Painting Tuscan Landscape Curtains

If you can’t have the view you want…paint one.

These are curtains on my kitchen windows.  The windows are old louvered windows that let cold air in.  So since there is only a view of the house next door, I decided I needed a better view.  To act as insulation, I put 3 layers of high loft batting in the window with the screen over to hold it flat. These two curtains were painted as one whole piece, then cut to fit into the two windows. They hang from a tension rod at the top of each window.


When I was in my 20s I stayed in the Tuscany area for 3 months.  This sketch from that time was the main inspiration for these curtains.  The village on the hill is San Gimignano, which I visited.  The house on the right curtain is very similar to the one the family I was staying with lived in.

6- img_9069

The curtains are hand painted as one big piece, on organza with metallic textile paint.  I started by making a large drawing on butcher paper with waterproof marker.  I then drew with that same marker (Copic Brush Point) in light quick lines directly onto the organza. I covered my work table with a large piece of plastic but put paper towels directly under the area I was painting to be able to control the excess water from the painting process.  I use Jacquard Metallic Textile paints and soft round large brushes to paint.  I start with the sky and clouds first, then work my way to the darker more detailed areas.  I work from light to dark value.


Because the batting lets in light, the curtains change color at different times of the day.

DAWN – window light and kitchen lights

MID-DAY – window light and kitchen lights


Posted in SKETCHBOOK/JOURNAL, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Painting San Diego

Quick trip to San Diego.  Balmy weather, quick storm one night, great sunsets the next

Tombow pens and Waterbrush on small watercolor pad.







| 1 Comment

Alaska Paintings: Process


This is my process for creating these quick color sketches.  Most take me around 45 min.

I rough in with light pencil for composition.  Then I draw in architectural elements with a fine point waterproof pen (sharpie, micron or pentel).  I start with lightest colors first. usually sky or water, with Tombow Pens and Waterbrush.  I often blot with a paper town to keep light values light enough.  Especially with clouds, this helps to create some of the cloud shapes.   Then I create the mid-value areas the same way.  It has to be dry between each section.  Last are the darks: black, indigo, dk brown or dk purple.  I carefully bleed those so as not to add too much water.  The last step is more accents of black and finally white (white gel pen)

I am painting how the place feels to me. If I work from photos as in the Glacier paintings where it was really cold, I take the photos and run back inside next to a window to paint while I still remember what it felt like: sights, sounds, smells, breezes, etc.


The finished painting with white gel pen for white accents and reflectionsIMG_E8466

Posted in SKETCHBOOK/JOURNAL, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Alaska Trip: More Paintings

Juneau in the mist.  Tombow pens and Waterbrush.  The last one is the view of our ship in the harbor from the tram going up the mountain.


| 1 Comment

Alaska Trip – Sewing in the Pacific Northwest

I saw a number of very interesting vintage sewing machines.

The machine below is a very old  Singer treadle machine.  I am guessing 1920s.              The Vancouver Museum of History



This one is a very old walking foot Singer for sewing canvas. It looks like it was a treadle machine.  At the Icy Point Hoonah Packing Co. Alaska, which is now a museum.  Hoonah is currently the largest Tlingit Village in Alaska.


Vancouver Museum of History – special machine for sewing fur pelts together. Note the curved needle in front which rotates down to catch the side of each pelt to sew together.  This fur-interlining machine was used at Dodek Fur Co. in 1935.


Singer sewing machine – used onboard the St. Roch – the ship was built in Vancouver in 1928 for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and used as a patrol and supply ship in the western Arctic for more than 20 years.  At the Vancouver Maritime Museum


Making a Grommet by Hand – in the Vancouver Maritime Museum


Modern Quilting in Alaska – 2017 from the Alaska State Fair – Shown at a Heritage Museum in Ketchikan.    Many are referencing local nature and symbols.


Posted in SEWING, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Alaska Trip -Fun, food and overload

Part of travelling is of course EATING…and drinking…on board ship….the BUFFET

and of course CRAB …the left-overs…and a CRAB BLOODY MARY – at Ice Strait Point

Back in Vancouver….I with my glass of wine and Tom with his beer.

And now we have to figure out how to get all the bags in our rental car to get back to the Airport to go home ….and sleep for 2 days.



Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Alaska: More Totems & Tools

Lots of information here that I collected from our trip.  A couple of sources: Juneau, Icy Strait Point & Hoonah, Ketchikan, Vancouver museums.  Totems are actually Genealogy statements, not religious icons.

Adze – a cutting tool somewhat like an axe dates back to the stone age.  The older ones used in Alaska would have been bone or stone, later metal.

The tools on the left are from the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology

The tools in the middle and right are modern and used by the guy in the video

Point to the image to see the credit on images above

Vancouver – Stanley Park, Museum of Anthropology, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.        Alaska – village of Hoonah, Icy Strait Point




Posted in SKETCHBOOK/JOURNAL, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment