Where Have All the Kolinsky Sable Brushes Gone?

As many of my students know I stopped using sable brushes long ago.  I began to question how the sable hair was acquired and never received a satisfactory answer.   I became uncomfortable with the product.  I found the new synthetic watercolor brushes to handle beautifully so I happily stopped purchasing any animal hair brushes of any sort.

Below is a great link about he fur trade and Kolinsky Sable brushes….why they are getting hard to find and why we should consider alternative brushes that give a wonderful effect without effecting wildlife. :O)

Where Have All the Kolinsky Sable Brushes Gone?.


This summer is slipping away…..

I’m not a fan of summer heat but I do enjoy the days that pass slowly.  I look forward to the cool air of fall.  I usually spend time with my art work but this summer was devoted to the puppies.  They are doing so well…looking pretty grown up at nearly 8 months old.  Ben went to his first beauty shop appointment yesterday….a new experience for the both of us =)  He was a star and is all clean and tidy…well as tidy as a Glen of Imaal can be 😉

Not to neglect art all together there is an upcoming show in NYC that is always example of the best of the best…http://www.asba-art.org/exhibitions/15th-annual

3 days until my class at the New York Botanical Gardens

Been working very hard to prepare for my class on Lichen and Mosses in Graphite and Watercolor this coming Friday =)  I have put together a Keynote presentation and collected many mosses and lichens for students to use as subject matter.  Hope everyone enjoys their class…. More work to do today….. Cross fingers =)

Foliose Lichens, Sheild and Usnea varieties

Haircap Moss

A bit of color….

After the graphite drawing I have added some soft washes of color to the lichens.  I enjoy the combination of pencil and watercolor.  I think the texture of trees is especially suited to graphite and the delicate color of the lichens are a good subject to enhance with soft color.  Almost finished I will balance a few of the shadows in the graphite and see if a bit more color will be needed…before I call it done…..  This method reminds me of the hand painted intaglio prints, something old fashioned about it.


Peonies revisited

I have many unfinished pieces from years of demonstrating techniques to students.  This summer I have promised myself that I would finish some of this pieces. So I’ll begin with a pair of peony buds that I did in watercolor in 2002 or 2003.  Time to finally add the graphite….a favorite way of mine to work.  The combination of graphite and watercolor seems to be somewhere between finish and process, I love the way the two mediums compliment each other.

Apple blossoms

I am beginning a watercolor of a beautiful apple tree branch in full bloom.  I haven’t done a new big piece in a while…I decided to share it step by step. These first tissues are of the blossoms which I must capture in the first few days as they deteriorate quickly.  Here are my first two tissues….and a quick color study……more coming soon.  Hope you enjoy watching my process :)