Sunday, November 21, 2010

Canada Trip Sketches, Salmon & Snow

I gazed out the window at the lovely huge soft snowflakes falling from heaven...
Our first snow of the season fell today, their slow glide like a white moving lacy curtain outside our windows. But, they did not stay long as our temperatures were not quite cold enough.

I have been playing this past couple of weeks with fanciful things. I made a "fascinator" which is a frufru cocktail hat (good for parties I suppose or just fun), I dyed and stamped fabric, stitched fabric crows, created small cards with a favorite photo, painted, sketched and mixed here and there. Today I made a couple of minor changes on this blog and am thinking to change the design soon. And worked on which paintings will go into 2 upcoming shows in the next week or so. And we just returned from a trip to the Washington coast late Thursday which I will share about in a later post.

A Canada Trip
Meanwhile, here's a few quick sketches from our anniversary trip to British Columbia in October... It was stunningly beautiful. We took a side trip to a creek that was running with many many bright orange spawning salmon, as you may have heard Canada was having a record return of the salmon this year, it is a fantastic sight and great to hear good news like this.
We took a scenic boat ride up the Harrison River, great sunny crispy cool weather, and the fall skies and light with shadows, perfect for lots of photography with my new camera and relaxing with the sketchbook....
Fishermen were everywhere, on the shore, in the water with hip waders on, standing up in boats...
We had dinner one night in a Chinese restaurant... always fun to save those good fortunes..
People lined up for Tea Time in the hotel after their pool time, dressed in their white robes and bathing suits...
What could be better than a hot cup of lemon black tea with cookies on a cool fall day?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall Colors, Trees, and Camera Tips

Sometimes the colors are so luscious, I want to swim in them.....
Fall Colors
We've been out on several occasions lately just to see the fall colors of the trees with the leaves turning. We don't really have to go very far to see the changes. Amazingly beautiful reds, oranges, yellows - cast against blue/white skies and grassy greens... My photo's here are from a nearby park and along the side of the street. Great inspiration for painting!

The New Camera
Lucky me, I have been taking even more photo's, as I finally have a new camera, a Canon G-12 Powershot. If you are in the market, this is a terrific camera. It's the latest model called an "advanced digital point and shoot", that is, it has the features of an automatic, but also has many more options that a SLR would have, while maintaining it's compactness (14 oz). I did quite a bit of research before getting this camera and now that I'm using it, I can say, I'm glad I chose this one. No shutter delay, great low-light pix, a viewfinder and a move-able LED screen, shoots RAW, gorgeous sharp photo's. I will be discovering and learning quite a while what I can do with this camera!

I have to say, I balked at the 14 oz size at first when I was researching camera's because the one I've been using forever was only 5.5 oz. And, I have to have something that will fit easily in my purse and go with me everywhere... SO, I looked in my kitchen cabinet and found a can of artichokes that weighed 14 oz and put it in my purse to see if I could stand to carry that around. I am learning to carry less baggage around in my purse (and otherwise). The artichokes passed the test, hence the new camera!

There was one other camera that I liked quite a lot, a Panasonic Lumix, that was half the weight and size, but it did not have a viewfinder, nor as good a zoom. Otherwise it was comparable and is the camera that my virtual travel friends recommend. But for me, a viewfinder was a must, as often the LED disappears in strong sunlight, and a better zoom, well, what can I say?

Another tip, I bought my camera at Kenmore Camera, a great local shop in Kenmore, WA with very experienced people. An annoying thing I've found lately about electronic things, is that often you get an abbreviated handbook with the item, while the detailed handbook is on-line. When I asked about this, Kenmore Camera offered and printed out the 213 page Camera User guide for me (2 pages on each side, saves paper) -- so I can take it with me as I learn how to use all the features. I took the pages to Kinko's and had them coil bound for about $4 or so with plastic covers.

So, for researching which camera to buy, I used the latest Consumer Reports reviews- which I could access free from my local library. Plus a website called Digital Photography Review (, among others. Hope all this helps anyone looking for a new camera.

Happy Picture Taking!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Paintings, Screening and Jurying

I just keep on painting whatever appeals to me, and I see it's mostly nature that inspires...
Screening and Jurying
This past week I presented paintings for screening to the Board of the Seattle Co-Arts and was juried in as a member. I spent a fair amount of time wondering what to submit, as my art has been in transition for quite a while. And so, to demonstrate that, and to acknowledge I wasn't going to be giving up watercolors any time soon, even though I've been painting a lot in acrylics and mixed media - I presented a mix of 3 watercolors and 3 acrylics. Above are my recent painting works that were screened.

Oops, I forgot, here's another one that was in the mix:
It's good to have gone through this step of jurying from peers... I have also submitted several images that will appear on the Co-Arts website soon when their renovation is completed.