Day 1044 – That Dirty Dried out Palette

Now that I am home for a day or two I wanted to use my Ted Nuttall palette. This is actually Teds Palette. 


All those lovely transparent colors. 

And it helped with my procrastination mode getting started painting the Raisin and Harley painting 

which is finally transferred to paper and ready to paint. 

Of course my Palette has dried out and filthy. They always dry out!!   It needed revival and cleaning. Another way to procrastinate!!! The spray bottle was not getting the job done. The colors were lumpy and nasty. 

So how did I get it clean and get the paint smooth and ready to use!?

First I sprayed it and tried stirring each color with its own tooth pick. That did not do much for the lumps. I wanted to paint!!! 

I got out my trusty old palette knife. It has a tiny blade on it compared to most so it fit perfectly in the wells of my porcelain palette. 

I used a jillion Kleenex wiping wells out where there was just a dribble of old hard paint. NO LOTION On those Kleenex. 

I started bending my antique palette knife in some of the paint. Oh NO!! I kept going. What palette knife is supposed to last forever!? 

I decided to rearrange the colors. Here and there I had added colors I MUST have to the basic Nuttall Palette like Cerulean, Andrews Blue, Daniel Smith Piemonite and Green Apaptite. 

 The Kleenex and the palette knife left crusts of color in the corners. 

Then I realized I could fill the wells with water and used an old brush to swirl out the bits left in corners. Hallelujah clean wells at last. 

I used a sharpie to rewrite the colors on the edges of the wells and I even have a few leftover slots. 

So it’s new clean and lovely at this point. 

What I learned while cleaning my palette. 

  •  Wear rubber gloves while cleaning your palette unless you want to have colored fingernails.  😱
  • Those dollar store Kleenex with lotion have something wierd in them. They gave me a rash when I used them on my nose. 😱😱 Now gone. 🤗🤗🤗
  • Now I know why some people have stacks of these palettes. It might be easier to just buy a new palette than clean the old one out. 

Margaret who has some painting to do. Xoxox and no more reasons to procrastinate because I even cleaned up the studio and moved to the summer one aka the kitchen table and island. 

Oh wait I need to use the glass cleaner on the winter studio table. It’s looking hazy. Procrastinate procrastinate.  I need some flowers to paint!!  


Day 1043 – Chuck and Judy 3 or is it Brenda and Judy?!

I don’t know about you but I can’t take enough classes with Charles and Judy Reid. I highly recommend them. 

Did I say I own all of his books but one and several videos?!!

Brenda and Christine Again! – Charles Reid class 

And evidently I can’t draw Brenda the Blonde- enough either.  

The third time in Charles class. 

Brenda and Rebecca – Peggy Habets class

. I have drawn her at least FIVE times because she stands and watches the teacher paint and she’s handy to draw. Some turnout better than others. 

Oops  way too dark. 

I usually draw her pretty well but sometimes thempainting goes astray like in this one. Too dark. 

But the sketch was great.  

One more Brenda in Ted Nuttalls class May 2016. 

Christine in Ted Nuttalls class May 2016. 

Margaret whose going to paint raisin and Harley if I can quit watching the Keepers   today on Netflix’s. Riveting show. Highly recommend. 


Day 1042 – Happy Memorial Day

Which somehow seems an odd thing to say when you are remembering the deaths of millions of young men in battles.

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie. 

The 73rd anniversary of the D Day Invasions is coming up June 6 so Memorial Day seems like a good time to revisit the invasion sites in Normandy and remember the many brave young men who died there so long ago. 

Bytw Rick Stevens visits all the places we want to in Normandie including Rouen the Norse capital and of course d Day sites. 

Arrowmanches les Bains, Normandy, France in the heart of the invasion zone.  

Last night I watched a Pbs show about a group of D Day survivors who returned to Allemanche and the landing beaches on the 75th Anniversary in 2014. They had not wanted to go do fear the French would reject them. 

The D-Day Landing map 

It was so touching to see how much the French of all ages opened their arms to the returning soldiers now extremely old men giving them many hugs and kisses and thanking them for giving them their freedom that they still enjoy 70 years later. In Normandy they still celebrate the arrival of the Allies every June 6 so that it will never be forgotten. 

 The Pegasus Bridge Commander, General Hill, and the US Divisions who were at Normandy

The one of the old men said they were not the Beatles but to the French of Normandy they were something better. Men who had fought and died to free the French. Such a touching show. 

 This is the Canadian WW2 Cemetery at Bien Sur Mer. A touching spot it’s a beautiful parklike  place where 70 years later everything is in pristine condition bushes trimmed gravestones scrubbed and flowers planted everywhere. 

