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Sometimes I walk by the same scene I’ve passed many times and suddenly see something new.  A mallard walking beside the road drew my attention to the fence and from there my eyes went to the trees beyond.

Winter’s Day

Winter’s Day

I started this project after a walk on a beautiful sunny day.  Using white fabric, I machine stitched shapes using a twin needle and then cut out parts.  I coloured a second piece of white fabric using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels and Derwent Inktense Pencils.  The plan for the piece evolved as the weather changed.  An ice-storm brought down many branches from my pine trees and then froze them to the ground and covered them with snow.

Detail – hand embroidery and weaving

I stitched the pine branches onto water-soluble stabilizer with the sewing machine and once the stabilizer was washed out I sewed them onto the back side of the cutouts.

Detail: Winter’sDay

This will be one of the pieces I will be entering in Out of the Box‘s Fibre Fling 6 show in April.

Wet on Wet Fun

I was having no luck with the sketches I was doing in order to paint another watercolour.  So I gave up and just painted wet-on-wet and had fun.imaginary-watercolour-landscape

Growing Old Together

This watercolour is of tree trunks in a neighbour’s yard.

Growing Old Together

Growing Old Together

Autumn Sumac

This was the view outside my dining room window at the the cottage a few weeks ago.

Fall-Sumac-watercolourI love it when the trees have started to change colours but there is still some green.  This year some of the sumac was brilliant red while other trees nearby had barely started to change.  The trees I painted in the watercolour started to turn well after many of the other sumac in the area.

The leaves have all gone now.  Even the poplars which turn late lost all their leaves in the wind we had Thursday night.

The Embrace

I took a photo of these two trees because it looked to me as if they were trying to embrace one another.

trees in winter watercolor

The Embrace


The background behind them was too busy to see the trees easily so in the watercolour painting I used the background from a different photo taken nearby.


This watercolour is from a photo I took beside the Calabogie Highlands Golf Course.  The tree still seemed to be healthy despite having lost part of its trunk.

damaged tree trunk watercolor


Avenue of Birches

I usually see this landscape from the opposite direction on my daily walk.  To view it from this angle requires an extra hill to climb but it’s worth it.

avenue of birches watercolour

Avenue of Birches


Epiphyte or Parasite?

An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic.  It obtains  nutrients and water from the air.

This is a painting from a picture I took at the Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro.  There was no label so I don’t know if the other plants growing on the tree were parasites or epiphytes.

There appears to be at least 2 different types of plant growing on this tree.  I took liberties with the colour of the tree trunk but the fruit was orange.


Trees and Leaf Litter

Alaska is a wonderful place.

A number of years ago my sister and I drove to Vancouver  and took  an Alaskan cruise.  We both had a wonderful time.

I ‘m very glad that I had a digital camera, otherwise it would have cost me a fortune to get all the pictures developed.
Several of the pictures I took have ended up  as watercolour paintings or sketches.
Here is one from a photo taken in a temperate rain forest.

watercolour in progress 1

First wash of colour

After doing a pencil sketch I used frisket to block the paint from covering the areas I wanted to leave white.

painting in progress 2

More colour

There was a lot of leaf litter on the forest floor which was not very colourful so I added  some to the painting.

The background required several washes until I got it the way I wanted.

Temperate Rainforest watercolour

Temperate Rainforest by Nancy Leigh-Smith

The colours in the photos are different due to the fact that the works in progress pictures were taken inside  and the photos from the finished work were take outside.

detail of leaf litter

Detail of leaf litter

more detail

Temperate Rainforest – Detail

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