Outdoor Fun

We are having a great time with family in Maine. The weather has been very favorable.  Every other day we run into another family member or friend in these tiny woodland towns.  We have had some fun with these unplanned reunions. This week we went to my Dad’s church with him and my stepmom for Father’s Day. Yesterday we went to the Common Ground Fairground for Farm & Homestead Day. IMG_20170618_125401We watched a blacksmith at work and got a paper-making lesson.  We had delicious fresh made and foraged food. Sweet clover is really a wood sorrel,  and the heart shaped leaves are sweet and sour yummy.  My grown son learned how to use a scythe to cut hay, and we watched a window glazing lesson. Today he is out on Grampy’s woodlot with an axe. IMG_20170618_145953

I have been painting every day.  If you would like a painted postcard from Maine,  email your address to Lucy.artlover@gmail.com

Happy summer!


Visiting The Frugal Crafter’s Blog

Inspired by Lindsay at The Frugal Crafter, blue skies and birch paint-along:  https://thefrugalcrafter.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/lets-paint-blue-skies-and-birch-trees-today/

Sometimes I overcome painter’s block by taking a walk outdoors,  looking at snapshots from previous outings,  revisit a sketch, or finish a painting that was not sparking properly at first go.  Lately a purse sized portable set has been easy for short sketches and cards.  Today I tried another fun video paint-along/tutorial from The Frugal Crafter. Thank you for posting Lindsay!


Another try it from The Frugal Crafter, watercolor teacup tutorial (around here it is renamed,  “Moxie after Midnight”).  https://youtu.be/M1EGRDF3Qso  Though lacking a Naples yellow,  or the decadent pies,  it was still fun to keep my brushes busy until I have more time on the weekend.  This is the last week of school,  and the kids are so very excited!



My Moxie Babies

My babies are now officially grown.  Both had milestone birthdays this week (18th and 24th) so today’s mini painting is from my Maine Moxie and was critiqued by the younger (who has renamed himself in my phone as “the Moxiest”). It reminds me of my oldest sitting on “mermaid rock” when she was little.


Enjoy the very merry month of May,  celebrate every day,  as we do.

Fun to be Done


Now that I have graduated with my Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences at UT Tyler, there is much more energy to fill up my sketchbooks. For my trip to Maine I am trying out portable painting options and experimenting with ideas from my notebooks.


I am excited to go to Maine,  despite the long drive. I look forward to the reward of seeing my father,  who was so moved with pride and love when he told me that I  am the first in our family to graduate from university, for I know I could not have done it without his example and encouragement.

Crissy’s Front Walk – Iris



The beautiful things Kathy and I see on the way to Ladies’ Bible study. (We are using a series by Nancy Guthrie showing Jesus in the Old Testament. http://www.nancyguthrie.com/book-dvd-list)

There are some more sketches (mostly 6×9″) on the sketchbook page.  I have been trying out three new portable boxes of paints- Yaka White Nights, Daniel Smith,  and Prima Confections Tropicals. https://visualfling.com/sketchbook


Backdoor Garden

Cone flowers and Lupines,  Prima Confections Tropicals, 6×9″ Canson XL 140 lb. Watercolor paper

Trying out some portable paints, sketchbooks, and water brushes for our summer travels, I am attracted to April flowers. My neighbors are probably just wondering why we put off mowing.

Pale Violets in the Leaf Litter,  White Nights watercolors, Bee Creative 8×8″ marker paper, Aquash brush

English Roses Backdoor Garden,  Prima Confections Tropicals watercolors,  Bee Creative 8×8″ marker paper

Nature Journal Curriculum

This time of year most teachers are evaluating and adapting their curriculums for next year.   I am really excited about videos from John Muir Laws for my own plein air painting and sketchbook journaling, and this led me to a free resource from CNPS.  Law’s naturalist expertise is evident in this free curriculum from the California Native Plant Society –

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts 

http://johnmuirlaws.com/cnps-curriculum .

 I am sampling the lessons and learning so much for my own nature journals.  I hope to also teach some of the activities during camp this summer, adapting for K-6, and then integrate with drawing from life lessons during the school year. I usually match my lessons to the curriculum whenever possible. Yeah STEAM!

