The first bright purple blossoms peek their heads out for me, as crocus planted last year along the driveway come up. All that work from the previous year rewards us with spring flowers, that I love. They are such welcome splashes of color after a period of cool grays. Pete and I took some pictures to allow me to come back in to the studio and paint them, instead of getting frosty outside. After all, the temperatures are not balmy yet.
I look up the name crocus and find that they are a part of the iris family. Really? Who would have thought that? Thank goodness for the ease of using Wikipedia, soon I will forget how to turn the pages of a dictionary.
Here is a deep artistic concept, check out these two photographs. They are a perfect example showing how a different “depth-of-field” or “focus” totally changes an image. It almost seems as though these two pictures were taken at different places, but they were not. Only the focal point changed. Clearly, where we choose to focus our attention is really important. Think about that all throughout your life.
Where do you focus your attention?
The fleeting beauty of the crocus in early spring is a short term glance at the wonder of nature. Finding that crocus is part of the iris family kind of explains why I was drawn to them in the store last year. Since the first time I saw them, iris have been a favorite of mine. Their sturdiness, prolific qualities, combined with their limitless supply of color and combinations never cease to amaze me. If they are one of those bright flowers that give a wonderful perfume, that is even better.
I will do plein air sketches from the blossoms and post them with pictures as things progress, in the next few days. In fact, my focus artistically is leaning heavy to plein air….. I confess.
Just finished painting the flowers in Dahlia Patch C142019 watercolor. I am loving it and planning to paint more like her. I saved seeds from my 6-8′ blossoms last year and plant to well populate the garden with them again. So bright and beautiful to see when you work in the garden every day. Weeding and watering seem less tiresome when your eyes feast on beautiful combinations of color and fascinating insects and birds cruising around. There is only a few more weeks of skiing left, and I’m looking forward to spring and summer now.
Check out how many kinds of Dahlia’s there are, 42 species and it is native to Mexico. Did you know it was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963? Good old Wikipedia dahlia knowledge, interesting but hard to remember the scientific names sometimes.
What do you think of dahlia patch?
It took some time to get the details all in. It was funny but as I added details, I’d notice another missing detail in an area I thought I had already finished. Add a shadow here, oooh a highlight there and a half a leaf here. That petal looks weird, it needs a shadow under it too. You can see the progress in one day by looking back at yesterdays article about this painting.
Round and round she goes,
where she stops nobody knows!
Another unfinished is now in the finished pile and it feels great. At the meeting (Spokane Watercolor Society) the other night a fellow artist shared that she was going to either finish or throw away the paintings in her studio. Boing!!! That hit me square in the face. I have so many unfinished paintings laying around my studio, so I plan on making an effort to do that. No more unfinished stacks in my life.
I was fortunate to have beautiful flowers blooming all summer in my garden this past year. I grabbed this painting from my “unfinished painting stack” tonight. This is not the first time to paint this Dahlia image. My previous attempt became all overworked and mucky, actually loosing itself in the background, until I simply gave it up to turn the paper over, and try it again. See previous posts about my first attempt here.
I wonder how many two sided paintings have I sold in my life?
Doing bright colored flowers of any variety is so cool. This painting has a new type of background technique that is different and a little scary for me. Trying for a looser and softer background. One that will let us see the petals of the flowers without distraction. Blossoms with petals and all their curves, shadows… I am beginning to really like this one now.
Let me know what you think, so far.
This week was full of stressful work like taxes, paperwork and illustration assignments. But, today was a great relaxing break to just paint. I worked on completing my painting for the Spokane Watercolor Society Member Show. It feels good to paint things that I like all day.
This afternoons shot is of a Dahlia painting, what better way is there to show a progress painting and the love of every artist? I love to paint anything in the light outdoors, there is no better way to spend an afternoon.
We have a 20 x 20 deck on our house, that many people told us we were wasting too much space on, but I absolutely love it. During the warm months, I spend as much time as possible sitting out there painting and drawing because I find the sound of the wind calming, just like John Travolta in the movie called, “Phenomenon“. The birds and chipmunks and squirrels are truly entertaining.
Gazing down from our deck I can also look down over my domain anytime, now that we have cleared the patch of trees that shaded the garden too much. I look out over our property and wonder at the sky that is so pretty, now that the smoke has cleared and I so appreciate all the warm sunshine. The sky changes colors magnificently in the evening, making it almost impossible to capture unless you are able to paint lickety-split FAST!
Having a bouquet of cut flowers right here makes it so much easier for me to see their beauty right, I hope to be able to get what I see down on the paper and do them justice.
I made myself a promise
I would do at least one image a week that I want to do, actually, paint what I feel drawn to create. Recent health issues have made me realize that time is not a guarantee, and I had better enjoy all the time I have left before I exit the scene. This week, all the blossoms in the garden are drawing me in close, to smell, touch and admire all of their brilliant colors. What fabulously bright creations they are!
The garden smiles at us with colorful Dahlia blossoms in every conceivable color among many other types of flower. It just warms your soul as you stroll through looking at what needs to be done. You can’t help but touch the soft petals and admire the brilliant hues in each custom little work of art.
It is really inspiring to have cut flowers throughout the house and I feel blessed to be able to have this luxury available. I am thinking of doing a series of what we have blooming in the garden. The colors are so very much alive and refreshing!
I used to think that flower joy was only part of the female section of human kind, but lately I have seen how much my husband enjoys flowers and their magical happy influences. Love of floral beauty has no gender boundaries at all. He is a real green thumb at roses, and orchids and I love both of those types too. Sometimes, we just luck out and get with a partner in life that loves what we love. Sharing our loves is a real deep kind of friendship in life.
Our garden is a large part of my sanity. It is the place I go to do some weeding, watering, and picking. There are absolutely no screens to look at, and no phones to answer.
Free With Nature
I can hear the birds sing, play with dogs and kids, and get real dirty and never worry what people think of me. Anyone who knows me recognizes that is a really natural state for me.
Harvest Begins In Sanity
At the end of the summer coming into fall it becomes a lot more work as more and more produce needs harvesting and processing. My hands get blisters and dried out from all the washing, cleaning, cooking and canning but the quality of the yummy food is well worth it throughout the following winter months. Here are some cucumbers getting ready to be pickles.
Here are the buckets from this morning, tomatoes, dill herb, Dahlia’s, and tomatoes. Any kind of flower blossom brightens my day!
A normal sized zuchini is what I am holding. Honestly, it is how big they get all the time.
Back up at the house, the tomatoes are washed and sorted into ripeness groups. The group on the right is red and ready to eat or can. The group on the left will get to sit in my vegetable baskets by the window to finish ripening. I’ll process them probably the next time I pick.
We discover that it is actually probably two blooms as things proceed in the blooming process. That third bulb is turning out to be a dud. It was kind of strange watching this greenery in action with a background of snow outside.
With the painting finished and dry I decided to try something new. I bought this new medium, “Windsor Newton, Iridescent Medium”. I have been dying to see how it works.
I applied it to the lily and got really no affects. Darn. Sooooo. Instead I tried it on the background and “Wa la!” a shimmering glow just like the light from the window. Yay! Now I know it doesn’t work so good on light areas but it does show on darker surfaces. You have to have the light on it just right to see the shine but it is really cool! Here it is angled just right and still wet.
I have left the window area on the left very light as that is where the light is coming from. some of the leaves are brighter that are closer to this window. I have finished with the shadows and detail on the flower petals and the backgound seems right.