Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Our garden is full of wonderful autumn colours but they are mainly on the flowers rather than the trees.  The azaleas have started to bloom a couple of months early and the hydrangea is holding on to the old flowers now tinged with maroon and mauve.  It's surprising how many more shrubs have carried on flowering long after they should have gone into hibernation.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sketching in the Po river Park

The works you see here were made from life some months ago (sorry! it slipped my mind to share then) in a group project, and will be on show in Monferrato, a Unesco site, in a few weeks. The area ranges from rice fields in the valley to romantic castles on the hills. Since then I had my carpal tunnel operated, and limited my activity to studio work and teaching for a while.

Please visit!

 I colori di Conci- Conci's colours: Disegnare e dipingere al Parco fluviale del Po e d...: Sono stata invitata a partecipare al progetto  "Artisti x la Natura" al Parco Fluviale del Po e dell'Orba   , in Piemonte, co...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pacific Black Duck - Australia

Fitzroy Gardens , Melbourne
I am fortunate that the first part of my walk to work in Melbourne city is through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, with its traditional English plantings and ponds. I have discovered here are a few families of birds that live there : two Australian wood duck families, one with ducklings that are just past their fluffy stage,  peewees (mudlark), a kookaburra and magpies, crows and my favourite duck...

the Pacific Black Duck.
I liked the descriptions online that call it a sociable and a dabbling duck.  
The Pacific Black Duck is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region. The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats. The Pacific Black Duck is closely related to the Mallard (Source  http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Anas-superciliosa)


I know where to find them by the pond and how close I can get to them on land before they dive into the water. The more I draw them the more familiar I become with the shape of their body and head - the curves and subtleties that give them their form and character.

I also know immediately which colour of watercolour pencils (Walnut Brown. Burnt Umber and Ivory mixed with a little Yellow) to use to draw them. I can pick the colours out of my pencil wrap and start straight away !
It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. There is an iridescent green patch on the wing. This is when the Derwent Inktense Teal Green comes out of the box !


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Back to Shell Island

Yesterday we were at one of my favorite spots on the Oregon coast, Shell Island overlook near Charleston.  There was hardly any wind, calm ocean, and about 1500 sea lions, plus a mix of harbor seals and elephant seals.  We were in no hurry to to move on so I had time to sketch and paint, first the eagle

and then the elephant seals ... its courting time for the elephant seals.

When I sat down to post this I had to laugh at myself because I was pretty sure I've posted the same eagle on the same rock in years past.  At least I hope it is the same eagle.  Bald eagles live for many years and use the same territory year after year.

So I went looking to see if I really had posted the eagle.  I realized immediately that finding them on Nature Sketching was too difficult, but I did find both on my blog ... and just for the fun of it, here they are:
A stormy sea in November 2013.
A quiet, damp day in December 2012.  I was having difficulty getting my paint to dry.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

FALL LEAVES by Linda C. Miller

  Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa sylvatica and Cornus florida

I just love this time of year!  
Here are my new works painted in watercolor.  The leaves were traced but the dogwood or Cornus florida, was drawn from life.  I now tape my specimens to a white foam core board.  This helps with seeing the positive and negative shapes and with a little bit of tape you can create a pleasing composition too!



My sister-in-law in England has been looking out for mushrooms for me to draw and here's what she found yesterday, an amethyst deceiver.  I love the way the leaves surrounding it seem to reflect the mauve of the fungus.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Nature Subjects

While walking I found a variegated leaf that was fun to paint but I had no idea what it was from.   I googled it and think it is either from an ivy or a geranium. 
The right side of the journal page is a life cycle of the Mexican Bird of Paradise from bloom to seed pod.
Nature is so interesting!