Nan's Art Adventures

Join me while I explore watercolor and sketching! I'm new to this, having never thought of myself as "artistic"! (I'm having a blast, as I learn!)

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Location: La Crescenta, Ca

30 years in dentistry lead to early retirement, to be my husband's caregiver. He passed away February 10th, 2008. I am thankful I found art then, as it continues to help me now.

July 30, 2006


We went to Lotusland in Santa Barbara with my watercolor class. (It was even hot and very humid by the beach!) Lotusland is a 37 acre botanical garden with an amazing collection of unique plantings. The home and gardens were created in the 1920's by it's owner, Madame Ganna Walska. The acreage is divided into peaceful garden rooms with anything from the lotus flowers, to cactus, bromeliads, ferns, succulents, aloes, cycads (The sego palm is a cycad, who knew!), and even a grass covered ampitheater were she would perform her opera singing. Japanese and European staturary accents are found throughout the property. After Madame death, in 1984 the property became a nonprofit educational institution and opened to the public in 1993. This was our first visit. I'm told the cactus gardens are splendid in Feburary. will take you to their web site.

July 23, 2006

Dahlias in the Heat!

Nothing like a one-hundred plus degree day to get the creative juices flowing! I met up with some SoCal EDM "crawl" members at the Getty Center yesterday. (Karen, Robin and Wendee!) We started out in the garden, but quickly became overheated! Later we strolled through some air-conditioned galleries. I took a tour with Karen and her husband learning about the paintings of Rubens (and his collaborators)! I watercolored my sketch today, and thinking about the heat, (which is still ever present), certainly influenced my color choices! That warm background will always remind me about the record breaking day of heat in LA! This was the christening of my first watercolor Moleskine. I like the way it opens long-ways, rather than book-style. I'm off to Santa Barbara soon and hoping I'll be able to add to this journal there.

July 21, 2006

Poppies by Me!

My watercolor class has been focusing on "negative painting" lately. This means that I have been painting a lot of white objects! My teacher can just paint in the background, leaving the space for the flower, stem, or whatever, white. I had to cheat by lightly sketching in the shapes of the petals in pencil! These Matilija Poppies grow quite tall in Southern California, and I've seen them growing wild in the countryside! The have quite a crepe paper look to them. I think I could fiddle with the shading on the petals a bit more, but you know how it is when you just need to be done with something!

July 19, 2006

Georgia O'Keeffe

In my sketching class we are learning about "fog", which is different from light and shade. It is used to help give your picture some depth and perspective. Georgia O'Keeffe used a lot of "fog" in her many masterpieces. This is my rendering of her magnificent Red Poppy, painted in 1927. She used watercolor, but I used graphite, a "dirty" chamois and a kneaded eraser.
P.S. I am thrilled to welcome my new blog viewers! A lot of you from the EDM group! Sharing my art has brought a new dimension to my newly found passion. Thank you for your comments everyone!

July 07, 2006

4th of July

This is the front of the card I made for my brother in law and his wife, two very special people in our life! Their anniversary is on the Fourth of July so I thought it appropriate to use the flag for their card, substituting 26 hearts for the stars, to mark their 26th anniversary! We were at their wedding, and it sure does not feel like 26 years have gone by since then!