Tag Archives: Watercolour

It’s All Lynne’s Fault

Yes, yes. I know. It’s been forever since I posted. I’ve been bad. I’ve been neglecting my faithful readers. Both of you. I’m so sorry.

My excuse was a good one. But I fixed it. Yesterday. Not really. It was fixed a while ago. I’ve just been otherwise occupied.

I’d tell you I’ve been busy cleaning my house but that would be a lie of enormous proportions. No, no… that’s not true either. I have been cleaning the house. I clean one area and while it’s getting a makeover, the rest of the house continues to be buried under stuff and dust. I think my housecleaning efforts have become more of a rodeo chase. I wrangle one mess and turn around to find a new one behind me. While I clean that one up, the first one escapes my knots and scatters itself everywhere. Yup. I live in a barn.

Reality time… summer break. A fabulous Caribbean vacation down south with all my boys.  A lovely camping trip in New York State. A couple weeks of summer day camp and all manner of mud coming home from the mountain biking trails.

And now… the first year of high school for my eldest son. Wow. I’m not in high school. He is. Why does it seem like I have more homework all of a sudden? And grade 6 for the younger one… holy doodle! There is not enough time in the evenings for everything to get done. By the time the homework is done (yeah, right), dinner is eaten and the kitchen is clean again (snort) there is barely any time for playtime outside or for a chat with mom before the dreaded bedtime call is bellowed.

Yes, I’m behind. Don’t sue me. I have no money. I gave it all to the roofing company. If you really want to, you can climb up on the soon to be newly shingled roof and dig through the eaves for anything the squirrels have stashed up there. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend it. They’re probably full of rotting leaf gunk and shingle granules. Better find a different snack.

Now then. Lynne’s fault. You can thank Lynne Knowlton of the spectacular blog, Design the Life You Want to Live, for this post. It’s all her fault. She recommended a new plugin (comment reply notification) which I installed. And then, per her suggestion, I tested it on her page. It works! I love it! She replied and commented on my blog. Sort of. Nevermind. But, since she commented, I have to update my blog! Now! Holy carp! See. It’s all Lynne’s fault! Her and her furry jerks. Secretly, I have a great fondness for furry jerks. Don’t tell Lynne.

for-jan-small And, because this blog is supposed to be somewhat related to the artistic-goings-on in my life, here is a small piece. It’s approximately 5×5 inches. Watercolour, pen, metallic pen and pencil. It was done while sitting in the shade, beside a swimming pool, on the Freedom of the Seas, in the middle of the Caribbean. The theme arose from some of the underwater scenery from our snorkeling adventure a couple days before. Not for sale… it’s already framed and in a private collection.

I’ve been back to my regular painting class for the last 6 weeks. Getting up to deliver the boy to his 7am Jazz Band practice has taken a toll on my freshness by the time I get to my class at 10am. Nonetheless, I’ve been painting. Some has been good, some has been bad, some has been amusingly horrible. You don’t get to see any of those ones. And a couple of the good ones… you don’t get to see because they’re part of a series that is in development until I get it right. Then… maybe. I’ll let you know.

Springing Forth

Last week, in my painting class, the selected subject was a lovely waterfront scene looking across the Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park. It was lovely. But it was also an autumn scene. Since I was feeling in dire need of Spring, I pulled a photo out of my bag and drew this instead. Alas, these little crocus blooms are not spring forth in my yard. The squirrels ate all mine. Perhaps this fall I’ll try planting some more.


Wet on Wet with Tangles

Last year, my son’s teacher asked me to help her with an art project for her grade 7 classes. First step: a private lesson for the teacher so she would know what to do. She got a demo of wet on wet watercolour painting to produce a colourful background. No pictures… just colours in shapes, swirls or streaks and let the water do it’s magic. I provided the watercolour paper, paint in a limited palette and painting boards for the students to use. Then, the teacher went to town with all her grade 7 classes.

Second step came after the watercolour backgrounds were entirely dry and flat-ish. The students were provided some guidance in choosing patterns, time to practice them on paper and then they were provided Sharpie Ultra Fine point markers. Alas, the arts budget is too small! During one of their art periods, they had a substitute teacher who commented later that she had never, ever seen a class so focused while working. The room was almost silent while they concentrated on their tangles. The final result was a collection of amazing pieces of art. I was able to see lots of them but didn’t have my camera. This one is my 2012 Mother’s Day present from Aidan. I think it’s pretty wonderful. zia-by-aidan


I’m following orders again. Yes, it’s hard to believe. But, I assure you, it’s absolutely true. I was told to share ZIA with people who aren’t conveniently near my portfolio to flip through. This is a watercolour wash on Arches 140 lb cold press paper with Sakura micron pen tangled on top.


(You who shall not be named… does this satisfy your demands?) There is also a small selection of a few of my favourites here just in case one wasn’t enough. I may add more in the future. If I receive more orders, I might decide to follow them. It could happen.

Aubergines and Thai Curry

Interesting painting class a couple weeks ago. One of my partners in splattering paint about brought in a photo from an unmentionable magazine. My first thought was “I need to buy eggplant to roast for the Thai Green Curry Chicken.” My second thought was “We’re not really going to paint eggplants, are we?” Guess what?


There you have it. (There are a bunch of my older paintings published here now if you’re interested. If you’re not, skip the link.)











We also had roasted eggplant in our curry. Yum. Sandra… this is for you:

Thai Green Curry Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast or any other boneless chicken parts you like, cut into small bites
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 jar Thai Kitchen Green Curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (not light… go for the full fat and try to get one without added thickeners)
  • 1 red pepper (or 2), sliced into thin strips (but not too thin)
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks and roasted (toss with coconut oil, roast at 350F for about 40 minutes)
  • 1 chayote squash, cut into thin, bitesize pieces (this is optional but it’s delicious)

Melt coconut oil and saute onions and garlic until just translucent. Add chicken and curry paste and saute until the chicken is cooked through. Add the coconut milk, turn down to low and heat gently until just simmering. Add the red pepper, chayote and eggplant. Continue to simmer just until the veggies are hot. Don’t overcook now or you’ll lose the beautiful texture of the veggies. Serve in a bowl with a generous ladle of the coconut sauce and eat as though it were soup or ladle it over steamed rice.


Spring Thaw?

Christmas Time is Here - Watercolour - 2010 - R. TaylorThis painting was created as a Christmas card a few years ago… perhaps in 2010. At the time I was painting this, the eldest boy was polishing a piano piece for his winter recital. I’m sure you’ll be humming the melody for “Christmas Time is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio while you think about the forlorn little tree that Charlie Brown rescued.

A certain relation asked for some of my paintings to be shown and this is part of the reason for this website. I’m sure others reasons will develop but here’s the start. This will be the first on the new site. Yes, I know it isn’t Christmas today. I’ve chosen this one as the first because it looks full of promise… and spring thaw just around the corner. I love winter when there’s lots of snow to play in. Love it, love it, love it. But now we have slop and ice and yuck. I am very much ready for spring.