Birthdays And Such

Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



As a child, I was encouraged to read and spread my creative wings.  I always got books and art supplies as birthday presents.  My husband keeps the tradition alive.

Before he left for work on the morning of my birthday, he gave me one paint tube, a brush and paper.  I couldn’t wait to try them out, so I started drawing in my sketchbook.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



I liked the first drawing fine, but to leave something well enough alone is not for me.  I traced the drawing onto another page and joined some of the lines together.  I circled one area where I did that on the pictures so you can see the difference.



Winsor & Newton Ink | Whims And Fancies



After numerous attempts at trying out new paint directly on a painting and ruining it, I have learned my lesson.  I tried two black inks on a scrap piece of paper first.  I decided to use the Winsor & Newton inks in my painting.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



The paint he gave me that morning was dioxazine violet.  Instead of painting a cliche red phoenix, I decided to push the energy level to ultraviolet and paint a purple phoenix. 

I painted the background first.  For a richer and darker background, I used inks instead of watercolour.  The Winsor & Newton blue and black inks blended into each other beautifully to give me a rich midnight sky.  I didn’t want the sky to be evenly painted, so I blended the inks directly on the painting instead of blending them on a palette first.  Since the blending needed to be done before the inks fully dried, I did this in small sections.

I excitedly showed the painting to my husband when he got home that evening. 



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



He gave me the rest of my presents then.  This was part of my birthday stash from early January.  These brands are all new to me.  

The professional quality Winsor & Newton he got for me included some of my favourite colours.   The paint exceeded my expectations.  It stayed where I dropped it, while also glazing and layering beautifully. 

This was my first time painting on Arches paper.  It felt like the paper anticipated my every brush stoke.  It was like working with an old friend who knows your idiosyncrasies ever so well. 


Whims And Fancies


All that excitement pushed me forward to create the new logo that had been percolating in my head for quite a few months now.  I wanted the new logo to be representative of my love of images.   While tweaking the logo over a few days, the byline appeared in my head and stuck. 




Heather In The Yorkshire Moor Painting | Whims And Fancies



Alongside, I have also been working on professional printing.  For a while, my room had at least 15 prints drying overnight, all done with different settings.  I was having such a marvelous time that I had to drag myself out of my atelier at times.



Haybales In Aberdeenshire | Whims And Fancies



A couple of weeks after mine was my husband’s birthday.   He has always been so supportive that I wanted to frame prints of a couple of my paintings for his office.

These scenes are special since they are from two of our favourite places in England and Scotland – Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire



Knitting Hat | Whims And Fancies



I also made him a fleece blanket and I am working on a warm woollen hat.  I will write more about them another time.



Ultraviolet Phoenix Watercolour | Whims And Fancies



I can’t wait to make prints of this watercolour painting.  I got a different kind of paper specifically for printing watercolour images.

Have you been working on anything new?


Thank you so much for your lovely comments on The Magician’s Bookshelf.  You can still link up your posts here on Wandering Camera.




I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them. 




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Winter Warmth

Old York street light with Sennelier watercolour | Whims And Fancies


Purchase Old York Pub


Lately, my head has been full of plans for the future and a growing list of things to accomplish, matched only by my lackluster state of mind.  A few months ago, I took a photo of a street light while exploring the old city of York, and have wanted to paint this ever since.

On Tuesday, as I finally made myself put the paint-loaded brush to paper, the ease came back.  Painting the weathered stones and the walls was quite cathartic, and the warm light became the proverbial beacon.


Thank You for keeping me going with your lovely supportive words and personal emails sharing memories evoked by my work.



Tule Elk at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies


More photos from Pt. Reyes on A Day At The Sea Post


A few weeks ago we went back to Point Reyes National Seashore.  On our way back, we came across these Tule elks grazing right by the roadside. They were introduced back after their extirpation from this region in the 1850s.  Warms my heart to see them back in their natural habitat.



Tule elks at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies



Last rays of the setting sun



Harvest Hat Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies



I made a pair of mitts for my friend Kris before.  It was about time I made this matching hat for her.  This hat, along with a few other things made it out there on Monday.  She loves it and said the hat snuggles her ears too.  Perfect!



Yosemite | Whims And Fancies


Yosemite And I – A post about why I love it there so much

We haven’t had much rain or snow here this year.  Instead, our beautiful California has been burning from north to south.  Snow-covered landscape has been scarce this year, as has the winter rain.



Colonial House quilt pattern | Whims And Fancies


Post about a holiday in Kings Canyon inspired wall hanging

Purchase Colonial House Pattern


That photo I took of Yosemite reminded me of sitting by a large stone fireplace, sipping on a warm drink after a wonderful day out in the snow.  The parks here have common rooms with warm fires in large stone fireplaces.  We will not be going to the Sierra mountains this year, but that won’t stop me dreaming of my favourite place.



Black And White Sewing | Whims And Fancies



At home, looking out of the window at the bare trees and at the bookshelves beside the window gave me an idea for a small sewing project.


The time has come for my holiday hibernation away from the computer.  This year with everything that has been going on, I will need this time to gather myself more than ever.  Time to bask in the warmth that old man winter brings to me.  This comes in the guise of admiring my favourite star clusters during the long winter nights,  and walks wearing my favourite woolens during the days. 

Inside the home, long hours of video game playing with my husband has become a tradition.  I love to paint in the soft winter sunlight.  Ink and paper adventures await me, along with the prospect of a warm beverage, fireside and kitty cuddles. 


Happy Holidays, everyone!  I wish you a warm and safe holiday season full of wonder and magic!



I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  They are great for inspiration, please pay a visit to some of them.




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