The finished works being collected for our Academic bowl are great.  Insect wireframe and tissue sculptures with exoskeletons!

Bird sculptures, paintings,  and pencil drawings.  We also did some ocean creatures in clay.  I wish I could share them all.


Which way is up?

I made mannequins for my K-6 art classes  and transformed an abstract painting I did not like before. Now I like it upside down and sideways too. The working title is “Lazy Susan”.

Mannequins edited, resized and assembled from http://elementaryassistant.com/2014/08/13/poseable-jointed-figure-paper-template/  and inspired  by the excellent positive vs negative space ideas at http://arteascuola.com/2013/06/an-articulate-manikin/ & http://arteascuola.com/tag/positive-negative-space/.

The background was an experimental draft for Iris Beholder.

New School Pencils

A fresh pack of new school pencils, chalk, a box of unbroken crayons, sketchbooks and notebooks full of clean paper – and a new year has begun. At open house children who had been doodling through the presentation proudly approached me afterwards with their art. Again I am blessed to be an art teacher. It is the best job in the world.


Even so, I enjoyed the last of the vacation with some 2 minute figure drawings and a few 30 minute paint sketches.o

Bonus: A few glimpses at the chiaroscuro  by fellow artists, Don and Rich in Ocala.

The Gallery Wall

I have been using my summer break to work on figures and portraits. A few pictures here are by my friends at art club, gifts because my son was the model today and twenty days ago. I can see the improvement from my recent paintings, top two, and my earlier attempts.

What an artful week we’re having!

Time to Paint


I have time to paint, and time to tutor, and time to paint again. I may have to get up early to read more philosophers for my Ethics class, but obviously that is not something I do when I am tired. When I paint, I don’t get tired until I am done. Anyway, here is a collection of recent paint exercises up to today. Have a colorful life.


Happy Weekend of the Fourth

My husband started teaching our son how to drive. They drove me places to paint, then practiced meanwhile without any backseat driving.

We also saw an alligator, a turtle, a fountain in a pond, and a sunset before the fireworks. 

I enrolled in my last three classes to complete my Bachelor degree, and groaned a little that they were not all available in one semester. Cried when I found out the costs so far over our heads. Nonetheless, I celebrate graduation as soon as these are done. We courageously charge forward.

We are enjoying our family time and the holiday, as we hope you are too.

This is a larger version of an earlier painting, and being a little excited about visiting Maine soon, I decided to block it out some more.

Sketching Animals at the Fair



This cheerful looking zebra was bottle fed. I have never been one foot away from a zebra before.I would have sketched more, but I liked looking at them and petting some of them too.


Many thanks Alan S. and  to the Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo for letting us in early to paint next to the pens in th e  Citrus County Fair at the Inverness, Florida Fairgrounds. We came during the animals’ rest and feeding time. The pens had all been freshly re-strawed. The animals were calm, healthy looking, and reasonably friendly.20160330_142329-1.jpg20160330_142307.jpg

We were allowed in closer to the animals as long as we did not disturb them because it was only we two at the time. My favorite part was the zebra’s big ‘smile’. The zebra came up close a few times, then went to the back of the pen to eat. The porcupine was interesting too. My husband liked the kangaroo, and the asian cows.

It was a lot of fun and my memories are better than the sketches.

Chalk Painting

I just found out that my chalk pastels are water soluble. Experimenting with a few simple doodles is a fun way to try it out.




The results resemble tempera paints.
Today feels like a good day for sketching with chalks then trying out some wet blending.

Friday Figure Drawing Group

This vacation my husband and I visited the Art Center of Citrus County in Hernando, Florida. We were invited into the figure drawing group just as the live model was sitting down.

Below are three of my four attempts. Some artists continued the same painting each sitting, and each of us used our favorite materials and a variety of styles. It was a great session with an informal constructive critique.

They also mentioned a plein air outing on Wednesday that I knew I would like to attend if my teaching schedue matches up.

Here is the link to their Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/Art-Center-of-Citrus-County-232919693409477/ or you could visit their home page: https://artcenterofcitruscounty.org/


Third 20 minutes


Last 10 minutes


First 20 minutes