Purple Finch in Watercolor

Purple Finch in Watercolor 5x10 140lb Saunders Cold Press

Purple Finch in Watercolor 5×10 140lb Saunders Cold Press

Purple Finch in Watercolor.

After moving on from yesterday’s post  and so grateful for the many kind comments and encouragement from so many of you, I decided to paint!


But just a sweet, simple, loose little impression of one of the beautiful little birds that visits our backyard frequently – the purple finch.

And it just so happens to be the 8th of the month, which is #DrawaBirdDay, so why not?!  It’s been a while since I’ve participated.

I painted this little darlin’ on an odd-sized “scrap” of watercolor paper I had that was about 5×10″.  I used Quinacridone Rose for the “purple” and mixtures of Curelean Blue, Yellow Ochre, and Rose for the browns/grays.  I added an extra dash of Perylene Violet to the background just for kicks, used a white gel pen for some feathery “detail,” and finished with some signature splashes.

It was fun, and I like how it turned out.

Now I must go feed the birds!

Have a wonderfully fun day filled with doing something you love.

Cheers & Hugs,


Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo Watercolor 8x10

Pink Flamingo Watercolor 8×10

Happy #DrawABirdDay!

On the 8th day of every month, many of my fellow artistic blogging friends and I enjoy sharing our drawings and paintings of birds.  Thanks Laura at CreateArtEveryDay for hosting!

I painted this pink flamingo a week or so ago and have been saving it to share for today.  I have to admit, I think this is my favorite watercolor painting I’ve done to date.

And I have to thank Laura again for calling my attention to a tutorial on the Artist Network done by one of my favorite watercolor artists, Jean Haines, who inspired this flamingo.

I just couldn’t wait to see what it looked like framed.  Doesn’t it make such a difference to see it matted and framed?

pink flamingo 2 original watercolor 8x10 matted and framed to 11x14

Pink Flamingo in Watercolor -8×10 matted and framed 11×14

I also thought it would make beautiful note cards, so I printed some up for our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.

pink flamingo 2 watercolor card set

Pink Flamingo Watercolor Card Set

I love pink….
I love birds….
I love watercolor…
So creating this painting was pure joy for me.

Wishing you a day filled with joy and love and moments to cherish!

Cheers & Hugs,


A Hummingbird in Watercolor – Draw A Bird Day

hummingbird watercolor 8 x 10 300# Arches Cold Press

Hummingbird Watercolor 8 x 10 300# Arches Cold Press

For #DrawABirdDay this month, I decided to paint a Hummingbird – the smallest bird of all.

I adore the sweet little hummers that visit our backyard every summer.

I take special care to assure their feeder is full of fresh nectar each week as I know they count on and need it to support their ultra-fast metabolism.  I have read that their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute, and they have a breathing rate of 250 beats per minute, even at rest.  During flight, oxygen consumption per gram of muscle tissue is about ten times higher than that measured in elite human athletes.

Amazingly, these tiny birds fly all the way from Mars, PA to Mexico, the Caribbean Islands or Central America every winter and return each Spring.

After I painted this, I realized I had painted one about a year ago, shortly after I took up watercolor.  I recall thinking my hummer was one of my best paintings I had done at the time as I had only been painting for a few months.  Looking back, I still like it, and I am also surprised at how different the two look.  I can’t decide which I like better.  I question if my art has even improved over the past year.

One thing is for sure, the splatter is one thing I have always loved!  🙂  I believe my strokes are more confident, my use of white space more defined, and my splatters a bit more refined and controlled.

Another thing I know for sure….  I am having FUN!  Painting to me is relaxing.  It is a way to unwind after a stressful workday or energize an early morning.

If you have ever thought about giving watercolor or any kind of painting a try, DO IT!  Discover that inner artist just bursting to express your individual creativity.  You will never have a dull, boring moment again in your life.  You will always have something fun to do.  You will always have a way to express yourself.  You will always be able to create something beautiful to someone.

Happy #WorldWatercolorMonth!

Cheers & Hugs,

A Little Birdie to say Happy Mother’s Day

goldfinch watercolor drawabirdday

Goldfinch Watercolor Doodlewash for Draw A Bird Day

Some of you may remember the darling little goldfinch I captured in a photo recently as his family has become a regular in our backyard and at the feeders.

I decided to do a quick little watercolor and doodlewash him for today’s monthly #drawabirdday.

I am out of town today, but he is flying by to wish all the Moms out there the happiest of Mother’s Days!

Being a mom has unequivocally been the greatest privilege of my life and has provided me with such joy and love.

Thank you Jake and Nick for all you have given me.  My life would not be nearly as extraordinary if it weren’t for what each of you has given me since the days you were born.

