Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

            Here is my boo pumpkin in all it's glory

I thought that I would share my table decoration with you - my boo pumpkins are enjoying a celebration of the Fall season,  on my dining table.  It's such a pleasure to incorporate the garden into the house, bringing the outdoors ...inside.    This particular pumpkin has lots of squiggly doos (better known as tendrils) on it, so it got in to the photo.

The card was made by a dear friend, and celebrates a special place on the table and in my heart.
Halloween is a holiday of costumes, candy and 'tricks & treats' around the neighborhoods.  It is a special celebration for the kids during the late Fall.  Usually, a storm is coming in around this time, but today it is a quite unusual 75 degrees out, so there will be lots of kids out and about this evening.  

We have enjoyed an extended Fall this year.  There are still some leaves on the trees, flowers in the garden, and green in the grass.  It's a grand holiday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Turks Turban

          Turks Turban - watercolor done in 2006

Here is an 'oldy but goody' which was painted several years ago.  It has been in several shows and is again in one this fall.  It is fun to pull this one out, as I enjoy it.  It is a great prelude to Halloween, which is tomorrow!  

The weather is so warm here that there will be many 'trick or treaters' out and about in the neighborhood.  I do love this holiday - it is  a fun loving, happy one, that puts smiles on everyone's face....and who doesn't love candy (though we give out toothbrushes at our house).

Hope you have a wonderful costume picked out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rose Hips journaling

This was done with water color pencils and 'tombow' pens (water soluble)

Today, I promised to show you the latest in my journal - the last of the rose hips.... just love them as much as the original roses.  

Today, I hung my art show at a local church.  It will be up for a month, which will be nice.  It is my first solo show and I hope that the community enjoys the art - at least is not controversial - just soothing for these crazy days of Fall.

Last Friday, I cleaned my studio... I do have the "before"  and "after" shots... though I cannot tell too much of a difference.  I will share those later this week.

I also have tons of homework with my latest class, which I will share with you.  Sometimes there is a lot of work with in the work.  The process of painting can be quite time consuming, even with small pieces, so it's nice to be able to share the process with you, periodically!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last of the Rose Hips

          Rose hips at the end of the season

On Friday, my journaling group gathered inside.  It was just too cold outside, though, on the weekend, we warmed up into the 70's!!    I love those sunny warm days in the Fall.  It's crispy in the morning, but warms up by noon and the afternoons are just heavenly.  This week, we brought in some rose hips to sketch.  I have taken a photo of the journal, but haven't downloaded it yet... so you will have to wait for tomorrow.  Today, is class in Denver at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  It's called "Ravishing Reds" and it should be a fun challenge  to capture the wonderful reds of the season....or maybe, the season coming up.  

Okay, so tomorrow... I promise a photo of the latest journaling.... Rose Hips!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Jounaling

       a mini 'boo' pumpkin from the back yard - journaling book

A group of us continue journaling at each other's homes, as the weather closes in on us and the gardens begin to sleep for the coming Winter.  We have had our first frost, and while the days continue to be warm, the nights are definitely getting cooler.  This weekend, we will pull out the garden (always a bit of sadness in that) and clean it up for the winter months.  Then, we will rake the millions of leaves in the yard that fell this week, as the winds blew and the temperatures dropped.  

I have brought my boo pumpkins in and they are happily sitting on my table.  The french pumpkin is on the fireplace and we are all ready for upcoming Halloween.  I do love this time of year and the colors that we bring to the Fall holiday season.  

Enjoy your weekend.... get out in the fresh air... no matter the season in your neighborhood.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Last photos of the trip

Here are the last of the photos. First, my sketch, as you will read, was done while 'hubby' climbed down through Navajo Loop, in Bryce.  I couldn't make myself get off the first narrow cliff... so, I sat up there and sketched, as he climbed down into the canyon.  The next was taken in Zion... out the window of our accommodations, which were right outside the park.   Sunsets were always amazing... but when the moon popped up in Bryce, we just couldn't resist pulling over to capture this moment.  We almost caused a pile up, as other cars noticed us taking photos... and immediately pulled over for the same shot.  So, that is the last of our trip photos.... hope you enjoyed them.  
Tomorrow.... on to the next project that I am working on. 

Today is cold and crisp but very sunny.  After the storm blew through last night, most of the leaves are on the ground.  Guess what we will be doing this weekend....RAKING!!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Here are some last views of Bryce in the afternoon and evening.

"Hubby" walked down into the slot canyon and took the middle photo, as I stood on the top and sketched.
Tomorrow, I will share a few sketches from my journal, that I took on the trip.... then it's back to work with new projects.

Ravens in the park

Oh, what clever creatures the Ravens are.  Clearly, they were in charge, as we all hopped out of our cars to take photographs.  I was able to see them in several places, both in Bryce & Zion, and they practically 'posed' for us as they watched every move we made.  I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and spunk of these beautiful birds.  

