Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Surprise in the Winter Garden

I've had a happy surprise in the garden this month ~ my Helleborus is loaded with winter blooms for the first time. It's so nice to see flowers blooming in December. We are enjoying a very mild start to winter this year. Christmas Eve was sunny with the temps in the 60's! Though I do love the snow, I am contented to delay the cold weather for just a bit longer.

This splash of nature's color is a reminder that the garden offers subjects to paint even during the quiet winter months. I am looking forward to making sketches and perhaps a finished drawing of this little plant as well as finishing some of the plant portraits I have photographed and made studies of during the busy summer and fall seasons.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bits and Pieces~

Between working on other projects I have been working on a sketchbook page of "bits and pieces" from my early autumn garden, field, and woods behind our home. It's been a relaxing project, both in the drawing and also in the gathering of pieces to draw. It's also great practice in observation and drawing skills. I hope to have 30 small drawings to fill the page when I'm finished.

The three I have completed so far are, a rose hip from a rugosa rose, Blanc Double de Coubert, balloon flower bud (Platycodon grandiflorus) and a pink pelargonium (geranium). All are drawn in colored pencil.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Zinnia ~ a happy summer flower

Don't these flowers just make you smile? :)  I always like to plant zinnias in our vegetable garden each summer. They provide many sunny bouquets for our kitchen table and windowsills as well as attracting the bees and butterflies to pollinate the plants for a good vegetable harvest. This summer has been a good tomato year so while the zinnias have been blooming, I have been busy making spaghetti sauce to freeze and yesterday canned a few jars of San Marzanos for a "taste of summer" during the winter months.

Though I am very thankful for a productive garden, I also know that tending garden produce will be my first priority and I have little time to draw the flowers that also come and go so quickly these days. A sketch here and there is about all I can have the time or energy for. But I've had my eye on these these pinky-purple beauties, Benary's Giant zinnas, all season and decided it was time to cut a good specimen to study. After taking lots of photos and making sketches and color studies deciding on the right color "recipe", I hope to be able to complete a botanical portrait after the garden is put to bed.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Herbs in the Garden

Our basil crop has been outstanding this year. Lots of spaghetti sauce, pesto and bruschetta will be made. But before it is all gone I wanted to at least get started with a sketch or two to finally begin my series of herb drawings. I had decided to not do as many art shows this year and concentrate on making art for a change. It feels so good to be back in the studio again!

The flowers and plants come and go so quickly this time of year. So, I am trying to take lots of reference photos and make quick color studies, as I've done here with the basil, so that I will be able to work on them when the activities of summer have passed and life begins to settle down. Chives, borage, sage, parsley and rosemary are also in my mind to add to this series. I'm hoping for a productive fall and winter art-wise this year. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Iris ~ Purple and White (unknown variety)

Iris ~ Purple and White (unknown variety)
colored pencil on Fabriano Artistico h/p watercolor paper
Framed size ~ 16" x 20"

Monday, February 2, 2015

that awkward stage....

It seems with every piece, I come to the place where I feel like what I see before me is a mess. The detail is lost, the darks aren't dark enough, the lights not light enough. Over the years I've learned that the best thing to do at this point is to stop working in that area and move on. Sometimes it's to another place on the drawing, sometimes I have to put the piece away and work on something else. 

I have reached that point with "iris". I like some things about it, and other things I know need work. So for now, I will move on to the buds and maybe the leaves and stem before I go back to the flower. She's almost finished. Just need to press on through this "awkward stage". This too shall pass....