The Canadian Museum at Juno Beach. Gleaming in the afternoon sunshine if viewed from the air it looks like a large maple leaf. The exhibits are all up to date state of the art interactive exhibits.  It sits on the bluff above the beaches and La Manche -the Arm- what the French call the English Channel. 

Pegasus Bridge. The spot where the Brits lead by Gen Hill parachuted into Caen, Normandy the DAY BEFORE the  D Day Invasions. And of course many died there. Some never touched the ground. One hung from the church tower acting like he was dead and lived to tell the story. Brave Man!!

This fascinating museum is shaped like one of the gliders they parachuted out of. 

Pock marked with bullet holes, Eglise de Ranville, the site of another allied cemetery, where even on a cold grey November day there were bright flowers marking the graves. This Ranville, Basse-Normandy, France claims to be the first village freed by the Allies in June 6 1944. 

Another Map of the D Day Invasion. 

The full spread from my sketchbook. 

And a journal page of a few other places we visited on our trip to Normandy to the D Day sites.  

Happy Memorial Day! 

Margaret xoxoxo whose going to listen to old WW 2 movies on TCM while she paints.  #usk #urbansketcher #traveljournal #watercolor #aquarelle #ink #strathmore #viking #strathmore500 #arrowmanches #normandy #normandie #normandietourisme #vikingcruises #PegasusBridge #bayeux #Ranville #beny-sur-mer #Rouen #omahabeach #junobeach #dday #alliedinvasion 

Day 1040 – Canyons – Blowing Rock! 

Mike and I had lunch at the Canyons in Blowing Rock because as she said the view of the mountains was spectacular from dining room.  The food was delicious too and the service was great. 

Spring green was the key color out the window covering the trees and the mountains. 

Painted with Charles Reid palette leftovers. He only uses 12 colors. All Holbein.  The greens are hookers and Oxide of chromium. He also likes cobalt violet. Uses all of those a lot on flowers.  

I guess I need to do a sample of them so you can see the colors. Just normal old colors. No Quins though I added my favs Quin gold and burnt orange which I sub for ochre and burnt sienna at times. 

I kept trying to get a pic of this interesting guy when he was sitting at the bar inside but he was back lit which does not work in a photo. Don’t u love all the trash can background?!  

Funnny story. I went to the trash cans when we got in the car to throw some junk out that I pick up like a pack rat and guess who was there!? The guy. And a waitress who had been watching me draw she told him to pose for me because I was a really good artist. Lights not great but it might work.  I have more of him not smiling. Do t like painting teeth showing. 

Should have told him to take off his hat but that would have ruined his charm. I did get him to turn around but still no light. 

The Mountains from the porch. 

In the restaurant from our table.  What a view. Love this place. 

Ttyl Margaret xoxoxo

Day 1039 – Procrastinating w the Chuck and Judy show!!

Judy Reid 

Hard to believe it’s already been two weeks since I was with Charles and Judy Reid in Boone. Of course that means the time til the next class with them is shorter. Lol. 

Judy told us Charles’ bio and of course I had to illustrate it. I thought you might like to read it. Also additions by Charles who made  small comments and corrections  through out the her story. 

Why Chuck and Judy. HEs never called Chuck. He’s always Charles. But they acquired the nickname over the years because of their close symbiotic relationship of running a class over their 60 plus years of marriage. 

She runs the practical side with the efficiency of the retired kindergarten teacher she once was. He runs the creative side and ongoing discussions between them settle all the details. 

The quote is Judy’s about his new Mast General baseball hat. He always wears one to shade his eyes from overhead lights or the sun. 

This is Christine and Brenda. I think I have sketched them more than anyone except Rebecca. They usually stand nearby the teacher so they can see. This is my fourth class with them I think. 

Margaret whose going to paint some in her coloring book sketchbook before she gets busy on the big horse painting. Xoxoxo

Day 1038 Drawing for days now. 

Finally getting the big painting of this ready.  

As Charles Reid says “There are just some days I can’t draw.” And apparently this painting involved that for me. 

The new painting has involved a lot tweaking. Harley is one big horse and he’s not in this painting. He’s too small. 

I took a comparison pic of Raisin and Harley when I was in Bristol to see just how big he was. His head is about three times as long as Raisins plus his ears. In the first painting he was a little small. I think his head needed to be twice as big. 😳

I had already started drawing her on a whole sheet  of watercolor last summer but there was no way I could stuff Harley onto that sheet of paper. Oops! I had ripped five previous inches off. Double oops. 

So I traced her to transfer her to an elephant sheet(30×40″)  of arches cold press. And drew one eye to low. Eeekkk. I couldn’t even trace!

I drew him and 

Worked on him. Eyes too big. And her hands too small. 

And tweaked him. Too narrow in this one. And what’s with that eye. 

And I shaded it. And he’s too sleepy. 

I drew more and I searched my fifty or so photos of Harley 

and I cropped it

 and lightroomed it for better contrast. 

and printed out more of him. 

