Chillin’ In Changing Times

Well, I’m hoping my blog looks better this week than last week. I’ve watched tutorial videos and read about how to use the new block editor, and I guess they helped some, but mostly I’m thinking that time and use will be the best teacher as I move forward. I still have my fingernails etched deeply into the soil as technological changes keep dragging me into the future, whether I like it or not. As you can see I actually learned how to put a BIG initial letter in my paragraph . . . Ha Ha! While many parts of life continue to be stressful, we were able to enjoy a couple of hours at one of our favorite spots at the river for snorkeling and swimming. Friends Tom and Sharon met us there and as you can see from the photo above, there’s plenty of space for social distancing while relaxing. And relax we did, enjoying every minute of it, totally amazed that we had it all to ourselves for the first time all summer!

I so enjoyed blissfully floating along the surface of the clear water, while peering below and watching an ever-changing submerged scene unfolding before my eyes. I saw several fish, including seven big Redhorse, one appearing to be nearly two feet long and it was incredible to watch!

There’s a tiny Damselfly on the log

Another morning we went to the lake for awhile to enjoy some kayaking and fishing. Once again I enjoyed having multiple damselflies all over my kayak as well as myself! I also watched several hoverflies and a hummingbird drinking from the numerous flowers blooming along the water’s edge.

I saw at least three baby turtles as well, two of which were quite tiny and totally adorable! I slowly glided past them without hardly paddling, to be sure and not scare them.

You have to look really close to see the wee turtle

So many of the days this summer seem to last forever, having to isolate with the pandemic, so I can’t believe August is almost over, and September is already upon us! It doesn’t seem possible in many ways. Nonetheless, the fact that summer is coming to an end soon is all too obvious with the foliage on some of the trees already starting to turn shades of red and gold in spots, and I must admit I’m not ready to pack away the wetsuit, snorkel and mask just yet.

~ In The Studio ~

I’ve been painting on my dog commission of Mocha this past week, and plan to finish her this week, as well as the time lapse video of the painting. I’ll share both of those with you next week and hopefully some more progress on my miniature version of Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

“Mocha” in progress

Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting?

Until Next time ~ Rachelle

Kayaking Encounters and New Paintings

We were very happy to be able to enjoy a couple of days on the water this past week! The weather brought cooler temps early in the morning, warming up during the day, making it delightful for me to get in the water for a little while! The Damselflies and Dragonflies were everywhere when we were kayaking, and kept landing on me and my kayak, happily taking advantage of the free ride. I thought the photo above was so funny and it reminded me of that “angry bluebird” photo that’s been around for years. There were several Cardinal Flowers blooming along the bank, their bright red petals showing like a lit sign from quite a distance away!

One day it wasn’t quite warm enough to swim, so I opted to sit on a large rock out in the water, while eating my sandwich. A large school of minnows begged for a handout, and I was happy to share part of my homemade wholewheat bread with them, which they devoured like wee piranhas! Word traveled quickly and the school rapidly grew in size!

Here’s a video of my happy little aquatic friends enjoying their lunch!

The Grass Carp were extremely active the one day as well, jumping and splashing all around us, coming almost entirely out of the water at times, reminding me of dolphins at play! It was great fun to watch. making me laugh each time I saw them doing so. I kept hoping they would come closer to my kayak, but even at a short distance, it was terrific to see! You too can enjoy wacthing them jump and splash in this short video.

Another day it was warm enough to get in the water and enjoy a good swim, so I did just that while Wes fished in the surrounding areas. I blissfully swam and floated about until I started shaking and couldn’t stop, figuring I had probably better get out of the water and warm up a bit. I warmed up nicely on the paddle back though, feeling very refreshed after my dip in the lake.

I have to apologize for the mixed up look to my blog this week. It’s a new editor I’m having to use and I’m a slow learner, so please bear with me while I learn how to use it.

~ In The Studio ~

I’ve been busy in the studio this past week, whilst painting on two different miniature paintings. One is a miniature version of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earing”, and am enjoying it as much as I did painting Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa recently.

The latest progress on my miniature painting of Vermeer's "Girl With the Pearl Earring"

The other miniature painting I've been working on is a dog commission of a beautiful furry girl named Mocha. I've had the pleasure of meeting Mocha and playing with her in the past, so that's making it even more special to paint this portrait of her! The funny thing about her, is that with the coloring and markings of her fur, she looks very mad, but she is a super sweet and loving girl. That just goes to show that you cant judge a book by it's cover!
Making progress on my latest dog commission of Mocha.

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Until next time ~ Rachelle

Painting Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in Miniature

painting Da Vinci's Mona Lisa in miniature
“Mona Lisa after Da Vinci”

I finished my miniature painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” this past week, and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed painting this tiny version of da Vinci’s beautiful masterpiece! Like so many others, I have been fascinated with this mysterious painting as long as I can remember, so it was truly delightful to be able to actually paint it in miniature. It was a brilliant exercise in learning and trying to figure out what colors Da Vinci used to create this most famous painting.

Numerous layers of thin watercolor were used in the darker areas to achieve the rich, luminous colors like the ones in the original. And as you’ll be able to see in the video below, literally thousands of dots or stipples of color applied with my wee paintbrush were used to build up the values of the face and hands. I think perhaps one of the most challenging things to paint was the wee delicate stitching along the neckline of her dress! I actually painted little ‘U’s” that were closed at the top, to make it look like the real deal. I decided the best way to share with you how I accomplished this miniature Mona, would be through a time-lapse video. So here you go . . . enjoy!

~ In The Studio ~

Presently on my easel is a miniature version in progress, of Vermeer’s “Girl With A Pearl Earring”, so the fun journey of recreating masterworks in miniature continues! I’m also delighted to have recently received a dog commission which I’m very excited about doing, and will be sharing my progress on it with you as well very soon!

Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting? 

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