This past weekend we took a short trip to Savannah, Ga- one of my favorite places to visit. It’s such a walkable city, beautiful old trees , the squares where you can sit and relax on a park bench and people watch and do I even have to mention the DOORWAYS! Oh my… I was in doorway heaven.

I was just snapping away with my camera so I thought I would just share a few with you here. Don’t be surprised when you see some of these turn up in a painting.

Wouldn’t a painting trip to Savannah be fabulous?? We could stay at one of the wonderful B&B’s, paint in the squares during the day and then eat at one of the many great restaurants on the river, oh yeah!! I’ll plan it- Let me know if you want to go…..

Savannah 2013

Savannah 2013

Painting Challenge – Day 22 – The secret door

"The Secret Door" Watercolor 5 x 8 $100

“The Secret Door”
Watercolor 5 x 8

Hidden behind a wall a palm trees and ivy is this lovely secret door. The photo reference for this painting was provided by my friend Vanessa of Spa V. If you are local in the Atlanta area check out her site here for all of the services that are offered at Spa V.

Can’t you just imagine vacationing in this secret garden?

Painting Challenge – Day 18- NYC Brownstone

NYC Brownstone Watercolor 8 x8 $100

NYC Brownstone
Watercolor 8 x8

I was sent a some great photos of NYC brownstones from my cousin Joseph. I knew as soon as I saw them that I had to paint at least one of them. Some of the others I might have to add to my arsenal of reference photos. If some of you don’t know me well, I’m originally from New York, transplanted in the Atlanta area for about 16 years now. So this painting just brought back good memories. I enjoyed painting this so much that I think I might even re-do it into a larger piece!

I hope you all enjoy the New York City feel of this painting as much as I did!

Painting Challenge – Day 12 – Flags by the Door

We’re back in Italy- can you tell I adore Italy- and this time we have some flags waving by doorways. For me it’s not just the doorways that catch my attention but the buildings, architecture and the surrounding items that frame the doorways. All of those things say “welcome in”. 

"Italy Flags" Watercolor 5 x 7 $100

“Italy Flags”
Watercolor 5 x 7

Todays post is part of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta. Take a moment and visit her blog and the 300 other artists who are participating in this event.

Painting Challenge- Day 10 – Letterbox

"Letterbox - Italy"

“Letterbox – Italy”

I took a little break today from doorways because I came across a photo of a darling letterbox from Italy. It immediately caught my eye. I did a little study of it while I was on my lunch break. I find it relaxing during a busy day at work to take my sketchbook and travel set of paints with me so that I can paint while I’m having lunch. It’s usually just enough time to get a quick sketch done.

I can imagine dropping  a letter off in one of these letterboxes, what a special delivery – Ciao!

This post is part of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta. Visit her blog here to see over 300 other artists who are also participating in this challenge.

Painting Challenge – Day 9 – Mexico

"Mexican Doorway" Watercolor 5 x 7 $100

“Mexican Doorway”
Watercolor 5 x 7

The photo for today’s painting was submitted by fellow blogger and online friend Sandy King. Sandy has been so supportive of my efforts here so I just had to get one of her photos painted and posted.

I loved how the palms framed that big heavy doorway. And did you notice that “Casa” was carved into the rocks? How sweet is that!

Thanks Sandy!

This post is part of the 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge with Leslie Saeta. Check out her blog here to see some of the other 300 artists who are also participating in this event.

Painting Challenge- Day 6 – Italian Clothesline

"Italian Clothesline" Watercolor 5 x 7  $100

“Italian Clothesline”
Watercolor 5 x 7

Today’s painting takes us on a trip to Italy, probably one of my favorite places. Such rich warm colors that you can feel the sun on the stone building. I love using those colors in my palette too – burnt sienna, quinacridone gold, raw umber – pulling together to give that deep warmth.

And  how cute is that laundry hanging from the windows! We don’t see that too much here in the States but in Europe not many people use dryers so it is very common for the laundry to be hung outside.

Well, we’re coming upon the end of the first week of the challenge and I have to admit the painting has not been as much of the challenge for me as the rest of the process. After the painting comes the scanning, resizing, saving, posting to the blog, posting to facebook, yada, yada, yada! Oh my!  I will just have to try to be more organized.

Thank you all who have been sending me photos of your doorways too.  I love it, you guys are amazing! So keep checking here to see how your photos have been transformed into paintings.

This post is part of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta. Check out her blog here to see some of the other 300 artists participating in this event

Are you ready for the beach??

Home Beach Home“Home Beach Home” ©Sue Grilli Studio  8×10″ $150

I think I’m always ready for the beach. Especially when I see darling beach houses like this. 

Last week I was reading my newest favorite blog ” Southern Hospitality” . It has some terrific articles for decorating and DIY projects. Right up my alley. Rhoda had taken a road trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida and posted some photos of the cutest beach houses.  Check them out on her site. Well, my inspiration factor went through the roof. Rhoda was kind enough to allow me to use her photos for some painting inspiration. It’s homes like this that make me want to run to the studio and capture all those beachy feelings. I can almost smell the salt air and feel the breeze blowing as I add paint to paper. Oh, how I wish I was there. 

Even though I wasn’t at this home myself it had such a strong essence for me that when I saw the photo it just jumped off the page.I absolutely loved the shadows falling on the siding. It brought back such fond memories for me of times that I’ve spent at the beach with my family. And I guess family and homes go hand in hand. That is probably why I have such an affinity to painting homes. Can’t you just imagine the wonderful stories this home could tell about the families who have stayed here and enjoyed their vacations. Kids growing up, playing on the beach, having the times of their lives. Smiles all around. Joy!

So, are you planning a trip to the beach this year? Perhaps you’ll see me there- sketchbook in hand!

ps: I would love to see any darling photos you might have of homes from your travels and maybe you’ll find it painted here!

On the road to Cadaques, Spain

During my vacation with my daughter in Spain we drove from Barcelona to Cadaques, Spain. And what a little adventure that was!  For me, there were so many things that were different and outside of my comfort zone, being in another country, a different language (why didn’t I keep up with Spanish that I took in school!), the use of the metric system- I constantly had to keep asking my daughter for the conversion, new foods, new people…. it was all so EXCITING!!!  My brain was running in overload trying to take it all in within a weeks time.

Of course, my camera was snapping all the time, even while we were driving, well, she was driving, I was snapping.

Mtn View Cadaques







The mountains were surprisingly very dry and rocky .

Tiny Car








This was our teeny tiny rental car! It was even smaller than the Mini-Cooper I normally drive. I felt like a strong gust of wind was going to blow us off the mountain.

Sue on top of the World










I felt like I was on top of the World. And yes… I’m holding on to the guardrail, we were that high up and the road was so narrow that I was getting dizzy.

Cadaques 5km





We’re almost there! Only 5 kilometers to go. And again, don’t ask me how many miles that really is. I keep asking why the US has not fully converted to the Metric system after all these years. Do you believe that the US and only 2 other countries in the World are not on the Metric system! I really felt stupid not being familiar with the metric system to use on a daily basis.

Overlooking Cadaques

The view as we approached Cadaques was breathtaking. Just look at the color of the water. I’m hoping I can re-create that in my paintings!