Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#1/30 in 30 - Bayside Sunset Impression #1

I collected a sampling of photos from the past year at our cabin on the bay for the January 2015 Leslie Saeta 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  I plan to do these quick watercolor impression paintings for the next 30 days.  I never get tired of the sunsets, but I may get tired of painting them, so I may need to mix it up a bit!

9"x12", watercolor on 140# paper

Friday, November 7, 2014


Our plein air group headed to Pensacola Beach today to paint, hoping to see the tiny yellow flowers that blanket the dunes this time of year.  They were there, alright, larger, smaller, as well as some tiny white ones on large shrubby bushes.  The weather was cool and clear and windier than usual.  I put in a couple of hours before my husband called to see if I could meet him for lunch.  Beautiful day.
Soundside, 8"x10", Oil on canvas panel.

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Miss Ann"

I started this one at a workshop in September, and finally finished it this evening, after fretting over the outriggers and nets and rigging for the past few weeks.  It was about 90% done when I left the workshop (it was the only painting I worked on for three days - it took me most of a day just to get the drawing right!), but I just couldn't decide how to finish it.  Today, I decided to 'just do it,' and I swooped in the rigging and poles and said 'Done!'  Now to frame it!

Miss Ann, 14.5"x21.5", watercolor on 140# paper

Monday, October 20, 2014


This was a challenge, and was painted for a potential client.  Who knew that Zebras have such large ears?!

20"x16", Acrylic on stretched canvas.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Sycamore - Plein Air

Went to the college to get my flu shot today, and as I got into the car I noticed this lovely tree.  I was just going to take a photo, but the next thing I knew, I was pulling out the paints!  It was a lovely day, and a few of my work friends stopped to chat, so it was a nice memory!
10"x7", watercolor on paper

Tiny Painting #5 - Autumn Cypress

OK - I'm not sure what cypress trees look like above the trunks, but these looked like they were sitting down in the water, so that's what I went with!

3.5"x2.5", watercolor on 140#paper

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tiny Painting #4 - Grove

This small painting reminded me of autumn trees turning golden, so that's the impression I went with - with a bit of sky peeking through.

2.5"x3.5", watercolor on 140# paper

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tiny Bayou #3 - Evening Fire

I love the feeling of fog and mist and fire in this tiny painting.  The contrasting colors really seem to vibrate, even though it's small!
2.5"x3.5", Watercolor on 140# paper

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tiny Bayou #2

This is the second tiny painting in the small watercolors series.  It is a very serene water view on a quiet autumn day.  I'm enjoying the meditative experience of doing these tiny paintings!
2.5"x3.5", watercolor on 140# paper.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tiny Bayou #1

This is the first in a series of tiny paintings  I have started while working back up to a couple of large ones I have planned.  This is mostly playing with some new and older pigments, and it's fun to just play!
3,5"x2.5", watercolor on 140# paper

Friday, October 10, 2014

October Pond

 Did a quick lunchtime sketchbook painting yesterday.  It captures the warmth of a gorgeous day at the college!
7"x10", watercolor on paper

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cactus Flower

 I took a few days off after the 30-in-30 challenge, but now I'm back to it!  I just needed something loose and fun today.  Did this during my lunch break, but I'm happy with it for being so quick.  It's based on a photo from a cactus flower in Arizona.  I may try a larger version later!
7"x5", watercolor on paper

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

30 in 30 Collage

They aren't in any particular order - but here they are - all 30 of them, painted in 30 days.
I have learned a lot - that it takes a lot of planning, that I needed to work ahead and plan for distractions, and that they are not all up to the highest standards.  One or two of them I wasn't happy with at all, but they still seemed to get a good response, and some that I really loved hardly got a comment.
I'll rest a day or two and get back to it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 30 - Pink-tinged Camellia

For the last painting of the challenge, I chose another camellia, this time white with a faint pink edge.  I kept this one a little on the subtle side. I did it!  I painted 30 paintings in 30 days!  I think it's time for a little rest, but I'll be back!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 29 - Crossvine

These vines are supposed to be hummingbird magnets, but I haven't seen that myself.  The flowers just glow at the edge of the woods, though!  Got the reference photo just the other day, and the flowers were so striking that I couldn't wait to paint them.
7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 28 - Japanese Magnolia

