Going places

Following my wonderful travels last year, I got a little blue, thinking about an entire winter in the cold and snow. So I started making travel plans for this year!  Definitely lifted my spirits!

First I found a hiking club, with local “lite” hikes of 2-4 miles, that help keep me active.

Next, I planned a visit to Acadia Park in Maine.  It is a perfect place to enjoy the wilderness, without going too wild, or too far from civilization.  My rental is called The Bird Nest, and it’s away from the more popular areas, close to trails and close to local stores.

Another event I found is called Trek and Sketch, which includes my favorite pastimes, hiking and sketching, and, even better, it will be in the hills/ mountains in the south of France. Ahh, the perfect place to be, and a great way to enjoy it!

These will require an updating of my equipment, okay, maybe just an excuse to get some new stuff.  A new Osprey daypack comes with so many attachments that I may require assistance to make the best use of them!  Osprey backpack

And, for the very short hikes, an Eddie Bauer cross shoulder pack. Eddie Bauer shoulder bag

As I’m writing this, we are getting yet more snow, which I don’t mind, but…it will be much nicer when spring arrives.  I was excited about seeing a cardinal today, until I realized they don’t migrate, so he’s been here all winter. I need to see a robin!  Cardinal sketch

Catching up

Not sure how all of you (in the U.S.) are dealing with this cold snap. It’s sounds like we’ll be seeing warmer temperatures very soon, thankfully!
Meanwhile, I’ve been inside as much as possible, trying to stay busy. Lots of organizing, minimizing and cleaning out the old. Some art, and here are a  couple of recent ones…
Locally, a visit to the farmers market got me a couple of delicata squash. Cut and roasted, these make a delicious snack.  Delicata squash

An impulse purchase of a dozen quail eggs led to this sketch.  I was given instructions on how to break the eggs (tough shells!) or how to hard boil, which is what I did. After boiling, the inside of the shell is a very pale blue. They didn’t seem to taste much different than chicken eggs, but it was fun to try something different, and of course, get a quick sketch out of it too!  Quail eggs

One of my recent gifts was this adorable set of 3 photo holders, inspired by my travels.  They have the curly wires on top (not shown) to hold a pic.Jungle photo holders

Finally, I am very happy with the results of these two wrapped canvas with my art printed on them. They come ready to hang, no framing needed. They will be going to their new homes tomorrow.  2 elephant paintings

If you like these, or want a paper or canvas print of any of my art, let me know!  Even though I haven’t quite finished with sketching African creatures, I’m working on matting and framing my originals, and will have some prints available for sale.

Warm hugs to all of you and thank you for stopping by! 💕

New year, new palette

I like to sketch my palette at the beginning of each sketchbook, although consistency is not my forté!  I’m not starting a new sketchbook soon, so here is an update of my colors.

My current palette replaces a well used Schminke one.  This was purchased a few years ago, but it always seemed too heavy to use when traveling. It was finally time to test it, as the additional mixing area seems too good to waste.  You can see it’s been well used already. Watercolor palettes

The newer colors (small tin) are a set from Greenleaf & Blueberry.  Haven’t worked much with them, and looking forward to playing more.  2018 watercolors

For this very cold first day of the year, I’m rewatching a John Lovett watercolor instructional dvd. He is one of my favorite artists, and his videos are straightforward and easy to follow. Easy, that is, if you’re good at following direction. Not me!

Here’s to a year of creativity!

Zambia – Elephants

The creatures I most wanted to see, who made me tear up when we saw our first herd, and they are so beautiful that I wonder – how can anyone even consider shooting one?

The elephants.  We were quite fortunate to see many herds, although I’m sorry to say I have no idea which ones we may have seen the day before.  These magnificent animals were described in the brochure as “Large, grey and unmistakable”.  I can’t put it into words any better,  so I’ll just post these 2 sketches.


Splashy Elephant

Splashy Elephant

elephants - river crossing

River crossing


A brief break from sketches of my Zambia trip – here are 3 dogs sketched from photos from a friend. I don’t know the dogs personally, but I think the photos caught their personalities, even if my sketches didn’t!

Emily - black lab mix

Emily is a black lab mix

Enzo golden mix dog

Enzo is a golden mix

Maxine cairn terrier mix

Maxine – cairn terrier mix – I think she looks like a cute cartoon dog!

Zambia – more art!

Not sure if you’ve seen enough, but here’s some more art made from my trip photos and sketches. I haven’t even gotten to the elephants yet, (my favorites, you may recall!) I’m saving those, and I may shed a tear or two while sketching as they are so dear to my heart. ❤️

Red-billed Hornbills

Red-billed Hornbills


Hyena – I wondered what he was looking at?


The giraffes were very tall!


Zebra – their black and white stripes were quite vivid.


The hippos are cute, but very dangerous!


Zambia – lions

With minimal access to wifi, this trip was a relaxing vacation from social media. The unique environment (which consisted mainly of riding to the park, finding big game, sketching, then returning to the lodge, where I sketched some more) has truly inspired me to create as much art as possible to remember this trip by.

The lions are SO majestic! I doubt I’ll ever enjoy going to a zoo again after seeing them wild and free.

Lion sketch 1

Lion sketch 2

Sketched from our vehicle

Lion - watchful

Ink and watercolor done from my sketches

African lion

African lion – 11×15″ ink & watercolor

Zambia – guests at the lodge

Our huts were mostly quite clean, and (I think I mentioned) the beds were quite comfy.  But somehow, these little guys (or gals, not sure) managed to enter and keep me company every day!
I even did a photo album titled: “There’s a frog in my …!”  And of course, one of them got sketched.

Tree frog

One of my guests – a brown tree frog

A sketch done inside South Luangwa Park-

Zambia Landscape

Zambia landscape