100 Flowers Project

“100 Flowers Project,” 2 1/2 ” sq. each, watercolor & mixed media on various surfaces,                               © 2017, Wamala

The 100 Flowers Project came from a desire to increase my knowledge about handling watercolors and mixed media on various surfaces.  Each little painting is just 2 1/2″ square, and is creating a quilt of gem like happiness in my studio.

The florals are a diary of sorts, chronicling the walks I have taken solo or shared with various friends and family during my summer.  

Who knows, maybe I just won’t be able to stop at 100!



Camping & Crafting

“Orange Gerbera Daisy,” 2 1/2 ” sq.”, watercolor & mixed media, © 2017, Wamala

I just stepped in the door from 2 glorious days Camping & Crafting with my dear friend, Bonnie.  She spent time creating her delightful “Minanimals” and I painted some new little pieces for my “100 Flowers Project.”  (more on this new project in later posts).  The one pictured here was a gift to Bonnie and she gave me a sweet pink owl. 

I feel so nourished, head to toe, by Bonnie’s delicious meals, gorgeous guitar playing and singing, taking in the animal sounds and wind through the trees in our beautiful woodsy surroundings – and of course – the time walking, chatting and creating.

An annual tradition is born – Thank You Bonnie!


Adventures in Color


                                   Color Mixing Exercise, 3 Primaries & White

Color mixing is one of the most enjoyable aspects of painting for me.  Though I have studied color theory, the intuitive understanding gained from the activity of blending just 3 primaries and white, in multiple combinations, has been far more delightful than cerebral study.  Over time intuitive understanding of color develops that is a language unto itself.

Yesterday, in preparation for an upcoming painting session with a student, I decided to do the homework I assigned to her.  What a delight to see again the subtle nuanced color that happens from the starting place of 3 primaries and white.  

Wishing you delightful Adventures in Color.


“Embracing Happiness”

“Embracing Happiness,” mixed media on canvas, 20″ sq. © Wamala 2017

Before I started this painting I was thinking about green & blue. 

Walking to the art supply store, I was thinking about green & blue.

Wiring the canvas, I was thinking about green & blue.

Adding another layer of gesso, I was thinking about green & blue.

Gathering the brushes, palette knives, paints, and mediums,

I was thinking about green & blue.

About to squeeze the blue paint from the tube . . . 

suddenly all I could think about was orange.

Life is full of surprises –

“Embracing Happiness” was born.


Making Peace with Orange


“Sunset Stars: No. 1,” oil on panel, 12″ sq., © Wamala, 2016

I have been striving to make peace with orange.

Certain colors have long held prescribed personal meaning. For many years I have associated particular colors with the dearest people and activities in my life.  My 2 sons: yellow.  My daughter: purple.  Time sensitive matters: hot pink. Business: blue.  Money issues: green.

Years ago orange shattered my heart.  Since then I have been striving toward reconciling my emotions around this color.  It’s been slow going.  I am surprised how meaningful small steps have been on the path of picking up the pieces.

“Sunset Stars: No. 1,” one painting in a suite of 9, exemplifies a significant step forward for me.



Magic Hour / Racing the Light

“The Magic Hour / Newburyport,” pastel, 8” x 10”,  © Wamala, 2017

(for a closer look at those penguins of newburyport – see below!)

Magic Hour / Racing the Light

sunshine – the entire drive to newburyport

upon arrival to our painting location –

raindrops.  a lot of them. 

a lovely bruschetta picnic in the car – delish!  thank you dru.

patience … and then more patience –

a rainbow!

then what we waited for –

the exhilarating experience of racing the light at magic hour.

Penguins of Newburyport


The foreboding sky!


Dru & her painting







“Walking in Napa”

“Walking in Napa,” oil on panel, 6″ sq., © Wamala, 2017

Savoring the colors, textures, sounds and fragrances around me relaxes my mind and inspires my imagination.  Sometimes I work directly from nature, “en plein air,” as in “Jane’s Garden in June,” shared about a month ago.

Other times I am on the fly, taking a hike or brisk walk, and so I capture photographic images to refer to for later paintings.  “Walking in Napa,” is a little oil painting created after the initial pleasure of seeing the golden, wind blown grasses of Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa, California. 



“Walking the Hills: California Super Bloom”

“Walking the Hills: California Super Bloom,” Oil on Canvas, 24″ x 36″ © 2017, Wamala

“Walking the Hills: California Super Bloom”

The years long Californian drought made the recent occurrence of the “super bloom” that much more magnificent.  Dry conditions left dormant numerous flowering plants, which finally had  opportunity to burst forth and share their exuberant colors and textures. 

“Walking the Hills: California Super Bloom,” is my celebration honoring the survival skills of these hearty seeds, which sprung to gorgeous life after years of dormancy.


Happy Summer! / Beach Day with Elders

Beach Day with Elders, “Watercolors Celebrating the Sea,” Anonymous Artists © 2017

Painting, like reading, transports us to another place.  In celebration of Summer’s beginning, Nancy Wormwood and I traveled to the beach with our elder art students.  With watercolor painting as our vehicle, we savored the experiences and feelings of the shore.

Pictured here is the array of paintings created by students in the afternoon workshop. Thank you Nancy for helping with the morning class. 

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Jane’s Garden in June

                “Jane’s Garden in June,” Pastel, 9″ x 12″ © 2017, Wamala

What a treat to paint in Jane’s garden today. We had the pleasure of enjoying her glorious yard while creating pastel paintings together. It was a spectacular morning. Jane’s creativity, expressed through her gardening, was an inspiration. I saw a dozen vantage points to paint from, and had a challenge selecting this one.

After a tour around her yard we each selected a place to set up and paint for a few hours. Pictured here is my demonstration painting. Focusing on one small section, which included two colorful flower beds, I aimed to capture the essence of the scene. The bright pinks, yellow greens, deep purples juxtaposed to the lush greens and burgundies was what drew me in.  I was pleased.

Summer – oh how glorious!