A few months ago my family and I moved from the Western side of New York state to the Eastern. I have not been blogging and painting as much as I would like recently. With the move, new home, and a new job I have lost my daily practice habits. I am surprised how little brain power I have at the end of each day. I hope to reinstate my daily practice this spring as it is a vital component of my goal to improve my art skills. I also seem to be a happier and better-composed person when I am regularly creating.

Oddly one of the things I miss about Western New York is the snow. Much of Western New York with its proximity to the Great Lakes finds itself receiving many feet of snow over each winter. I am not typically a winter sports person being limited to snowshoeing and hiking in the winter months.  I am not the person who watches a lake effect snow storm on the radar map with excitement for the next day’s ski trip. Although I am not the type to constantly complain about the weather I don’t enjoy cleaning off the car and shoveling the walk.

A snowed over pasture. Oil Pastel. Based on Misty Winter Stock 1 by leeorr-stock on Deviant art.

The Albany region receives snow but very little when compared to Western New York. I found myself wistful for a white Christmas as the holiday neared. Luckily a bit of snow did arrive before Christmas.  As winter worn on I found myself thinking about the quite Forrest of Allegany State park covered in a blanket of snow just after a storm. Right after a storm, the woods are always silent as the animals have tucked themselves away to protect against the cold. There is something magical about fresh snow falling off pine branches in a sparkling cassacade illuminated  by the recently unveiled sunlight. Then as the light warms things up just a few degrees the animals reemerge and the forest is full of bird song and other noises again.  I guess you never know what you are going to miss.

Cold River
The banks of a river at sunset. Oil Pastel

In addtion to my son’s solar system (which I hope to blog about soon) some of the few paintings, I completed this winter are scenes featuring deep snow drifts. A couple of watercolors and oil pastel paintings. Which I am sharing here.

cabin near frozen creak
Cabin in the wood base on an image by Free-Photos on Pixabay.

Interestingly most of the snow I have seen here fell during February and March with spring around the corner.


cabin in snow
Snowed in cabin based on a photo by StockSnap on Pixabay.

Soon the snow will be gone as the days grow longer. I look forward to Spring. Every season has something special about it we just have to take the time to look.

Happy Art Journey,



Wink of Stella Review and Christmas Card Planning

I recently decided to go from not even bothering with Christmas cards last year to hand-painted watercolor Christmas cards this year.  Because this is a bit of a jump and I really had no idea how long it would take me to make the cards I choose to get started now in mid-November. I wanted something to apply over the watercolor paintings to give the cards a bit of sparkle. I purchased the Wink of Stella glitter brush markers in the Christmas Sparkle set for this purpose.

The Wink of Stella brush markers are manufactured by Kuretake under their Zig brand which includes my favorite inking nibs and brushes. I am also a big fan of Kuretake watercolor sets for their intenses colors and resonable price point. I will likely be picking up their Starry watercolor set for this project as well. The brushes contain a waterbase pigment that is archival. The Christmas sparkle set includes Gold, Silver, and Clear. The brushes are about the ideal size for brush calligraphy. It is a pretty affordable set at $12. All three are transparent but it is easy for the eye to pick up on the gold and silver. The clear gives a nice sparkle to just about any surface. But, if you rub too much you watercolors will reactivate.

Because I did not want to waste my watercolor card paper I did a few test designs on my cheap watercolor pad. My main takeaways are this is a nice set for what I desire to do and I really need to practice brush lettering.

Here are a few Christmas Card examples utilizing the Wink of Stella clear brush marker.

Snowy Pine Trees
Here I used the clear Wink of Stella glitter marker to add sparkle to the snow.



Here are a few examples utilizing the Gold and Silver Wink of Stella brush markers for Caligraphy. Oh boy do I need practice!

Ornaments ZIG Wink of Stella lettering
Wink of Stella lettering and accents

That is all I have for now.


Happy art journey,