View Full Version : Joan's February Journal

Joan T
02-04-2011, 11:09 AM
I will probably continue with mostly landscapes in my February Journal. I started a 5 x 8 watercolor moleskin journal for this month. This painting was done on the north fork of Long Island in Cutchogue. These are old historic buildings. Although I was hoping it would be warm enough for me to sit outdoors and paint, it was much too cold and windy, so I sat in my car facing this scene.

Several of you asked if I would demo how I do my watercolor and ink sketches. I put a demo in the Art From Life Forum this morning. Here is a link to it:

02-04-2011, 01:02 PM
what a beautiful scene. . . that looks like it could be a holiday card, so quaint!
And YAY for a demo. . . I'm off to check it out right now.

02-04-2011, 01:07 PM
Thanks! The demo was very good to see! Lovely results from just a few tools, that is great to learn about.

02-04-2011, 04:15 PM
Awesome painting. Marvelous demo. I always tend to outline things like a comic book with ink. Thanks for pointing out the broken line technique.

02-04-2011, 10:33 PM
I love this piece :)

02-04-2011, 11:38 PM
Beautiful - love how you use red in your paintings Joan, it is always a nice focal point ;)

Joan T
02-05-2011, 11:13 AM
Rainy - Thank you.

Candace - Thanks. From traveling so much, I've learned to work with limited supplies. I find the results are just as good.

Debby - Thanks. I used to outline completely too. Then I participated in a watercolor & ink workshop over in the WC Forum led by Ona. That was one of her suggestions of things not to do. I try to remember that as I sketch.

EP - Thank you.

Jackie - Thanks so much.

I went back to one of my favorite parks yesterday. When I started this scene I thought I would luck out and have a figure in it. A man was fly fishing there in the snow. lol Unfortunately he walked off upstream before I could sketch him. This one is about 3 x 5 in the moleskin (about 1/2 of the page).

02-05-2011, 11:17 AM
What a great piece for such a small size! I like it!

Thanks again for the demo. What sort of travel brush is that you are using?

02-05-2011, 06:50 PM
That's an awesome painting and such a small size too.

02-05-2011, 09:52 PM
beautiful details on such a small painting!! love it

02-06-2011, 05:27 AM
Joan, beautiful landscapes, a pleasure to look at during this current heatwave we are having!!

02-06-2011, 10:39 AM
Love the fallen tree in the woods. Beautiful colors, shadow & light. So a guy was "fly fishing in the snow" ? OK that's a new one on me! The fish come out prefrozen & ready for your freezer?:lol:

Joan T
02-06-2011, 12:54 PM
Margo - Thanks. I think its an Isaby travel brush, size 4.

Debby - Thank you.

Rainy - Thanks.

Linda - Glad you're warm. Thanks.

Candace - lol It seemed so strange to see the fisherman in the snow. Maybe the fish are hungrier in the winter when nobody else is there. Thanks.

The uploader isn't working, so I'll have to post tomorrow. I'm off to paint in plein air. I think it is actually warm enought to sit outside today (bundled up).

02-06-2011, 01:37 PM
Thanks Joan. I got one of those in my last Blick order, very nice it is too. Happy plein air, I'm sure you have been missing getting out of the car!

Joan T
02-07-2011, 12:33 PM
I decided to start a second journal this month for portraits. I really need to do more of those. So I'll post both the landscapes and the portraits in one thread. These were done in a 9 x 12 Canson spiral journal, with 2 portraits to a page, making each about 5 x 8. They were done for this weekend's WDE from references by "mmdm."

Joan T
02-07-2011, 12:36 PM
I did get out to plein air paint yesterday and actually took all my stuff and sat outdoors at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oakdale. With all the sading me a bit from the sun, it wasn't as warm as I hoped, so by the time this was nearly finished my feet and hands were freezing. There was still a lot of snow and ice on the paths in the park. This is 3 x 5.

Vivien Maloney
02-07-2011, 12:45 PM
Wonderful Demo Joan of how you work in your car! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I've often wondered how you do that.
Your February Journal is off to a great start. Beautiful watercolors (they always are). I come back and look at your watercolors again and again - they are so fresh and interesting. I love them.

02-07-2011, 08:43 PM
Marvelous portraits. The landscape is spectacular.

02-07-2011, 09:28 PM
wow, I love your portraits Joan. . . both of them are great. Lovely skin tones. And that little guy is precious

02-07-2011, 11:38 PM
Super portraits Joan, right down to the horn players puffy cheeks, wow! And the shadows in the snow in the most recent landscape, just amazing!