You knew I couldn't wait to punch up some color - this time with a pale lavender flower that comes early in the spring.  When these trees bloom, the whole tree is covered in these pale pinky-purpley flowers, and no leaves.  Then the petals fall as the pale green leaves emerge.
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 27 - Coreopsis

These little guys came back this year after spending a very cold winter in a planter in my garage, so I rewarded them with their own portrait!  
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 26 - Purple Althea

This is the one-hour version of a flower I did earlier this summer while the bush was in full-bloom. The plant is also called Rose-of-Sharon, but it's not a rose - it's in the Hibiscus family!  I really liked the drama of this particular flower, as it was being back-lit by the morning sun.
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 25 - White Cosmos

White flowers are such a challenge!  How to give them a subtle personality along with shadows and light, without overdoing it?  This Cosmos was stark white, but I went back with a faint pink wash to some parts, but I don't think I got the shadow quite right.  I may go back and fiddle with it again...
5" x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 24 - Pink Lady Slipper

I really love this flower!  This one is special because my husband took the photo when we visited Spruce Pine, NC a few years ago.  He spotted it near the parking lot of a tourist attraction and was able to get a few pictures of a clump of about six flowers - he said they were too out in the open to have occurred naturally!  It is difficult to capture the delicate nature of the lady slipper, I think I went a little too purple and dramatic, but that's one more done!
7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 23 - Hurricane Lilies

These gorgeous flowers pop up in the fall after we have a good rain or two, thus the name 'Hurricane Lilies,' also known as spider lilies. They have a bright scarlet color that seems to glow in the landscape.  A friend has over 100 stalks in her yard this year.  I may trade her a painting for a bulb or two!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 22 - Honeysuckle Azalea

These are some of the earliest spring flowers in Lower Alabama, blooming in February before the big showy imported azaleas.  These are native to North America, and occur in colors from white to pink to orange.  The flowers appear before the foliage.  This one grows in our back yard and I am grateful to the former owner that planted it there!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 21 - Peachy Keen

I tried to keep this one nice and loose, but I don't think the form is described very well.  I also feel like it doesn't blend into the background very well.  May have to fix that.
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 20 - Rosebud

I struggled to get the softness of this delicate flower, but I don't think I was quite successful.  My favorite part is actually the sepals, and they don't show up very well against the green background!  
7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 19 - Sunny Hibiscus

 Surprise!  Another hibiscus!  I'm at a workshop far from home so I scheduled this one for today.  I actually painted it the day before the challenge started as a warm-up.  I love the soft diffuse colors of this one!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 18 - Tulip Poplar

We spotted this beauty a couple of years ago in Spruce Pine, NC.  My husband had to take the photos, because I was too short!  The soft yellow-green with the bright orange base of the petals is a striking contrast.
7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 17 - Confederate Rose

The Confederate Rose is not a rose at all, but a member of the (can you guess?).hibiscus family!  My sister-in-law sent me this photo for the challenge, and it was, indeed, challenging!

7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16 - Study in White 3

Another flower from the garden center!  Its beautiful pure whiteness caught my eye.  I chose to keep my grays grayer than I usually do, but there are still some touches of yellow, pink and blue amid all that gray!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 15 - Red Camellia

Before I moved to south Alabama, I had never seen camellias that not only survived, but thrived throughout the winter.  We have two species here, one that blooms in the fall to early winter and the other which blooms late winter into early spring.  They are both lovely, with various shades of deep red to pure white, and some are variegated.  My challenge with this one was suggesting the light coming through the petals.
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 14 - Blood-Red Hibiscus

Red seems to be a popular hibiscus color - so one more!  I think I have an orange on the drawing board as well, somewhere... 
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 13 - Yellow Hibiscus

Another hibiscus, because this is the month for them in the Deep South! They have really been blooming up a storm around here, but their season is almost done.  I thought I'd complement this one with some deep blues and purples.  Enjoy!
5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 12 - Golden Zinnia

I spotted this tiny flower last week while painting at the garden center.  It was so small, but just perfect.  The plant itself looked like it was almost done.  I thought this little flower was going to be easy to paint, but the photo was flat, and it had very little shadow.  I had to keep going back to try to find those shadows!

