Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sunflower Head - Watercolor Sketchbook Journal

Lots of painting going on lately, but not much blogging! This was the last watercolor sketch in the 'garden journal'.  We've had a touch of frost the last few nights, so we've been doing a little bit of autumn cleanup recently.  My hubby took a few chunks of seeds out of this spent bloom for next year's garden, and left the remainder on the garden bench for the birdies to enjoy! 
By the time I remembered to photograph this, the sun had moved a LOT from the time I had started painting! 

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn Peegee Hydrangeas - Watercolor Sketchbook Journal

So, here they are in all their autumn glory, Peegee Hydrangeas, which has now grown to a nice 'droop' over the corner of the fence in this part of the garden.  The nice thing is this- in that corner is a little rounded 'Monet' bench. That wonderful mound of flowering hydrangeas gives a nice bit of privacy, yet doesn't block out the street view. I can have my nice bit of quiet, or hail the neighbors walking by for a chat! 
This shrub is one of those interesting ones that changes a lot through the growing season. In mid August it has wonderful cream colored blossoms.
And just going back to July 4th, it had no blossoms at all!
I'm truly fortunate to be married to my "Garden Guru"! 
I've had many folks asking about the variety of zinnias from yesterday's blog post.  
They are called "Art Deco" and are from Renee's Seeds.
Even their packaging is wonderful. When we open our order it's like receiving a mini-art collection! 
It's been a good bit of work to get the corner office with the view, but it has certainly been worth the effort! 
Thanks for all your kind comments on the recent blog posts! I always love hearing from you!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Empress of India Nasturtiums - Garden Sketchbook Journal

Another favorite little plant in our garden is this particular variety of nasturtium, "Empress of India".  We grow several varieties each year. They seem to like growing on or near our rock wall in the front yard. Certain varieties trail down the wall nicely and other mound up nicely in the flower bed. These mound up beautifully. It did seem to sort of split into two colors though, one being a deeper blue green leaf and a slightly cooler, deeper ruby red blossom. The other part of the plant went sort of paler yellow green leaf, and deep orange blossom. I painted this a little over a week ago, and it is still putting out blooms! 
This past weekend we did a lot of 'fall maintenance' in the garden. It's time to cut the last of the zinnias,
So we did....which leads to this:
and this:
and this!
So you can see where this is leading! Lots of flowers means lots of flower paintings. I love to paint from life, but these are likely to have a short life...they only hang on for so long. In the mean time, I'm working on some color sketches for a rather LARGE landscape commission! Exciting stuff going on this fall!
Weekends tend to be filled with garden chores, while making art and all that the business entails fills my week. Other garden chores that we got completed over the weekend were saving seeds, pulling out old pumpkin vines, old annuals that were looking raggedy, tilling up the soil (hubby does that part!) and.....finally....we did it again...PLANTED 600 TULIP BULBS! whew! and actually, it was much easier this year! Not sure why it nearly killed me last year. Maybe we're getting smarter about this?! It's gonna be a hum-dinger of a Spring garden! woohoo!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cinderella Pumpkins - Watercolor Sketchbook

I've got to admit, I love working on this particular watercolor paper in this particular sketchbook. It's handmade paper, from India, a Nujabi watercolor sketchbook...and suddenly they are becoming very difficult to find. I've got a couple on back-order, that I hope will actually come in. They are such a delight, nothing quite like them. A paper that is sturdy, yet flexable, gorgeous deckled edges, and it just drinks the color off your brush, 'just so'.  Of course finding things you love is like anything else, one man's passion is another's poison! Here's the two pages close up!
 This variety of pumpkin we planted from seed in our front yard. They are truly shaped like Cinderella's coach! Just big and beautiful! These sketches were done over a week ago, but are particularly meaningful today, as the last pumpkin from the vine is cut and on our front porch! Yesterday we pulled up all the vines in that part of the yard...for today's project. Visit tomorrow's post for the news- what's going in the garden!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Autumn's Arrival

9"x12" oil on linen mounted on birch panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

This time of year can be so 'precious' for painting. Simply because it goes by so quickly! This scene was just last week. This week, the trees are turning a little more colorful, and by the weekend they'll be at their blazing peak. The fields have gone to that parched blondish gold, with some autumn wildflowers trying to poke their way through. Then, there's rain, coming in to do a number on the leaves. The sunny days, or even those overcast days are treasured and saved...only dire needs can interrupt. Doctor appointment? Car maintenance? Groceries? All that 'daily living stuff'? Get's bumped to second priority unless, something's bleeding or painful; won't run or has a flat; or the cupboards are bare!  The paints are calling my name!

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

High Tide...and catching up after travels!

8"x10" oil on linen mounted on panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 
I made it back out to the marsh at Barn Island this past week. This time, it was high tide when I got there. Fortunately, I blocked in those big shapes FAST when I first set up. Why is this so crucial? Well, some times when you're out painting, not only the light changes quickly through out the day, but tidal changes can vary greatly in a very short amount of time! To make my point, here's two photos I happened to shoot while I was there. They are taken about an hour and a half to two hours apart. When I was bringing this painting to completion, the place looked quite different.

Mother Nature, you never cease to amaze me! I was really happy to see the tide as it was, I really love the shapes of land vs. water in these vast expanses of marshy areas. As it turns out, this was a study for a design option for a commission I'm currently working on. And yes, I'm very excited about it! It's great to be back home in my own studio after lots of travel time this summer.

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