02-08-2011, 02:53 AM
More inspiring sketches, Joan! I checked out your demo - very nice to see your process.

Joan T
02-08-2011, 11:30 AM
Viv, Debby, Margo, Rainy, & John - Thanks. I've been wanting to do more portraits, so this seems like the perfect spot to practice...now who will be my next victim? lol

I did another snow scene yesterday, but the uploader is in one of its moods this morning.

Joan T
02-09-2011, 12:15 PM
The next sketch was done locally at a new county park that has been calling to me every time I pass it. This is the entrance. I haven't walked into the park yet. This was done from the warmth of my car which was parked in a very icy and slushy parking lot. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get out. lol

The second sketch is of a store in Sayville...don't you just love the pink? I haven't been inside of the store yet, but I'm sure I will go in soon. I needed to do a window with a reflection for the scavenger hunt, so I thought this would be perfect.

02-09-2011, 01:00 PM
Joan, I love the painting of the store. . so season appropriate with the hearts and pink as well as nicely done (love the reflection and shadows). What sort of store is it? The name leaves lots to imagination :)

02-09-2011, 01:30 PM
Cool sketches, gotta love a business that has a pink door, I'd have sketched that one too!

02-09-2011, 02:25 PM
The depth in the above park entrance is so good. You want to walk right into the picture. The pink store is neat, and a nice journal entry for the places you see as you ramble around. I must make time to go out plein airing instead of just my class and home. I keep saying that...

02-09-2011, 08:38 PM
Great park painting.

The store front looks marvelous. The reflections are well done.

Joan T
02-10-2011, 11:07 AM
Rainy - Thanks. I'm not sure exactly what the store sells, but I did see some purses in the window.

Margo - I'll have to check out the inside of the store next. lol

Candace - Thanks. I keep saying I have to stop going out and doing the little plein air paintings. I have to stay home and do some work on larger paintings. lol

Debby - Thanks so much.

Yesterday was a double whammy day. I did an outdoor scene and then met with my sketch friend last evening and painted at the coffee shop. The outdoor spot is a location I've painted a few times...right off the exit ramp to the Long Island Expressway. I sat in the car to paint it cause it was very cold outside, not to mention dangerous with the traffic. Luckily there is a nice wide area to pull over on the side.

02-10-2011, 12:42 PM
Joan it is so fun to see the difference in your plein air sketches and the indoors sketches, both are cool but I guess it's the difference in light not sure. Love the detail of spilt coffee beans by the sack.

02-10-2011, 04:05 PM
Indoors and outdoors. You just paint everywhere. It's so great. These are marvelous.

Joan T
02-11-2011, 04:45 PM
Margo & Debby - Thanks! I enjoy doing something indoors too. It is a change.

Joan T
02-11-2011, 04:46 PM
This was done at Sunken Meadow Park yesterday from the parking lot facing the golf course.

02-11-2011, 05:34 PM
I see you still have snow on the ground. I admire your dedication to plein air painting. This is a beautiful painting.

02-11-2011, 06:50 PM
Ooh la la, what a great collection of little paintings for me to enjoy. :clap:

02-11-2011, 07:05 PM
Joan, I really enjoyed looking through these. The farm scene in post #28 is so beautifully serene. I feel like I could step right into it. I like seeing the different ways in which you use the medium. I think your portraits are quite good. Impressive even! Doesn't look like you need so much practice to me!

Are you expecting to fill this Moleskine in February? Best git crackin'! LOL ;)


02-11-2011, 07:55 PM
I'd say judging by the color of the sky in the latest piece you are getting some sun. That is good, cold is bad enough without gray days to go along with them! Love the broken down fence in this one, think those snow drifts are too much for it. I'm beginning to feel an utter plein air wimp with the cold you are braving to sketch. You are just amazing, that's all there is to it.

02-12-2011, 12:49 AM
Joan, these are just amazing! You manage to get the feeling of a much larger painting in these - a real achievement. Your palette is wonderful as well.

Joan T
02-12-2011, 11:11 AM
Debby - Thanks. We still have some snow on the ground. Around town it is ugly and muddy, but I still looks pretty in the parks where it is fairly clean.

Chris - Thanks so much.

Jamie - Thanks. I figure I'll keep the moleskin going until I fill it. February is too short a month to fill it.:wink2: That's my excuse anyway. lol I'm hoping to get a quick sketch done of a farm up near Orange County this week. Michelle and I are dropping off paintings for the NEWS Member's Show at the Orange County Community College. I figure we should be able to get a sketch done of one of the farms we pass on 17.