And drew some more. 


And this is Harley now. Time to transfer them to the elephant sheet I hope. Unless I walk by them on my circuit thru the house and think NO that’s not right. Sigh. 

But there’s plenty of room for a bigger Harley now!! 

Ttyl Margaret who needs a nap before she transfers this and paints. Xoxoxo😳🤗

Day 1037 AlexPowers 

I don’t usually review books BUT this is a great book for anyone wanting to do figure drawing and painting. 

Comprehensive as only older art books are. He covers every aspect. I think newer books are shorter to cut down on costs. You can own this book for about $5. 

So what do I like about this book besides its comprehensiveness?! 

Well I love his art. It’s sketchy but visually exciting with slurpy runs and drips and smears of gorgeous color. Some Of my favorite things about watercolor and art. 

I discovered him when I was at Cityart during the Vista gallery open house last month. 

His art is like huge pages ripped from Sketchbooks or figure drawing sessions and combined on big sheets of paper complete with notes. 

And how did he draw these in motion sports sketches?! Well now I know. He video tapes and paints from the video. A who knew moment for me.  

His first 25 pages covers everything about drawing the head. 

In great detail 

With great illustrations. 

How to draw the figure. 

Designing the picture. 

Hmm you mean you dont just take great photos?! 

There’s more to it than that? Yes there is and he explains it. 

And a great section on that hardest of topics- edges lost and found. 

It keeps your art from looking pasted in. 

Look at the dynamic movement he gets. And he uses a spray bottle. What an idea! 

And coloring book syndrome. Never heard of it in this sense but what a great painting.  

And lots of practical art business advice from an artist whose been supporting himself with his ar since 1979. 

So run over to Amazon and order this amazing book. 

Margaret xoxoxo whose looking forward to dr Sketchys tonite. 🤗

Day 1036 – The Farrier

I took a great photo of Raisins farrier when he was showing Harley and Beau a couple of weeks ago. 

He has luxurious mustaches. 
Here’s the photo I took in the barn when he took a quick break. 

Filing shaving who knew it was such a job. Not to speak of holding up the foot of such a large beast. Harley is 17.2 hands. A big fellow! 

As you can see it’s hard work shoeing horses. They have been known to sit on farriers while their shoes are being changed. 

I was surprised he was all done in about an hour. Busy guy!! 

The sketch. Drawn on 140# cold press fluid paper. 

Marking progress. 

At this point he’s pretty scary looking. The shadows on his cheek look too dark. 

Not fond of the no lost edges look of his head. Every thing was too hard edged. Not what I had envisioned. So I left him here to think about it overnite. 

Besides I had to watch the last show of Call the Midwives. LOVE that series. Now I can watch it all over again. Yes I have it on DVR! 

Here he is with the beard in progress and some background added. Starting to loose some edges. I decided to do him what I do when I don’t like the way a painting is going. Add some sloppy dots. 

Once you don’t like a painting it’s a good opportunity to just mess with it. 

I started reading this great watercolor book that Raisin gave me. Ran across his art at Cityart when I went on the Vista Gallery Walk last month and was thrilled to find he had a book. 

One of the things he suggested was spraying the hard edges with a spray bottle?! WHAT?? Yes SPRAY the edges to loose them. 

So I hit the background with the spray bottle. What a great effect. Juicy runny spotty color. LOVE The effect. 

Did the same thing on the left background. And swished it with a big brush. 

Love the speckles the runs and then the light areas. Try it. Such fun!!

It did leave a few horizontal drips on the left that I didn’t like but a few swipes with Mr Clean and zip they were gone. 

See?! All gone! Got to love fluid paper for its liftability. 

Yesterday I didn’t like the dark ick colored shadows on his cheek. Funny today they don’t bother me. I guess time fixes paintings as well as the heart. Lol!

So he’s done for now. Fixating on his mouth and that hard edge Sean on his shoulder. Oh well nothing’s ever perfect. Going redraw him on an offer sheet of 300# paper today. 

Margaret who has to get drawing now. Xoxox

Day 1035 Its about a dog! 

I took a great photo of my friend Raisins white English retriever Lucy lounging around on the window seat. 

 This is a small practice painting for bigger painting. Note to self LOOSE THOSE EDGES!  It’s very hard to do a loose painting when it’s so small.  

It all starts with a great photo of a gorgeous dog. 

Click the link for a short video on how to draw your own dog. 

Think I will draw Zoe. It’s been a while and she’s curled up ready to be drawn.  

Colors used Winsor yellow, ds carmine, cobalt violet, mineral violet, oxide of chromium, viridian?, cerulean, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, cad orange, cad red light or scarlet lake. 

Ttyl Margaret who had to get walking again. Been on vacay TOO along now. Xoxox