5"x 7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 11 - Yellow Iris

The iris is the state flower of Tennessee, where we lived for 19 years before moving to Alabama, so they are special to me.  I found this one outside of Lowe Mill in Huntsville, AL this spring.  Finally got to paint it for the challenge, but it was more difficult to get the rose and blue variations in the yellow than I anticipated!
7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10 - Salmon Hibiscus

I love the deep purple throat on this one, but the color of the flower is hard to describe.  It's not red, pink or orange, but a little of all three, depending on the light.  Oh, well, I gave it my best shot, and I still have about four more hibiscus flowers to paint this month!

5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 9 - Lavender Crinums - part 2

My sister loves purple, so these are hers!  This is the first one I've done for the challenge in a vertical format, but it is the companion to the one I did two days ago.  Can't decide which I like better!

7"x5", Watercolor on 140# paper

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 8 - White Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas have to be one of the most difficult flowers to paint, but wouldn't you know it some one requested that I paint them for the 30 in 30 challenge!  I found a few still blooming bushes at the garden center last week, but the best one had a single spray of white blossoms.  I liked it because you could see the individual flowers, but this one painting should count for a whole week!  Good thing I decided to paint it on a Sunday!

5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 7 - Lavender Crinums - part 1

I love these lavender lilies that are volunteers in my yard.  They are always a surprise when they bloom, and I'm afraid to move them, because they look so fragile, and crinums are a little picky!  I hope to paint the other half of the cluster in a day or two!

5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 6 -Plein Air Zinnias

Painting outside is fun, and I haven't been able to much all summer.  Friday, my group headed to Woerner's Garden Center in Pensacola.  The weather was overcast and threatening rain, so I scoped the area and settled in to paint a lovely flowering vine.  After that, I considered leaving when I spied a lonely, brilliant orange zinnia.  I quickly sketched in a composition and put In a first paint pass, but then it was time to go.  Finished the last few accents when I got home.  It never did rain,despite the threat!
Orange Zinnia, 5"x 7", watercolor on 140# paper.

Day 5 - Plein Air Bougainvillea

The Plein Air  Pensacola group met at a Garden Center today (thanks, Woerner's!) so I could continue my flower study for this month!  Spotted these lovely plants with a few bright blooms, so they were my first subject!

8"x10", watercolor on 140# paper

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 4 - Study in White 2

Yes, another magnolia - I could paint them over and over!  Went more intense with the color in this one.
5"x7", watercolor on 140# paper.

Day 3 - Study in White - Magnolia

I just love painting white flowers - it always seems like I've gone too far with the color, then I have to walk away.  I often surprise myself when I come back!
5"x7", watercolor on 140# paper

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day 2 - Sunshine Plumeria

Brought sticks back from Hawaii two years ago and stuck them in dirt - this summer one bloomed!
5"x7" , watercolor on paper.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 1 - Three-Alarm Hibiscus

Wanted to start this challenge off with a BANG! 5"x7", Watercolor on 140# paper.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


This is Max, subject of this week's DPW Challenge.  He is a handsome tuxedo cat, but the challenge is to use values to paint Max with different colors.  My first attempt is with blues and purples, but I may try other colors to attempt this challenge as well.  Thanks, Patti Vincent, for the challenge!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 12 - Marsh Dawn Sketch

Marsh Dawn, 5"x7", Watercolor on paper
Just a quick sketch with pretty colors.  I have a hard time waiting for it to dry so I can put in detail!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11 - Wild and Crazy!

Wild and Crazy , 7"x5", watercolor on paper
I've been trying to complete the camellia I shared the other day, and it is finally DONE!  But now, I'm cutting loose with this one - painted in watercolor, almost entirely with a palette knife!  And I did it from memory, without the reference photo, so I could be really loose!  So here it is!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7 - Glamour Girl

Been working on this lady on and off for two months!  Now she's nearly finished, just a few more tweaks, but I need to finish in the next day or two.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4 - Sebastian

Sebastian, 7"x5", Watercolor on Paper
This kitty's mom wound up in the shelter when her owner discerned that she was probably pregnant (Hmmm, how'd that happen?).  I have a friend that does Siamese Cat Rescue and I notified her and asked if she could save her if I pulled her.  She said yes, but she couldn't pick her up for a couple of days.  So I fostered her.  And then we bonded.  Two weeks later, she presented me with a healthy litter of five gorgeous kittens.  This guy was the runt.  Although I managed to place three of the kittens, this one and his sister, Belle, stayed with me.  They are always entertaining, except when they are chewing the pulls off of the blinds.  This one is a really goofy lover boy, and loves to be held and cuddled like a baby!