Margo - Thank you. My car is quiet comfy in the cold.

John - Many thanks.

I had a busy day and didn't get to paint outdoors. We went over to spend some time with my FIL and get him out of the house. But I did get to work in my portrait journal. This was done for the WDE and is 5 x 8.

02-12-2011, 11:33 AM
Great portrait Joan! Doing teeth scares the pants off of me. I need to practice that one more in my sketchbook!

02-12-2011, 07:40 PM
love the portrait. . . such soft and beautiful skin tones.

02-12-2011, 07:58 PM
Great portrait. Sorry you didn't get to paint outdoors.

Joan T
02-13-2011, 01:35 PM
Margo - Thanks. lol If I do a portrait I usually look for one that doesn't show teeth. Her mouth gave me a really hard time.

Rainy - Thanks.

Debby - Thank you. The weather improved for yesterday's sketch, but the uploader doesn't seem to be working for me today.

02-13-2011, 03:20 PM
More beautiful scenes and a nice portrait! I think portraits in watercolor are daunting; that water & color are down and it's all over!! I like that which I can erase, haha. -Or go slower on than a fully loaded paintbrush.

02-13-2011, 05:26 PM
Joan the funny thing is I keep looking for tutorials to do teeth and have yet to find an acceptable one. One trick of practicing I have is to take the catalogs I get in the mail and do portraits of the girls who are smiling and work on it that way. I've even done whole pages of just mouths and teeth. Very hard stuff! And by the way I still can't do them well at all!

Joan T
02-14-2011, 01:25 PM
Candace - Thanks. I like to challenge myself...and portraits in wc are a challenge. lol

Margo - Sounds like a good way to practice teeth.

Here is the landscape that wouldn't upload yesterday. I did this sitting outside and nearly froze my fingers off. lol But I never would have seen the stream from the car, so I guess it was worth it.

The portrait is of my mother-in-law who just passed away. Next Monday is my father-in-law's 90th birthday, so I painted this for him. Right now it is in the journal, but I'll cut it out for him and frame it. My husband is afraid that he will look at it and get sad, but my feeling is that he's sad anyway and has been digging through old photos of her. Nothing will make him stop thinking about her...after all they were married for 64 years and inseperable lately. I think he'll like it.

02-14-2011, 01:36 PM
I haven't looked in here for a while. Your February sketches are great, as usual. The portrait of Jerry's Mom is really good. I'm sure he will cherish it, even if it does make him sad. Like you said, he's going to be sad anyway.

02-14-2011, 07:04 PM
Love the landscape! But your mother in law, Joan she is beautiful! I agree with you, nothing is going to take away the sadness and loss your father in law is feeling. A beautiful portrait of his wife now that just might make him smile, and I have no doubt he will treasure it.

02-15-2011, 10:19 PM
Thanks for freezing your fingers off for the landscape scene, lovely.

And I can't help thinking that your nice portrait will be appreciated.

02-15-2011, 11:54 PM
Lovely scene with the stream.

Yes, he is sad anyway. She is beautiful.

02-16-2011, 11:16 AM
Wonderful portrait, Joan! I have no doubt he'll love it. Getting sad about a person's passing and absence means they had a good life together. My wife and I were married at 22 years old, and will have our 39th wedding anniversary in May...so we've got a shot at 50 years or more. It's already hard to imagine life by myself, but it's one of those things you just can't control.

Joan T
02-16-2011, 12:13 PM
Mickey - Thanks so much.

Margo - I hope it brings a smile to his face. Thanks.

Chris - Thank you!

Debby - Thanks. It is fun to switch gears once in a while.

John - Thank you! They were married for 64 years, and due to health issues lately they took turns caring for each other. Luckily they were never ill at the same time.

Joan T
02-17-2011, 11:43 AM
Here is one landscape and one portrait for each sketchbook.

The red barn was done in plein air up near Monroe, NY on Tuesday when my sister and I went to drop off paintings for the NE Watercolor Society's Member's Show. We always end up painting the same barns up there. We can see others, but never find a way to get to them. lol

The portrait is of my husband's cousin's granddaughter. It looks like her but lacks the sparkle and energy she has.

02-17-2011, 06:36 PM
oh, wow. . . you are really wonderful at the portraits, too.

