The Road Less Traveled

Done. For sale 15×20″ cold press 300# Kilimanjaro

Love my trees. Painted with Daniel Smith Payne’s grey a yellow mix used for the trees yellow ochre Holbein lilac and a cad yellow light. A few bits of cobalt cerulean mix.

Oh and most importantly painted w a saber brush and a dagger brush uncontrollable but make wonderful lines for trees.

The snow was done w cobalt. I tried adding cerulean but always get a nasty opaque grey with it so wiped it off. Scrubby scrubby.

Other colors used burnt sienna burnt umber and Prussian blue in his jeans.

I got carried away having fun painting the trees on the right. Finally decided to wipe some out by scrubbing with a paint brush. They are not the focal point.

My morning greeting. Anyone need a kitty kitty?!!

Margaret who can’t let them starve. Xoxoxo

Every day a sunrise

Making mist in the blue ridge. Arches 280#cold press. Cheap Joe’s American Journey paint.

Took photos of the process today. But it might be easier if you wanted David R. Smiths YouTube videos. This is the short one. Then the longer more involved one. Or you could sign up for his online class next Tuesday. Should be fun. His students give him rave reviews.

First layer wet the paper add yellow sun red ring and cobalt. Spray it with a spatters spray. Dry it.

First row of trees. Wet under the trees and spatter again. Lift some color form the bottom w a thirsty brush. Aka dry brush which will suck up the paint making the mist. Dry after the colors run and mix.

Repeat on the left.

And so on and on. Repeat repeat. Repeat. Getting darker with each layer. Load bottom of trees w water. Paint the trees. Spatter tops w water. Lift some off bottoms w a thirsty brush. And dry.

Last layer is the darkest. It’s wet here.

I lifted some with my thirsty brush and this one is dry.

Composition- Provence or the Blue Ridge?!!

I am thinking it’s the blue ridge. I love the views from the tops of the mountains with the towns snuggled in the bottom around a lake.

I think this paintings done. Going to sleep on it to be sure.

12×17″ arches 280 cp Cheap Joe’s American Journey paint.

Paint along with Vladislav Yesileyev

I took a class with Vlad Yesileyev on composition today.

Fascinating and educational as usual.

He said composition is THE most important thing in a drawing.

Typically you divide a drawing into thirds vertically and horizontally. And where they cross is your focal point. It’s the place where you should put the greatest contrast in your painting with less detail in the other areas.

MINIMIZE anything not in your focal point. And if you don’t like your value sketch then don’t start painting.

I highly recommend that class. He’s just THE best teacher. Willing to answer any question and stay as late as necessary to help if needed. He explains everything so well leaving no detail unexplained as to why he’s doing what he’s doing. And if you don’t understand he will patiently explain it again.

And he has a GREAT russian accent and a GREAT sensenofnhumor.

The drawing

First wash. I managed NOT ago sticky my fingers in the sky or blot it. My two fav things to do to mess up My sky wash. Yellow Ochre cobalt alizarin and neutral tint

Finishing first wash using the same colors

Adding trees. I can finally do lacy dry brush trees. Well more or less.

Still using the same colors and some burnt sienna and burnt umber and indigo for the dark greens.

Teacher critique. Too much splatter and pines too Lacey. Oops. Easy fix.

Can I whine but I like splattering. You should see the tv I watch the zoom on. Covered w specks of paint.

and yes he was right. Too much splattering of flowers in the foreground.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for his paintalongs and his classes. You will be glad you did.

Day 162 Out My back door

Scribbling the birds eating and the lush greenery from all the rain.

No pencil in this sketch. Just using the Caran D’ache Neocolor ii crayons which are a lot of fun.

May hit this with water. The colors will really pop but it would loose all the scribbley lines which I like. What to do what to do. Stay tuned.

Caran d’ache Neocolor ii stillman and birn Alpha

Margaret off to Laguna Beach CA to paint with Vlad Yesilesev. You should come too. Get ready for paint to fly. Xoxoxo Have a wonderful Sunday.

Day 133 Really Calling It Done

I worked on making the people walk in different directions. I think they look better now. Added a lot darks. A few more lamp posts. A flag. Darkened the church towers. Lots of darks. And a few highlights.

Paint alongs with Vladislav Yesileyev

Got this lovely treat Paris in The Rain by Vlad Yesilesev in the mail today. When I looked at it I realized I needed to go a lot darker with my blacks. And whiter w my whites so today I cheated and used masking fluid to reserve some whites.

Margaret Xoxoxox worn out from speed painting.

Day 132 Run Away to Fredericksburg Maryland

Vlad is back feeling better after his brief encounter with Covid. Thank goodness he’s better. Wear your masks people!!

Tomorrow we are painting the Royal Opera Cafe in Paris. Who doesn’t love Paris?!! You can sign up here.

At this point. I think I am done though I may work on the crosswalk some. No idea how I got it so wonky but I did. Also think the people looks like the walking dead all coming for us. Rofl

Otherwise love it. Finally discovered how to make trees have a lacy edge. Miracles do happen. You just need a VERY dry brush. And that might be my favorite sky I have ever done.

First wash. Kind of like the white cloud behind the church spires.

Heading down the road. I think this was wet when I took the pic. It dried a lot lighter.

Anyway it’s a wrap. Just needs a siggie.

Margaret whose allergies have been beserck. Xoxoxo kerchooo

Live from Boone


A few more parking lot chickens oops roosters from Key west Wildlife Rescue. Poor things having to live out their lives in a Parking lot. The big buff guy actually spurred the other ones. Meany.

Joe Miller aka Cheap Joe and Fealing Lin. I think he might be dressed as Van Gogh if he loved to be an old man. Joe is a Van Gogh authority and does a delightful one man show about Theo Van Gogh Vincent’s brother which he has performed all over the US including the National Museum of Art in DC and the Met in NYC.

Margaret having too much fun in Boone. Like coming home. Xoxox

Barred rocks rock

Did I say I LOVE drawing chickens??? Worth a ride to key west to just draw chickens.

I actually followed the chickens around at the homestead in the great Smokey’s National Park to draw these Barred Rocks. Too much fun.

I used to not like chickens. That’s before I started drawing them in all their infinite variety.

And somebody please tell me why I love to draw anything and everything when I am out of town. Staring at a bulldog lamp that’s saying draw me draw me. I don’t get that at home.

Lamy Ef strathmore 500 wc paper cerulean burnt umber ultramarine quin red quin gold.

Margaret who has to do a self portrait tomorrow. Eeekk. Xoxox

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.  πŸ˜±
  • 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. πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—
  • 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 745 GNSP

Old Evans Family Cemetery tucked away in the woods near the Great Smoky National Park Headquarters. The first sketch I did when I was leaving. 

I drew so much it took me four hours to drive thirty miles.  But the park is gorgeous anytime of the year and something gorgeous is around every turn whether it’s a mountain view, a quiet stream dashing over rocks or wildflower. Just a drive thru the tunnel of trees is enjoyable. 

Painted with Ted Nuttalls transparent colors. A lot of splattering some negative painting. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx