Seven Rules for Life

The following “rules” have been floating around the internet in one form or another.  It seems appropriate to consider these as a guide to navigating life’s passages.

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.
  2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  3. Time heals almost everything.  Give it time.
  4. No one is in charge of your happiness.  Except you.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
  6. Stop thinking too much.  Its alright not to know the answers.  They will come to you when you least expect it.
  7. Smile.  You don’t own all the problems in the world.

Think these guys know the rules?  🙂 - Chasing Dogs

Life Transitions

Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss. To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind. – Fred Rogers

I’ve always found “new beginnings” to be a double-edged sword. - Transitions Post.  Watercolor image:  Fly Away HummerAt the ripe age of 50, after 27 years in Texas raising our kids, the move to Concord, MA was difficult.  No more close friends nearby who knew the song in my heart…. No more cozy places where my children grew up.  Wonderful places like Zilker Park, McKinney Falls, the city of Austin, the state capital building, San Antonio Riverwalk and Zoo, the list goes on and on…..

My artful “new beginning” in Concord took 3 years to get off the ground.

I started teaching watercolor painting and drawing in a lovely hobby shop called Dabblers.   That teaching job led to another gig:  Teaching at the Weston Council of Aging which brought such joy and growth to me and my students.  Teaching at Weston helped me become a master colorist.  Who knew?!! Painting landscapes, etc. for the first time due to student request forced me to learn.  As always, the teacher becomes the best learner in the room 🙂

I met new friends who were artistically matched to me.  Some started out as private students, others were students in my class.

After seven years in Concord MA…. Fast Forward to a new beginning in Lexington KY, home of our grandchildren, the best on planet earth.  Here they are for my (and your) enjoyment! - Transitions Post.  Watercolor of sam on the beach with - Transitions post.  Pencil Sketch of Gabriel with Horse

At this point we’ve been living in Kentucky for almost two years.  As we discovered in Massachusetts, it takes a few years to begin to feel at home.  Making friends, a bit of headway in the arts community, and of course the proximity of family have all helped in this transition.  I think this blog will help too!

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

Mini Lesson – Watercolor Hummingbird

This “mini-lesson” shows step-by-step how I painted a hummingbird from one of my photos.

  1. I begin by sketching the hummingbird with an HB pencil.  Make sure your drawing is   accurate!  Lighten the pencil lines by dabbing at them with a kneaded eraser.  (Contrary to what most books say, once wet, these lines can’t be erased completely) - Hummingbird Watercolor Lesson - Start w/Pencil Sketch

  1. I then mix the following puddles (a puddle is paint mixed with enough water to dilute it to the desired value):
  • Cobalt blue + Brown Madder (warm & cool mixtures)
  • Winsor Blue + Viridian Green
  • Sap Green
  • Alizarin Crimson  + New Gamboge
  • French Ultramarine + Payne’s Gray + a bit of Alizarin
  • Sepia + French Ultramarine
  1. Next I paint the base washes of the bird. - Hummingbird Watercolor Lesson - Paint base colors

  1. For the eyes, feet, and beak use the Ultramarine/Payne’s Gray / Alizarin mixture.  Leave the white highlights untouched.
  2. For the back of the bird paint the Winsor Blue/Viridian mixture.  While it’s still wet add Sap Green next to it, letting the colors bump each other.
  3. For the belly, let Sap Green bump into the Cobalt Blue/Brown Madder (warm) puddles, letting the colors blend alongside each other.
  4. For the wing and head, use both the warm and cool Cobalt/Brown Madder mixtures;  then drop a little Sap Green into them while still wet.
  5. The rosy area under the belly is painted with Alizarin/New Gamboge.
  1. Allow all initial washes to dry!  Never paint into an area that has started to dry.
  1. Add the final details - Hummingbird Watercolor Lesson - Add details

  1. Use the Sepia/Ultramarine mixture for dark highlights on the beak and feet as well as in the eye.
  2. For wing highlights use the cool Brown Madder/Cobalt mixture.

If you have any questions, please add a comment below!


Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

Happy 59th birthday to me!

Welcome to my blog!

Come join me as I celebrate my last year in the “frantic fifties” and document my “Artful Passages” into my sixties and beyond.   In my artful blog/journal I’ll use writing, painting, drawing, and photographs to chart my blog-journey.

Since its my birthday and all, I deserve some cake don’t you think? In lieu of the real thing, let’s serve up a couple watercolors instead.  Lots less calories! - Watercolor Birthday - Watercolor Birthday Cake

Thanks for making this passage with me!


Watercolor Hummingbird Signature