02-17-2011, 07:12 PM
Sweet portrait, and amazing blond hair, congrats on that!

02-17-2011, 07:59 PM
Marvelous paintings. I don't know... she looks like she's contemplating mischief.

02-17-2011, 08:37 PM
Love these portraits :)

Joan T
02-18-2011, 11:55 AM
Rainy, Margo, Debby, & EP - Thanks. The photo I used showed Skylar with strawberry syrup all over her face. lol I cleaned her up a bit.

I did this yesterday in plein air locally.

02-18-2011, 03:39 PM
It still looks chilly there, the sky has that stark austere winter feel.

02-18-2011, 06:16 PM
That is a very inviting house. . . is it your house? it looks so homey with that inviting front porch. Lovely painting

02-18-2011, 07:59 PM
Lovely house portrait.

02-19-2011, 03:39 PM
Nice work, Joan! The barn-in-winter scene reminds me a lot of my uncle's farm in PA growing up.

02-20-2011, 10:42 PM
Nice house portrait (I like that phrase Debby used). Another nice way to have picture memories of your home and neighborhood. The park scenes you do are so great; the buildings put the people factor back in without having to do figures (--who walk away when you want to paint them!)

Joan T
02-22-2011, 12:16 PM
Margo - Thanks. It is still chilly here. When I sat in my car yesterday to paint, I had to keep turning on the heat!!:evil:

Rainy - Thanks...nah, it isn't mine. I just rode around until I found something that called to me.

Debby - Thank you.

John - Thanks. I love old barns but they are disappearing too fast.

Candace - Thanks so much.

Joan T
02-22-2011, 12:20 PM
Here are one more I did from my car yesterday. We had a bit of snow again, so the old ugly snow looked clean again.

Joan T
02-22-2011, 12:21 PM
This is the next one in my portrait journal. I did it for the WDE from a photo reference from Valri.

02-22-2011, 12:55 PM
Joan your snow scenes are too good. Every single one just gets better and better, I'm there in the picture, see my goosebumps! Another amazing blond portrait.

02-22-2011, 10:27 PM
Great snow scene. Isn't clean snow just wonderful.

Delightful portrait.

02-23-2011, 03:49 AM
๋Joan, your journals are inspiring. Your MIL portrait is wonderful and will be a great sweet memoir of her to your FIL. I think he will sure happy to receive it.

Joan T
02-23-2011, 11:48 AM
Margo - Glad you enjoy them. Thanks.

Debby - The snow gets messy so quickly. If I head to the park it is usually better there. Thank you.

Ai - Thanks so much.

I gave the portrait of my mother-in-law to my father-in-law for his 90th birthday this weekend. He just loved it. He called me on Monday and told me he moved it around the apartment, trying it in different spots. He finally found the perfect spot for it, he said. He hung it next to his dresser in the bedroom so she is the last thing he sees before he falls asleep and the first thing he sees when he wakes up.

02-23-2011, 12:19 PM
So glad you father-in-law liked the portrait. So sweet where he hung it, I was sure he'd be thrilled. He is so lucky to have you for a daughter-in-law.

02-23-2011, 03:33 PM
That is so wonderful that your FIL loved the portrait.

02-23-2011, 09:05 PM
Joan, love the snow scene, you are so wonderful at those. Adorable little girl.

Joan T
02-24-2011, 11:20 AM
Margo & Debbi - I'm glad he liked it so much.

Rainy - Thanks. The fresh snow made things look good again.

Believe it or not, nothing new today. I spent a bit of the day at a Nissan dealership picking up my new car (studio) and then one of my art groups met last night and we had a demo...that gave me no painting time yesterday. However, tonight my sketch group is meeting at a bowling alley to sketch. That should be different.

02-24-2011, 03:30 PM
oh, wow. . . a new car! Fun! congrats Joan!

02-24-2011, 09:48 PM
Cool, you got a new car. Bowling alley, that should be interesting.

Joan T
02-25-2011, 03:31 PM
Rainy - Thanks. Now I have a new "studio." lol

Debby - Thanks. It is hard to find places to sketch indoors in the winter. The bowling alley was a fun change from the coffee shop.

Three of us met at "Bowl Long Island at Patchogue" last evening. It was noisy and fairly crowded, but a great place to sketch. The only problem was that most of the people didn't stay put for long...even the ones sitting at tables. I hate when models don't cooperate.:evil: lol I did manage to get two sketches done. I ended up sketching parts of different people and combining them into one person for the one of the actual bowlers in action. The men sitting down waiting for their turn was much easier.

