Color Phases

Color Fun

Do you go through phases with colors? We’ve all heard of Picasso’s blue phase and other artists who’ve used color as a main theme. I recently went through a neon phase. (Very alarming colors… not sure what inspired me to use those) Followed by a stint of using very cool, deep blues and pinks. I think I needed these peaceful quiet colors after the neon phase!

new year new work


I had grand plans at the start of 2019. No real set resolutions but just to get going more on my side hustle. What is my side hustle? To create online art tutorials to help inspire others to create along with me! I’m off to a slow start but will get there soon enough.

Following are a couple of recent watercolor experiments and my two work spaces: at home and at my full time job. (Both messy and full of lots of supplies!)

jungle watercolor.jpeg

watercolor practice

at work


Art Expectations 345 Starting Off


Great River Thames watercolor

[Day 345 Page 369]
Pip, Startop and Herbert start out rowing at 8:30 am on a Wednesday in March. They plan to row all day and into the night, after picking up Provis of course. They’ll stop along the banks at a public-house to rest and dine that night. They plan to catch one of two steamers the next day. Headed where? No one really knows yet.

There are many other boaters on the Thames that day. But that was normal and not a problem. Pip names off the landmarks as they pass down the river: Old London Bridge, Old Billingsgate Market, White Tower, Traitor’s Gate and shipyards where steamers are unloading and loading. They are now approaching Mill Pond Bank and the stairs where they’ll take Provis onboard their little rowboat.

Here is a small quick watercolor of the river. You can just see their boat off to the left coming into view. I knocked off FOUR pages and artworks this morning! I’ll try to get all of them posted soon. I’ve gotten behind (so what’s new?!). Mainly because I’ve been working on some other projects. (Plus also been binging on Mr Selfridge, the PBS series starring Jeremy Piven. So good. Hey, I needed something to fill the Downton Abbey hole in my schedule!) The other things I’ve been working on are an art guitar for the Wildflower Festival in Richardson Texas, lots of marbling practice for a workshop and also paper flower making for another workshop. So, as you can see, I’ve been very busy!

Art Expectations 344 Sunrise


Sunrise Over London by Julie Flandorfer

[Day 344 Page 368]
Dickens describes a beautiful sunrise over London as viewed by Pip out his window. The winking lights on the bridges are dimming, the rising sun like a marsh of fire, the river still and dark, clustered rooftops and church spires shoot into a clear sky and a veil of mist seems to rise up from the river revealing a million sparkles of sunlight. Upon seeing this magical scene, Pip feels suddenly re-energized, strong and well, ready to make his trip down the river with Provis, Herbert and Startop.

Chapter 54
It’s a typical March day in London; hot sun but cold wind. “When it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” As they leave their home, Pip looks back and wonders when he’ll be home again, if ever. They set off in the boat, with Herbert in the bow and Pip steering. It’s about 8:30 a.m.

I know my meager painting does not do this London sunrise justice! I did a quick watercolor sketch, placing down loose blobs of paint, then defining the city shapes with ink on top. At the rate I’ve been going, this project will take me another whole year!  Anyway, I hope everyone is having a Happy March and a “warm sun-cool breeze” Spring!

Art Expectations 299 Down River


299 GreatExp down river 150

[Day 299, Page 320]  Pip tells Provis what Wemmick told him. There was a rumor at Newgate Prison that Pip was under suspicion and his home was being watched. By whom? Wemmick told Pip to stay close for now, but that Provis should go into hiding. Eventually Pip would have to get Provis out of the city, perhaps out of the country, “getting him abroad”. Herbert suggests that since he and Pip are both good watermen that they should take him down the river. This would avoid any suspicion from having someone else doing it.

Here’s a “doodle” sketch from the online class I took. Next post will be Day 300! Of course this has taken me way more than 300 days to get to this point. Ah well, happy posting!
watercolor and ink

Art Expectations 230 21 Stones



[Day 230, Page 248]

Wemmick gives Pip some solid advice. If he gives money to a friend, he might as well throw the money and the friend into the Thames River from the top of one of the bridges! He will lose the money and the friend. He says you should only give money to someone you WANT to get rid of. {Wemmick admits that this is his opinion in the office, but that he might have a different opinion at home. Pip plans to meet him there at a later date to get that other opinion.}

As Pip and Jaggers head out, Pip thinks he would rather be dining with Wemmick than Jaggers. “Coming of age” seems “hardly worth while in such a guarded and suspicious world”. Our little Pip has become an adult, and with that comes responsibilities and decisions to make!

Art Expectations 229 Bridges



[Day 229, Page 247]

Their meeting over, Pip invites Jaggers to dine with Herbert and himself back at Barnard’s Inn. (This is still Pip’s 21st birthday!) Jaggers accepts but makes Pip wait while he writes some letters and washes his hands. During this time, Pip asks Wemmick what he thinks of Pip helping out, financially, a friend struggling in business (Herbert, no doubt). Wemmick starts naming off bridges in London: London bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Vauxhall. Hmmm….. Wemmick is a strange man!

Art Expectations 219 Clover & Beans



219 clover & beans wc150

{Page 237}  Pip receives a letter stating that his sister, who raised him along with Joe, has passed away. She had been sick for a while after being attacked by someone in their home. (It was never proven who this attacker was or even investigated!)

Chapter 35    Even though Pip has not seen his sister lately or even thought of her, he feels a strong emptiness now that she is gone. Perhaps he should seek revenge on her attacker, he thinks. (He has always believed it to be Orlick.) Back home now, Pip checks into the Blue Boar and starts to walk toward the funeral. He remembers the bad times with Mrs Joe, his sister, and her Tickler (the wooden stick she rapped him on the head with). As he walks on, in the sunshine in the beans and clover, he realizes his ill feelings toward her have softened.

I first painted a pretty little watercolor landscape with clover in the foreground and beans sprouting up beyond. I then scanned this and cut it into the shape of a walking young man. It came out nicely! Well, my plan to do four posts a week this year is not panning out. Oh well, it’s still fun, so why rush it!

Art Expectations 209 A Cup of Tea



Pip and Estella retreat into a grungy private room at the stagecoach station for tea while they wait for a carriage. The carriage will take them to Surrey Richmond, where Estella is to stay. She will live with a lady there, at great expense, who will show her around town and introduce her to people. Pip senses that she is not happy with this plan. He admits to her that he is as happy as he can be in London with Herbert. As happy as he can be AWAY FROM HER, he tells her. How will she respond to this? Surely she suspects how he feels!

I looked up Richmond to see if it’s a real neighborhood in London or an adjacent town. Richmond is an affluent suburban town in south west London. (Thanks Wikipedia!) I also found this interesting map:

It shows all the important places from Dickens’s stories, including Great Expectations. How cool is that?! Here is the main page with even more info on Dickens: