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.