02-25-2011, 07:58 PM
wow, I love that bowling one. . . great figures/gestures and all the colorful balls and the perspective. you are good

02-25-2011, 08:23 PM
Well, I've never been to a quiet bowling alley. :lol: Great sketches of the place. Really have a feeling of atmosphere.

02-25-2011, 10:32 PM
Nice work, Joan! Brings back memories of the last time I was on a company bowling team - about 3 decades ago, I think!

02-26-2011, 12:17 AM
Great work as always Joan - those bowling alley sketches are fun - I like the colours in the bowling balls too :)

Hope you enjoy the new "studio"

02-26-2011, 01:11 AM
Opportunities for art everywhere! Good work Joan!

02-26-2011, 01:14 PM
Bowling alley? Brilliant idea! Okay and what is the make of your new studio?

Joan T
02-27-2011, 01:14 PM
Rainy - Thanks. I started sketching a number of figures that got erased when the people moved out of my line of sketching.

Debby - Thank you. It was fun.

John - I was never a good bowler, but enjoyed it anyway. This is much easier. Thanks.

Jackie - I wanted to do a painting of just bowling balls, but I ran out of time. Thank you.

Candace - A sketch around every corner. lol Thanks!

Margo - Thanks. The new studio is a Nissan Sentra. It is our 4th Sentra...I guess we like them.

I spent the day upstate yesterday. The North East Watercolor Society was having a reception for their member's show. My sister and I both have 2 paintings in the show. It is a long drive for me (just over 2 hrs) but it is always a fun show and there is usually a good demo too. My sister couldn't go so I went up myself...early so I could paint something while I was up there in the "country." I drove around until I found a good subject. This barn was a bit in need of some TLC...perfect in my mind.

02-27-2011, 01:51 PM
Very good you left early, I like ramshackle old barns too!

02-27-2011, 02:41 PM
The reception sounds fun. . . do you know yet how your paintings did in the show? That is too funny. . . new studio :)

Love the old barn. . . I took a few photos of them when we were driving cross country but all were taken from the highway moving vehicle and not too good.

02-27-2011, 06:32 PM
Great barn. My hubby refers to those barns as "aesthetic". :lol:

02-27-2011, 07:04 PM
Great barn, Joan! Barns like these are an endangered species, unfortunately...all the more reason to find and paint them.

02-28-2011, 04:37 AM
Joan, as always you have produced another set of wonderful little paintings. The figures are a great addition to the portraits and landscapes. Thanks for showing me how its done!

02-28-2011, 09:18 AM
I love barns Joan and that one is great!


Joan T
02-28-2011, 01:34 PM
Margo - Thanks. I like buildings and things with character.

Rainy - Thank you. I didn't win any award, but the reception and demo were a lot of fun.

Debby - Good way to refer to them. Thanks.

John - Thank you. Out by me old barns are a disappearing breed...the farms all turn into housing developments. There are still some upstate, but finding them isn't easy. lol

Chris - Thanks so much.

David - Many thanks.

Here is my last addition for this month. I'm going to continue the landscapes and portraits in the journals I've been working in, but will do a new thread for March.

This is a local farmstand which is closed for the winter. It is interesting anyway.

02-28-2011, 01:54 PM
beautiful color in that one. . . love the greens/purples and the shadows. It looks like a neat little place. Is it very rural where you live?

02-28-2011, 02:49 PM
I like the feel of this one, it just made me smile.

02-28-2011, 03:23 PM
Congrats on the new car studio! What becomes of the old studio?

02-28-2011, 07:14 PM
Have enjoyed this months journal. The farm stand in winter is great.

Joan T
03-01-2011, 01:11 PM
Rainy - Thanks. It isn't too rural right near me, but drive east a bit and it gets less crowded. At one time there were a lot of farms on Long Island, but most have been sold and housing developments sprang up. I'm lucky that the water isn't far from me either to the north or the south so we have a lot of beaches, and there are a lot of state parks with wonderful wooded areas to explore.

Margo - Thanks. I can't wait for the farmstands to reopen.

EP - Thanks. The old studio was traded in when I bought the new one. It had over 207,000 miles, and I was afraid something would have to be repaired soon. lol

Debby - Thanks so much.

I did start March with some people sketches. I just haven't taken photo of them to upload yet. I'll do that later today and start a new thread.

03-02-2011, 08:21 PM
Nice finish, thanks for sharing February with us. Looking forward to your new studio work.:D