-'Isle of Dogs'-bought because of the connection to the Isle of Dogs near where I live)

  14. first of all i hope you are having a great trip, i'm sure it will bring inspiration.

    and yes i have been to that place, and yes because of that passion for painting it feels really disturbing and uneasy, the more i felt upset, the more difficult it felt to go on, so i knew i had to accept and than let go (working in the garden was a great help here) i started to make some collages,i just cutted figures out of beautiful old paper (like drawing with scissors) this way i could make all kinds of different compositions which felt good, i could quickly swich moods thanks to diffent colors and patterns of paper and explore, loosening up was reached. a step further i began adding painted areas to the collages and i felt back on the right track.

    your bored lady looks defenitely bored :)
    your green bird, ready to take another flight ;) x

  15. Have a wonderful trip, Lynne. BTW, I took my gansai water colors with me to Scotland! Made room for them in my suitcase.

  16. Hi Lynne! I have missed you too! I love that bird, so very beautiful.♡♡♡ I hope you have really nice trip and it's good to know your hand is better now. With love, NiinaKoo ♡

  17. Hi Lynne! I have missed you too! I love that bird, so very beautiful.♡♡♡ I hope you have really nice trip and it's good to know your hand is better now. With love, NiinaKoo ♡

  18. Hi Lynne, I had missed the post about your arm, I'm glad it healed well. I think we all get in one of those moods. I've been checking out your links though and am loving the inspiration - thank you for sharing!

    I love both your lady (and thanks, have now discovered Maira Kalman too!) and always love your birdies.

    As for the art palette, *swoon* onto the groaning wishlist it's gone :P

    Have an amazing trip - look forward to reading all about it x

  19. I know how you felt, I still hate everything I make and reluctantly decide when the painting's finished but as if by magic after a few weeks I love it again (mostly) ;) I'm going to follow the link you kindly shared to Julie's blog, it's so reassuring to hear other artists feeling like this.
    I hope you're enjoying your trip and I look forward to your return!
    Jess xx

  20. hello dear Lynne,
    i hope you are having a wonderful time on the other side of the country!
    inspiration comes and goes
    like waves in the ocean or emotions as they rise and flow
    lovely to see what inspired you and the each piece of art
    sweet journey to you ~

  21. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I would love to do some hiking on the appalachian trail. I hope you will show us some photos. I loved your story of the loss and finding of inspiration.

  22. Dying to hear about your trip!
    Hope you are creating!

  23. Good for you! Your trip sounds great! I'm so happy to see your work again!


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