Tag Archives: watercolor

Canvas: Ireland

I’m visiting my sister and brother-in-law this week and was reminded of two 5×7″ ink & watercolor pieces I made them for Christmas. I neglected to photograph them then, so please forgive the image quality below (it’s from a phone). Both pieces are ink drawings on paper with watercolor washes. These are the smallest dimensions I’ve worked in a while, and using ink so delicately was a challenge. Overall, I’m happy with the framed results.

This is based on a photograph of Greystones, Ireland, where my sister and her husband both spent semesters of college.


This piece is based on a photograph of the DART, the train that runs from Dublin. As the dimensions of the pieces were so small, working in the details with ink was an intricate challenge.


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Canvas: Roma Cafe

Okay, I did do a painting before last Christmas. A co-worker gave me a photo of her favorite spot in Rome and asked me to turn it into an ink-and-watercolor piece. I’d never done this type of mixed media, and I was relatively happy with the result. This project rekindled my interest in drawing and forced me to become familiar with watercolor, a medium that has always intimidated me.


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“If you don’t drink it…”

I wasn’t sure I’d like Kahlua the first time I tried it.  Dedo (my Macedonian grandfather) was sure I would, with my unhealthy addiction to coffee.  I, however, was a bit more skeptical, and as he continued to pour more of the dark liquid into a small glass, I stopped him.

“Dedo, what if I don’t like it?  I don’t want to waste all of that.”

He looked up at me, gesturing as he spoke.  “Look around you.  You’re with Macedonians.  If you don’t drink it, someone else will.”

Wise words to live by.

*Yes, I enjoy Kahlua, especially in coffee, brownies, or over ice cream.

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“It’s raw, genius.”

There are two women in my life who will be intense homemakers and hostesses when they are married.  One is my college roommate, the other is our mutual friend, Christianna, with whom we shared an apartment for half of our senior year.  She is a baking machine and cares deeply for her cookie sheet.  Now, while Christianna appreciates my sarcasm, she rarely dishes it out herself, so when the following occurred, I was a bit surprised:

One of our underclassmen, Katie, was doing homework with me in the living room while Christianna prepared an egg casserole for the next morning’s breakfast.  We heard Christianna mention that the casserole already looked so good that she wanted to eat some right now.

“So, eat some,” responded Katie.

Silence followed, then came a voice from the kitchen:

“It’s raw, genius.”

*please excuse the poor image quality!

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In an olive grove

I was born into one of those ethnic groups which hold sacred such things as olives.  The value of this little fruit became more clear when I studied art in Italy.  Olives don’t merely garnish cocktails or perk up a vegetable platter.  The oil of olives isn’t used simply to sauté food and dress salads.  Writer Marlena de Blasi best describes the ancient gift of the olive in her beautiful memoir, A Thousand Days in Tuscany.  It takes great effort to squeeze the oil from an olive, but the lifeblood of each plays a major role in Mediterranean cultures from blessing a child at birth to anointing a body upon death.  I find it quite beautiful that olives, though simple and slightly ugly, are an important piece of the history of many ancient societies.

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Tousle the wisteria blossoms…

The convent I lived in hugged the cliff of Orvieto.  The courtyard was filled with wisteria trees.  One of my clearest memories involves me hanging out of my window over the courtyard, breathing deeply as the fragrant Italian wind swept up from the valley to tousle the wisteria blossoms.

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Sorrento smells of lemons and basil…

I visited Sorrento in the peak of lemon season.  Fresh limoncello was available everywhere, and I’ll never forget my first taste.  It was served to me in a shot glass.  Now, I was only aware of American shots:  you down the whole thing at once.  That’s what I did, and I didn’t realize that wasn’t proper until I noticed the stunned expression of the limoncello lady.  I indicated that I wanted to look at some of the beautiful bottles, even though my innards were burning as if doused with acid.  I was supposed to sip the liquor:  oops.

The smell of lemons and fresh herbs always seemed to linger in the air of Sorrento.  The Amalfi coast is understandably Italy’s luxury riviera.  Maybe someday I’ll write more about Sorrento…

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While the snow falls…

So, this is what is happening right now:

I should be out shoveling, but by the time I get to the end of the driveway, I’ll have to start all over again.  Schools are closing early because we’re getting 3 to 6 more inches!  Maybe I should use the snowblower…….but I’ll probably wait until my brother gets home from high school.

Instead, I’m doing this:

I’m loving my water-colored life.  I’ll take care of the snow later.

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