Little Paintings Blog

Blue Coco and Golden Arrow


Zucchini and pole beans are gifts that keep on giving.  I enjoy growing varieties of vegetables and fruits that you can’t find easily in the supermarket. What’s the point of "reinventing the wheel” after all?  The purple pole beans cook up green.  And yes, that really is a zucchini and not a yellow summer squash.

Florence doorway


Another experiment in loose painting style, based on Jean Haines’s demonstrations.  Florence boasts many beautiful Renaissance palaces that have been converted to apartment blocks with incomparable character.

Beside Still Waters


The tranquility of this sunset brought the verse from Psalm 23 to mind - “He leads me beside still waters".  The entire psalm is full of rich images for inspiration.  This is only one of many.

Sea Shells by the Seashore


I have wanted to try the duochrome pigments by Daniel Smith for some time and finally bought some.  The upper border and lower segment of the orange shell are glazed with Adobe, a pink/gold combination.  It’s a very subtle shimmer that of course doesn’t quite show up in a photo, but I like the effect for certain subjects. It’s especially effective on delicate objects like sea shells.    I plan to keep experimenting with these lovely paints, and recommend you give them a try just for fun too.  

Sunflower 2


I reworked this flower portrait on hot pressed paper to compare with my previous version on cold pressed paper.  It takes a lot less water to “flood” an area with pigment.  You can easily capture small sharp details on hot pressed paper, but soft edges are more of a challenge. Each surface has its advantages and beauty.  I can’t choose which I like better in this case - maybe I won’t…...

When Life Gives You Lemons

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Some say you should make lemonade.  My suggestion is to paint them first.  I adapted an exercise from Jean Haines’ book Atmospheric Watercolours to paint these three lemons in a little colander.

Corn Poppies

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These colorful poppies brightened a bed of blue gray and purple cardoons in the kitchen garden at Colonial Williamsburg.  Interplanting of herbs, vegetables and flowers is a traditional practice that makes wonderful use of limited space, not to mention providing ample artisitic inspiration.

Kitten in the Garden


My little ginger kitten loves to hide under the bushes in the flower border, where she can be invisible while keeping an eye on everything and everyone.  She always seems to place herself in the most attractive setting.

Little Tea Shop on the Corner

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This little tea shop was attached to a larger pub and inn in the town of Castleconnell in County Limerick.  I loved the sunny yellow and cobalt blue - a real standout in the soft misty colors of Ireland.

Zinnias and Sunflowers


Sunflowers and brightly colored zinnias turn their cheerful faces to the summer sun.

Garden Cosmos


This is the first of a series of “little paintings”.  My goal is to complete at least three of these little watercolor sketches (approximately 5” x 7”) each week.  I find that working on a small scale is a low pressure way to experiment with new techniques and supplies, to explore different subjects, and to stretch the artistic muscles.  Mostly, though, it's simple way to enjoy making art just for the sake of it - hope you will share the process with me!  

All images copyright Margery Manuli  ©  2018 - All rights reserved