A couple weeks ago, I took a mini vacation and put myself in a hotel room on the Detroit River. My plan was to do some painting. Without distraction.

The view and the weather were fabulous (Belle Isle was out my window, freighters cruised by, the sunrise was awesome), the hotel was a little strange. It was in a very old building that used to be drug labs for Parke Davis. The big problem was the room was a cave. A really dark cave, that made it hard to paint.

I signed up for a self paced painting class online. I chose this artist/teacher because I really like her work, and I didn't really care that it wasn't deep, I just wanted to paint. The teacher was darling, but she taught almost completely without words. She taped herself doing a painting from beginning to end, added background music, and sped it up for us to watch.

In a way, it was good, but I wanted her to tell me why she chose some materials and a little bit about what she was doing.  

So, above you see step 1, scrubbing some black on my canvas.

 Step 2 was scribbling over the black with water soluble crayons. I was creating a background.

 Third layer...a thin coat of paint. You can see the depth of the black underneath, but I totally lost all of the crayon doodles. I wonder if it was because I used a different kind of paint or what!?! She did not explain!

 Some lighter paint over the dark colors adding more depth.

When that was dry, I drew my basic design in with a white water soluble crayon. Great idea. Usually, if I do this step, I use pencil. But the crayon can be wiped off if I choose. I don't have to worry about covering up lines, the crayon is absorbed into the paint.

When I started this, I thought I would do a riverscape with my hotel in it. Then I was not sure I wanted to keep a memory of that weird hotel for posterity. I decided on a painting of my 10 year plan for retirement. You can see my small cottage by a lake and a tree, my cool wind turbine, and my garden.

The shapes base coated.

Starting to add some details.

Details and outlining. Click the pic to see closer.

I am thinking about putting this in my tiny work cubicle as inspiration.

Maybe some day, you will come visit me in my small cottage by a lake and a tree and we will paint, sing some oldies, and tell stories about the good old days!

Meanwhile, let's use our Vitamin C!

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