Monday, October 24, 2011

roses from my garden



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I caught the early morning sun on some of my roses. There are only a few left. I hate to see the summer end...

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Deb  by Jan's Art
Deb , a photo by Jan's Art on Flickr.

my friend and coworker retired and I was commissioned to paint this watercolor for her

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

geranium stem

geranium stem, originally uploaded by Jan's Art.

another quick watercolor sketch before the winter frost comes to visit

Saturday, September 17, 2011


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My friends son is now a US Marine! She is having a little party for him and I wanted to get a card, but thought - why don't I paint a card? so this is the result. Congratulations Thomas!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chris 3

Chris 3, originally uploaded by Jan's Art.

I attended a watercolor workshop by Janet Rogers on portrait painting. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot and have a lot of practicing to do! We had to do quick gesture sketches and loose washes on the shadow side of the face. Chris 1 is done in 1 color and painted without drawing.

Chris 1

Chris 1, originally uploaded by Jan's Art.

I attended a watercolor workshop by Janet Rogers on portrait painting. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot and have a lot of practicing to do! We had to do quick gesture sketches and loose washes on the shadow side of the face. Chris 1 is done in 1 color and painted without drawing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Afternoon Watch - Leuty Lifeguard Station

oil 24 x 30
Leuty Lifeguard Station is a land mark of "The Beaches" area of Toronto. My sister, Sharon lives close to here and we often walk along the boardwalk with our dogs when I visit her. This is one of my very favourite places to be on a sunny Toronto afternoon. Then we walk up just a few blocks to Queen street and sit in one of the many outdoor cafes and people/dog watch.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lily Pond

Oil 24x30 - Lily Pond
After visiting Monet's home Giverny, with my sister Sharon, I was very inspired. The gardens, home and pond are amazing! I took many photos of the lily pond and finally got around to painting it years later. The oil painting process is still a little new to me. I feel so much more comfortable with watercolor. Oil painting is a challenge and I like painting challenges so I will keep at it! My sister Sharon is a wonderful artist and has given me inspiration and encouragement.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011


007 -  I finally finished this painting!  not that I worked on it forever, but I have been procrastinating with my painting  just a little.  I started this painting last fall after a wonderful trip to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Now  I have more than enough inspiration to keep me painting for a very long time, so I need to get busy!   I captured a photo of this little boat near the harbor in Nantucket.  This painting was started with very thin washy/drippy layers of acrylic and finished off with oil.             24" x 30"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jim Markle workshop

this was the 1st sketch I did - needs some work
this is the 2nd sketch I did - a little better
3rd sketch - getting better

I attended a great workshop this weekend by pastel artist Jim Markle.
First, we did a quick sketch in charcoal - very lightly, then we used purple pastel to shade in the dark areas.  Then we slowly added color.  It was a lot of fun!

We had 2 models and were able to do 3 sketches. After the 3rd sketch, I think I was starting to get the hang of pastel sketching, but I need a lot more practice!!
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Okemos Art Show

My Delta Library show will be repeated at the
Okemos Library - Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas in Lansing

Watercolor from a photo I took of the Capitol building at sunset. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2010!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alvaro Castagnet Workshop

Alvaro in downtown Indianapolis

compressed charcoal drawing

after the demo downtown
Alvaro Castagnet

my version of Venice. After Alvaro's demos, we all tried his technique, using his painting as a reference. He paints very fast and makes it look easier than it is.

my version - Alvaro uses big squirrel mop brushes. His technique is wonderful - 1st layer after a quick drawing is washy, colorful, light, then next wash is darker and lets the light wash underneath glow. It sounds simple, right? It takes lots of practice to get the skill Alvaro has.

My Version of Alvaro's painting

Alvaro giving a demo. He uses wonderful, colorful grays that have warms and cools and varying values. Sooooo much painting to do....such wonderful inspiration!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

the catch

I painted this watercolor from a photo I took in Florida. I was drawn in by the wonderful colors and shadows of the scene.

This weekend I will have paintings and cards for sale at the "clothes line" art show in Lansings Old Town for Jazz Fest, Friday and Saturday. Come and check it out! Sounds like a great weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

late afternoon

I painted this watercolor from a photo I took of my boys a few years ago. I have always like the photo because of the lighting (and because they are my boys!) When I painted this picture I concentrated on painting the dark shapes against the light and tried to eliminate a lot of detail.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

pink hydrangea

Quick watercolor sketch (no drawing) of my garden hydrangea "Endless Summer". It is almost impossible to get my pink hydrangea to turn blue or even lavender. I used aluminum sulfate as directed and just got these lovely pink flowers! I read somewhere that you can also add 1 Tbsp of aluminum sulfate to a gallon of water and use with each watering. I will try try this. I added blue food color to the water of my cut flower - will see how that works!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

***Happy July 4th***

This is a commissioned painting I did for my friend Cris of her lovely cottage in Leland, Michigan. 22x30 size.

Hope your 4th of July is happy and safe.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

feel the ocean

I have always liked the photo I took of my son a few years ago while he played in the ocean at Laguna Beach, California. The late afternoon sun made interesting patterns of highlights. This is 8x8 watercolor and I would like to paint it again in a larger size, maybe even in oil

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Kite

A few years ago, our family took a trip north along the shores of Lake Michigan. We stopped at a beach north of Sleeping Bear Dunes and my husband Neal and son Nelson flew their kite, while I took pictures and Chris played in the sand. This is an ink and watercolor sketch that I did from one of the photos.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day is a day to honor all the very special Fathers that are very dear to our hearts. My Dad, Robert Barr is a wonderful father and grandpa. I wish him happiness and love this Fathers Day.

My husband Neal is a great father to our boys Nelson and Chris and I wish him happiness and love this father's day.

My father-in-law Leland McElmurry is a great father and grandpa and I wish him happiness and love this father's day. I celebrate these fathers for their caring hearts and generous spirits. Have a wonderful father's day to all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

after the rain

It rained in my garden this morning and afterwards the roses looked heavenly!

From top down, "awakening", "aloha", "aloha", "Graham Thomas" and geranium

Monday, June 15, 2009

on the go

Painting done from a photo taken in Portofino, Italy on a busy morning. I did a pencil sketch, permanent magenta watercolor outline drawing and Opera watercolor underpainting. I am experimenting with this technique that I learned in Donna Zagotta's workshop earlier this year.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy 85th birthday to my wonderful Dad!! June 6, 1924. This is a painting I did for Dad for his birthday. My sister took the photo reference in Lynton on one of their many trips to England. Today we are having a family birthday party for him at my sister's house in Toronto.

Mom and Dad -Isola Bella, Italy. They love to travel and have been to many wonderful places.

Helen and Bob before they were married.

Yes Dad's birthday is on D-Day. Dad was a navigator for the Royal Canadian Airforce in WWII and stationed in England. On D-Day he awoke to the sound of airplanes and when he went outside, he saw the whole sky covered with allied airplanes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


There were 5 Iris blossoms on this beautiful tall stalk. Yesterday I found it laying on the ground broken, so I brought it inside to paint. This is painted on 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper. 30x11inches. I just started right in with the paint, no preliminary drawing. Iris are one of my favourite flowers. They look so exotic!

This was a very quick 5x7 watercolor sketch of the same Iris.

Painting of a variety of different colored Iris in my Garden.