Now that you are grown men with lives of your own, I thank you even more for still allowing me the honor of being a part of your lives and being your Mom.  And thank you for the beautiful ladies in Colleen and Liz that you have allowed me to “mother” too.

I am the luckiest Mom of all!

Cheers & Hugs,

A Pink Flamingo for Draw a Bird Day

pink flamingo watercolor1


Although some blogger friends and I celebrate #DrawABirdDay every eighth of the month, April 8th is the OFFICIAL Draw A Bird Day, so I wanted to do something extra flashy and a little out of the ordinary – a Pink Flamingo!

Bright pink to open your eyes
and wish you a cheery flamingo kind of day,
a Happy Friday,
a Happy #DrawABirdDay!

Cheers & Hugs,


A Parliament of Owls in Watercolor

whimsy owl 1 original

It’s #DrawABirdDay with my WordPress artist blogging friends, which we celebrate on the 8th of every month.

whimsy owl 2 original

I had fun yesterday watercolor painting a parliament of whimsical owls.  (Did you know a “group” of owls is called a parliament?)

whimsy owl 3 original

A little search on Pinterest provided some inspiration of ideas that I combined to create these little cuties.

I think these will make fun greeting or note cards.

Hoots & Tweets and Cheers & Hugs,


A Song Sparrow Watercolor for Draw a Bird Day

watercolor song sparrow 01 2016

It’s #DrawABirdDay with my blogging friends (officially April 8th, but we like to do it on the 8th of EVERY month), so I decided to give a go at a beautiful photo I saw of a song sparrow on Instagram taken by Lisa Snow in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I love the sparrows that come to our back deck feeders – especially in the winter when the snow is falling.

Thanks for your ongoing inspiration Laura @ CreateArtEveryday!  This sparrow is in honor of you and your generosity and support.  (She is the one who did the sweet painting of Charlie and surprised me for my birthday!)

Enjoy all that nature has to offer today and everyday, and maybe go ahead and create some art from it!

Cheers & Hugs,


PS  This month’s #DrawABirdDay is hosted by our friends Kerfe and Nina @ MethodtwoMadness.  A sweet, artistic blog of two friends.  Thanks Ladies!

Happy Birday

Happy Birday whimsical bird

Once a month, a group of us bloggers celebrate Bird Day – draw a bird, paint a bird, photograph a bird….. on the 8th of the month.  So Happy Bird Day!

I was having fun with it this month and wanted to send our special hostess, Laura, at CreateArtEveryday a belated birthday card.  Since I missed it last week, this one is belated for her birthday, but just in time for “birday!”  This one was inspired by the amazing whimsical artistry of stressiecat.

Then I saw a cute little drawing of some simple birds on Pinterest that inspired the little card below that I sent to my BFF Jill in honor of some big news in our families that she is going to be a first-time grandma.  We are SO excited!

a little birdie told me card

This last one was a struggle, and I need to try again. I saw a tutorial of a watercolor robin done by Welsh artist Alison Fennell.  I’ll have to keep working on the robin!

robin watercolor card

So Happy #BirdDay!  Enjoy the birds that are around you – whether real, drawn, painted, or photographed – and chirp, tweet and sing, because tomorrow is Friday!

Cheers & Hugs,



Doodlewashing for Draw a Bird Day

september draw a bird day cowbird art journal

Happy Back to ‘whatever it is you do on a regular basis’ after a nice long holiday weekend!

I recently did some “doodling” in my new art journal for Draw a Bird Day

september draw a bird day rose breasted grosbeak art journal

Then “washed” it with some watercolor.

#Doodlewashing is a fun word and “movement” that Charlie O’Shields and friends created that describes sketching and watercoloring.  Charlie’s blog inspires me daily.

And Laura at Create Art Everyday is one of my bestie bloggin’ buddies who puts the call out monthly for #DrawaBirdDay.

These were just really quick little sketches done in roller ball pen late one night and then painted early the next morning (for some reason I got up at 4:30 am that day, so took advantage of some free time).  If they look a little bit familiar, I drew them from two photos I had posted from the birds that visit our backyard:  The Rose Breasted Grosbeak and the Brown Headed Cowbird.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the fun and truly artistic creations everyone shares!

Cheers & Hugs,


PS  In honor of Laura and in memory of her recent loss of her beloved Penny, I sketched my first cat in my new art journal the other day.  Laura was on my heart as I was thinking of her grief and loss.  I just used a No. 2 pencil and followed some illustrative instructions from a new book I got called Drawing for the absolute beginner by Mark and Mary Willenbrink.  This is my first try at this book, and I look forward to doing more to better understand techniques and values and perspective, etc.  I’m such a jump-iner!  I need to slow down and learn!  Love ya Laura!

penny laura createarteverday