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Cottage in Watercolor

July 23, 2014


Stone Cottage, 6×6, Watercolor

I’m having a lot of fun doing these little thatched roof cottages.  Conjuring these things up in my head has made me feel more creative than I have felt in a long time.  They can go as fast as I want, or I can take my time with them.  First, a loose pencil sketch on illustration board, made up on the spot.  Then I spend some time with watercolors, playing with light, mood and atmosphere.  Once I’m satisfied with that, I go back and embellish the piece with more loose, casual pencil strokes.


We’re experimenting with putting these images on ceramic tiles: 4″x 4″ for coasters and 6″x 6″ (shown here) for trivets or hot plates.  We’ll sell them online and at fairs and festivals.



Street Scenes from Maine

July 20, 2014

cappy's chowder house

Cappy’s Chowder House, 8×10, Gouache

Last week I decided to get back to gouache, and tried my hand at a couple of street scenes.

The one above is Cappy’s Chowder House in Camden, Maine.  It sits at the intersection of several streets right in the center of town.  If you go down to the right in this picture, you end up at Camden Harbor.  We ate here shortly after arriving in Maine.  It was an enjoyable meal in a picturesque atmosphere.


Rockland Café, 8×10, Gouache

While parked at a nearby RV park in this part of Maine, we spent some time in Rockland, Camden and Rockport.  If you’re looking for quantity, the Rockland Café is the place.  I ordered the smaller version of their seafood platter and it looked like they backed a truck up to the table and piled it high.  There is a sign inside that says “If you’re looking for fast food, you might want to try the golden arches up the street.  Good food takes time.”  A super casual café atmosphere.  We ate here a couple of times.

I would love to do a whole series of street scenes, but my attention span seems to be limited.  Street scenes always seem a bit daunting to me.  I take reference photos of places I would love to paint or draw, but when I look at the images, It just seems a bit too much to absorb.  I’m happy with the way these two came out.

Some Watercolor Pieces

July 15, 2014

Sorry for the delay in getting back here!  I’ve spent some time experimenting with watercolor.  I have gotten back to gouache, but I thought I’d post a couple of watercolor pieces first.  I’ll post the latest gouache work another day.

watercolor cottage

Cottage, 9×12, watercolor on crescent board

IMG_1978editedStone House, 8×10, watercolor on Crescent board


Lightkeeper’s House, 9×12, watercolor & pencil on Crescent board

These have been fun to do.  I will admit that I have a much greater appreciation for what watercolorists do now that I’ve made a few attempts.



Our new place

June 7, 2014


Take a look at our new place at


Moving Back Home!

May 28, 2014

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We are moving back home tomorrow!  Read about it at Back Roads & Brushes here.

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Now Available

May 20, 2014
no 20 7x5,jpg

Tree (Stonehinge #20), 7″x5″, pencil & acrylic on canvas panel

This little tree, along with 21 other quirky, whimsical pieces of art, has just been posted for sale on Etsy at some extremely reasonable prices.   Fun stuff for the walls.




Stonehinge: My Own Little World

May 19, 2014

Yes, that’s “Stonehinge” with an “i”.  Something about it just seems funny to me.  And that fits what I’m doing.

We’re sitting still in Houston while Nell heals from her broken leg surgery.  She’s recuperating well and even taking little baby steps without the walker.  Meanwhile, I’ve found myself wandering into new territory. stonehinge sketches 1

Sitting in medical office waiting rooms with a sketchbook has produced some fun results.  Sketches like the ones above have sprung from my pencils and taken on a life of their own.

no 7a no 10 on easel These quirky, whimsical little sketches are being produced at various small sizes.  Those above are on 3″ x 3″ canvas on wood stretchers.  So far, I’m discovering that a very sharp graphite pencil is the best thing for the base sketch.  The paint is acrylic, which allows me to use washes without lifting the layers below. tree commission amber hutchins 8x10

One of the smaller pieces on canvas was purchased on Etsy within hours of being posted.  Before it was even shipped, the buyer commissioned the piece above, which is 10″ x 8″, pencil and acrylic on illustration board.

no 26

The piece above is 6″ x 6″, pencil and acrylic on illustration board.  I’m pretty sure this is actually my first nocturne ever.  This one has already received some interest.

no 23

The piece above is 7″ x 5″, pencil and acrylic on illustration board.  From the standpoint of color, composition and just plain nutty fun, this is one of my favorites so far.


And, although these may not satisfy the purists, you have to admit:  I’m still doing landscapes.

Actually, I was reaching a bit of a saturation point with the work I was doing.  I love the subject matter: hills, fields, rocks, trees and old buildings, but I was beginning to feel like I was doing the same thing as everyone else, albeit without bringing much creativity to the work.  Since throwing myself into these whimsical little pieces of colorful art, I have felt more creative than I have in a very long time.

And besides… it’s a heck of a lot of fun.


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