Recent Sketches & News


I hope all is going well in your world. Below you will find a couple of sketches, I drew in late summer/early fall, but didn’t publish. I have also included a couple more photos of my work in progress in my gardens.  I have now brought my set up into my studio to continue working on this large painting. It is a challenging mental shift to move from my gardens to back inside my studio. I will expound on that in another post.

In other news, I am reviving my long lost Ezine. I have fresh plans for it. I will not allow it to feed to my Social Media platforms such as Facebook etc. right away. I am hoping to release new work by the end of November. If you subscribe to my Ezine, you will get to preview my new work first. Also, you will be privy to coupon codes that  I will not be sharing anywhere else. My way of letting my subscribers know how much I value and appreciate them. Soooo if this sounds good to you and you aren’t subscribed to my Ezine ( Newsletter) please click this link. Thanks!

Although I’m not a big fan of having my picture taken, I know it is good to sometimes show up on my social media platforms, rather than always being behind the camera. I sometimes enlist my son to take a few photos. We often have a few good laughs during the whole process with some clowning around.  I didn’t post those ones. lol This was after I believe my fourth session working on this painting.

I really extended the life of my nasturtiums by covering them with sheets every night! Definitely, a labor of love. Some nights I was out in the dark with a flashlight, if I forgot to cover them earlier. I even had my husband out with me holding the flashlight.

One night we had been away and when we got home around 10 pm a light frost had already draped itself on the grass. I swiftly dashed to get the sheets and with the help of Ian, covered my nasturtiums. Some already had a bit of frost on their leaves. Luckily, we saved them from Jack Frost that night!


Today’s Simple Nature Sketch, Sept. 20, 2017

September 20, 2017

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch

Picked fresh from my gardens, this Morning Glory oozed with beauty. However, it didn’t take long for it to begin to shrivel in size after it was picked. I literally could almost see its edges shrinking as I sketched it; accentuating nature’s impermanence and the importance to observe quick glimpses of beauty!

When I planted these seeds this summer, I didn’t expect them to grow into such a robust plant. It has entwined itself on a small obelisk and began reaching out to nearby plants. Before long thin stems twisted and enveloped tall zinnias. There have been moments when I took the time to release these giant zinnias from the grasp of its neighbor. I love how this plant marches to its own beat, growing profusely without a care in the world.

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch

They don’t last long, but the blossom on a yellow string bean plant is very pretty. They highlight this otherwise large leaf plant with a soft pink-mauve hue. Easily missed amongst large leaves, they beckon close observation. Like a breeze that flutters by, they too arrive and quietly disappear only to be replaced by long strings of beans.

When I told dad my beans had flowers, he said well it won’t be long before the beans arrive. Already tiny beans are beginning to form where blossoms once sang. The nugget in seeing the blossoms disappear is in knowing that soon we will sit down to a plate of fresh string beans with a few pats of butter making their flavor that much richer!




New Gardening Blog–“Steve’s Greenhouse”

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Wax Begonia Sketch & New Work


Somehow,  I have been remiss in posting my latest sketches. Between trying to capture summer blooms in paint and graphite, gardening and keeping up with my blog on my dad, life has been busy! lol  Over the next week or so I will be adding a few of my latest sketches I did not add here earlier. Please forgive my indulgence, as I really want to archive them on my blog.

Most recently, I have been working on a large painting of nasturtiums in my gardens. I feel so grateful to mother nature for providing unseasonably warm temperatures. We have only had a few nights of frost. I have been coddling my nasturtiums, blanketing them every night with sheets! This afforded me the luxury of working from life on my garden painting for as long as I could.

I believe I probably had my last session painting with them in my gardens on Wednesday. I will now move into my studio and continue to work on them there. I have taken digitals for reference, as well as dug some of my nasturtiums up so I could take them inside for a while. They are nestled in trays of earth and a few jars. Hopefully, they will enjoy their new home for a while!

Here are a few pics of my work in progress.

This was as far as I got after a couple of painting sessions. I was working slowly as I studied each flower I painted, capturing its own unique personality. Often, I would walk right up to the flower to study what was happening in its structure.
I had to prepare this large board before I even began my painting–that is another story! It was a bit of a process!

 My subjects basking in the sunshine!

Wednesday’s session outside. It was a beautiful autumn day!

 A close up of how far I was able to get at the end of this session.  I will now continue to work on this piece in my studio.


Today’s Simple Nature Sketch


Nov. 2, 2017

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch

The weather is getting colder at nights and frost has been nipping tender plants.  These wax begonias have managed to survive a few nights of frost with only a few blemishes. Their rose-colored blooms are beginning to fade, but still, add a beautiful contrast to their shiny green leaves.

I have rescued a few from my gardens before the frost completely renders them lifeless. Gently, they were placed in a single pot, huddling together.  Their cheery blooms and greenery now brighten my living room. They have escaped a timely fate, as jack frost stealthily moves over the land in the depths of the night.




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Roams Freely & Croton Sketch

Roams Freely, 4x4in. Oil on linen/board. Available

Roams Freely, 4x4in. Oil on linen/board. Available

Available Here

Roams Freely

“The mind roams freely, as it travels along shorelines and the expanse of distant land.”

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald ©

It was a beautiful summer morning when I set up in the park to paint this scene. I have painted it many times in the past. Powell’s Pt. Park one of my favorite places to both paint and seek solitude. I have to climb up a high perch to view this scene.


My studio space in the park!

My studio space in the park!

While I painted, I could look down at the beach below and also allow my eyes to roam freely across the distant view. Such a peaceful place! I’m really looking forward to painting there again this summer.



Today's Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, March 5, 2017.

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, March 5, 2017.

March 5, 2017

Today’s Simple Sketch

Croton or Joseph’s Coat is a new plant to my collection of houseplants. I loved how funky looking this plant was when I spotted it.  Tall speckled leaves project upwards, making it a good backdrop for lower plants. It would be a great plant to match with other more common houseplants. Hopefully, it will grow happily in its new home, as I read it can be a tricky plant to grow.

Wishing you a smooth sailing week ahead!



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Altoid Tin Paintbox, Sketch & Remembering

2x3in. oil painting completed in my Altoid Tin Paintbox on location in Powell's Pt. Park, N.S.

2x3in. oil painting on wood panel– completed in my Altoid Tin Paintbox in Powell’s Pt. Park, N.S.

November  10, 2016

The beauty of nature never disappoints. It is a place where one can seek peace and calm when the world gets noisy. On Wednesday, I sought out the beauty of nature on a gorgeous November day. I returned to one of my favorite nature retreats; Powell’s Point Park.

My subject–I have painted this little piece of land many times. It still inspires me regardless of the season.

The park gate is closed, but that didn’t deter me. My kitty cart came to the rescue! With my painting gear enclosed and my tea thermos tucked inside, I trekked into nature’s sanctuary. The day was calm; nature strummed on around me.

My little painting corner in nature.

My little painting corner in nature.

Once finished, I left with a smile on my face and nature’s gentle embrace.  I hope you have  a chance to seek a quiet moment today as well.

Today's Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, November 10, 2016.

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, November 10, 2016.

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch

On my daily walk today I noticed these small balls of white. They were illuminated in the late afternoon sunlight. Many of the dandelions are actually still blooming.  As a child, I always loved when they turned to seed. It was so much fun blowing  the seeds into the air and watching them sail away.

After I had drawn my subject,  I had a serendipitous moment occur. In my facebook memories a drawing of the same subject popped up in my feed. I had drawn a dandelion for my simple sketch exactly one year ago. Last year I drew the yellow dandelion flower and this year I drew the white dandelion seeds.

What a fun coincidence! It made me smile.


Today I would like to take a moment to remember all the men and women who fought for our freedom. Their courage and sacrifice will be forever remembered!

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!



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Blue Berries & Mint Tin Paintbox

Today's Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, October 18, 2016.

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch, NFS, October 18, 2016.

October 18, 2016

Today’s Simple Nature Sketch

One of our neighbours has a steep bank for a front lawn. At one point a previous owner decided to solve their laborious lawn mowing chore, by putting up a stone wall. To soften the wall, a variety of plants were added. This virginia creeper vine became one of the chosen vines.

Today, as I walked past the wall, red stems and dark blue berries caught my eye. The brightness of the stems moved my eye towards the berries. Such an interesting navy blue added beautiful contrast to the deep red stems. Down the ditch I ventured, avoiding pools of water and soggy grasses.  After gingerly picking my subject, it was time to head home to share it with  the world.

 I saw this idea on Instagram where a couple of artists used an Altoid Mint Can as a mini pochade box. I have seen them used for watercolors before, but never for oil paints. The two artists’ work I saw was in oils. It is such a portable idea, I thought it would be really cool to try it out.

Altoid mint tin with the painting I completed on a tiny wood panel.

Altoid mint tin with the painting I completed on a tiny wood panel.

Sooooo off I went to Grant’s Lake to test it out. This was definitely fun, but I almost froze to death. lol Hence the gloves and clothing layers. By the time I finished I was more than ready to jump into my warm car!

Holding the mint tin in my hand while I painted.

Holding the mint tin in my hand while I painted.

I painted on a 2x3in. flat wood panel and primed it with a bit of gesso first. The little frame I had for it was a bit too small, but I think I may have figured out another solution. I’m going to experiment with it and will post a photo if it works out.  We took a photo of me holding the can so you could get an idea of scale. I held the can while I painted. I’m looking forward to painting more of these in the near future.



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