Wednesday, July 15, 2015

after van gogh ~ watercolors and white gouache in pocket moleskine sketchbook

the last few months have been a whirlwind...  three months have passed since my last post, and it seems like a month - at most!

l - r, carole, beth, me

the main event of my trip to virginia was a 165 mile, 16 day  hike on the appalachian trail.  i went with my sister, carole, and our friend, beth.  carole and beth had already hiked the other 300+ miles of the virginia AT; i just went along on the last section.

carole took this to show people that the AT isn't just a smooth path...

but sometimes it is!

it's beautiful, that much is certain.

we saw soooo many flowers...  this is a wild azalea, which may be my favorite flower.

a striped trillium...  we walked through miles of striped trillium.  we walked over mountains blanketed with white and pink trillium.  before the trip we had no idea that trilliums grew in such profusion...

the birds were mind blowing in their variety and in the songs they sang.  one night we heard whip-poor-wills all night long - above our tent.

here we are at the end, feeling very hot and sweaty.  and a little mighty...

it's humbling to hike the AT in late spring because you meet a lot of 'through hikers'.  they left georgia in february and planned to reach maine in july.  every day that they're on the trail they hike 13 - 26 miles.  whoa...

another thing i did in virginia was spend the better part of three days at the national gallery of art in washington, D.C.   i *loved* that.  they had a bookstore that was crammed with art books.  this is just one section - there was another!   i was in hog heaven...

i painted the painting at the top of the post that weekend; the original is in the nat'l gallery, as well as four or five other van gogh's.   i was happy to see them.

my 'daily book' on the trip was a pocket moleskine sketchbook.   before the hike i painted a lot, pages like the one above.

during the hike the pages looked more like this.   for the most part i had little energy for painting.

after the hike, back to painting!

now my 'daily book' is a 3 1/2" x 5" 'handbook', doing pages like this with watercolors and colored pencil.

but i'm also working outside my 'daily book'...   in fact my 'daily book' has become a place for writing things down about the day with only a tiny bit of painting/drawing.  i'm working in a lot of other books, and that's where my painting practice is happening.  one thing i do is tear 22" x 30" sheets of watercolor paper into fourths, fold them in half and stitch them together.

i'm practicing painting flowers in a looser way.  i practice and practice! the page on the left is acrylic flower practice.  i'm pretty stuck on flowers right now.

more practicing...   painting (with watercolors) without drawing first and using lots of water.  this is in the little book i take out walking.  one of these - they have *great* paper in them.

i'm tickled with the slightest progress.  i have to keep reminding myself to let each layer dry *completely* before proceeding.

and now we come to what *really*  motivated me to do this post!  i wanted to show you the slant well palettes that i've gotten recently.  if you're like me you'll say, "why didn't i figure this out before?!"

kathy gave me this ceramic palette, and i was immediately smitten with it.  not only is the palette itself beautiful, but the way that water lays at the front edge of the paint - so easy to pick paint up with a brush!  i wanted to order another one, but they no longer had this size (this is where they come from).

so, after much looking around on the internet i bought this holbein metal palette.  they come in different sizes, and in steel or aluminum.  this is the one i got - it has 24 slant wells.  i've put what looks like ridiculously small dabs of paint in it, but it's *plenty*. 


they make so much sense for watercolors; i truly cannot believe that i never thought about using a slant well palette before.

i have more stuff that i want to share, but this post is long enough.  i'll be back -  and it won't be three months from now!

* * *

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

~ Søren Kierkegaard


  1. There you are!! I've missed you. But what great adventures you've been having.
    And bravo on the van Gogh watercolor. xoxo

  2. I've been thinking about you the last few weeks, so now I know what you've been up, and in such a beautiful place....what an awesome adventure you've been having, and your watercolor sketches are making me so happy all of the flowers but gotta say I adore them all equally. I've seen those palettes at Wet Paint and now that you've given them a glowing review, might just have to invest in one. I have a ceramic one that I love but the slanted kind would be more in sync with the way I use watercolors...much ponder that some. Wonderful post and update, Lynne.

  3. Good to have you back Lynne, I really enjoyed peeping into your sketchbooks of your trip! Love the flower paintings, the petals are so beautifully painted and the quote at the end is just perfect for me right now, thankyou!
    Jess xx

  4. Your back sweet girl I've missed you so much ,what a great time you have been having so your excused lol love your travel pics so beautiful....and I agree about that palette I have a cheap plastic one ...I'm also loving flowers I just painted an Iris so fun anyway big hug xxx

  5. Wow, I am impressed with your adventure, Lynne. Really impressed. Xx

  6. Nice to see a post from you! I love your posts and go back and look at them again and find something I missed the first go round. Happy days!

    1. heya joanie!

      it's always nice to see you! i hope you're having a beautiful summer... : )


  7. wow, what an adventure! and carrying those huge packs. you will have inspiration a plenty to fuel your artwork. and there is always the delight of returning home to ones own bed mixed with the feeling of "what do I do hear, again? happy summer days, Lynne

  8. What a wonderful Adventure! You have well and truly got your creative spirit back! I just love your flower paintings, I feel a real kindred spirit and your use of colour is a sheer delight!

  9. Lynn, What lucky ducks you all are! I have found a beautiful place to walk by the gorge,
    it is all down hill until you turn around then it is a steep climb back to the car, but I love it so much because there are all manner of animals around. Your hike sounds divine as are your paintings and the one after Van Gogh is stunning. And oh that bird!!! I have missed you so. xoxo

  10. I feeling like a slug ooof.

    From georgia to Maine. Holy Footrub!

  11. Hey Sweetie ... been thinking of you lots. So glad you got to hike a stretch of the AT ... a magical path in so many ways. Have been visiting here of late, perusing the archives ... so much inspiration and so many lovelies to make my eyes smile and my heart soar. love and light ..........

  12. I love your return post Lynne! Your Van Gogh is to die for and my favorite pic is of you three at the end of your hike. What an accomplishment! So inspiring!


  13. so lovely to hear of your trip and see photos.
    I love the quote at the end. yesterday i pruned dead twigs in the woods until i was trouble free.
    I love your imaginary bird, such lovely colors.
    welcome home woman who has walked and is filled with new memories.


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