I will add some more photos of the canyons in the next download.... hope your enjoy them, as well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pools of water up in the cliffs

This pool was on a hike that we took in Zion.... high above the canyon.  We walked along cliffs for about an hour before coming to this magical spot, cooling and restful.   Again, I cannot claim this photo..... 'Hubby' was on a roll, don't you think?

Cool Canyons

It was a pleasant walk with families along the canyon floor.   At the very bottom of the canyon, water flowed, and vegetation grew in abundance.  Brice only receives 3-7 inches of rain per year, so it is yet, another amazing phenomenon, as the water is absorbed by the great rock formations and seeps down through the walls and eventually into the streams or along the walls of the canyons (in some areas).  

Again, there was little time to sketch, as we walked and hiked through out the area, but it was great fun to take a lot of photos.  This is a favorite of mine... taken by my husband.  The greenness of the water is totally a reflection of the vegetation.... but I love the feeling that it serene.

I hope that your day is serene.

Monday, October 20, 2008

a few more photos of Bryce....

Here are a few of the photos from Bryce Canyon.  Wow.... you can't believe the beauty of these 'hoodoo's' as they have been named.

I think the one on the left looks like a skeleton...sort of a Halloween mask for Bryce!!

Rock Art!

I am going to do two blogs today... because the photos didn't download.  I have two others from our first day at Capitol Reef and Bryce.  Wow... all I can say, is this one really is 'rock art'.  These petroglyphs are the famous Fremont petroglyphs which were created on this rock when nomadic pueblos and other Southwestern Indian tribes settled in the valleys of this area of the country.  We were there very early in the morning.... and got to enjoy it for a time, by ourselves.  Then we were joined by travelers from Britain, Germany, and France.  All the parks were filled with Europeans, enjoying this amazing area of the U.S.A.  We were thrilled to have them coming to these corners - and seeing a very special part of the country.  Later in the week, we were joined by many Utah families, as there was a school break.  

The first day was so cold (30-40 degrees) but as we dropped in altitude with each successive Park, the days warmed up into the 80's.  We hiked and climbed and walked with families through an amazing display of beauty.  I  hope you enjoy the photos.... many done by my husband with his Nikon Telephoto.  He also was able to take a few hikes that were totally out of my comfort range (I sat and drew in my journal!).  However, I did manage more cliffs than I ever have in the past, so I am slowly conquering some of my "cliff phobia".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bryce & Zion are calling.....

We are off to Bryce & Zion National Parks, in Utah, for a week of hiking and exploring.

I am sure that we will find a much different landscape than in Maine, but it will be just as exciting.  I hope to bring back some sketches or photos of interesting plants from the high plains. 

Horray... a week of NO POLITICS.... and WALL STREET  Information!!!  

I plan on not reading any papers... nor listening to the radio or T.V. .  We need a break from the chaos....though I will miss the Thursday edition of Saturday Night Live!!    

See ya soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My umbrella

                        Mushroom perched on a decaying birch tree

In a recent post, I showed you sketches of the mushroom that I found in Maine.  I had planned to do a painting of it... but it was so small.   Oh, well, it just seemed to be the perfect umbrella to paint this week.  I know that we wish that we could hide away under a magical mushroom and avoid what is crashing down around us, but unfortunately, we can't.  We will all be affected by the stock markets, and continuing chaos which is now trickling through out the world.

Still, under the umbrella with lichens all around, we can see that people don't change.... just circumstances.  I will continue to paint and celebrate the beauty of the smallest things and you can enjoy the painting.... my gift to the world.

Celebrate today..... find a nice mushroom...... make it your umbrella..... and know you are going to be okay.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Le "pumpkin" francais

                Le "pumpkin" francais

I thought that you might enjoy a last view of the  French pumpkin, before it was picked yesterday.  The bottom is quite yellow, so I have flipped it upside down in the sun to shed some light on it's bottom.  Hopefully, I will get some great sketches in before we leave again for a trip to Bryce & Zion National Parks.  We plan to hike and explore this area..... a long time dream of ours.  

Tomorrow, I will show you the beginnings of my painting of the Maine mushroom...against the lichen on the birch tree.  It definitely has a way to go before it looks complete, but it's a start.

This would be a perfect weekend, to pick your pumpkin.  I plan to head to the Farmer's Market, to find other pumpkins... in white, greenish blue, etc. .   Wouldn't that make a beautiful painting?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Harvesting the pumpkins

               It's harvest time for the 'Boo's'

Each evening brings a frost...ever closer, so today, I went out and picked my six 'Boo' pumpkins and one French pumpkin, which wasn't quite ready to be picked.  They have ripened nicely, but their color is still a bit pale.  Oh well, we can celebrate with them, just the way they are.

I am excited to have grown these, as I do not have the best of 'green' thumbs.  That honor goes to my husband, King of the Compost and Green thumb, extraordinaire!!  I have watched them all summer and now they are ready to help us celebrate Fall.  I can't wait!  Let the frost begin!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Graduation at the Botanical Gardens....

We spent a lovely afternoon at the Botanical Gardens, yesterday.  The "official" graduation ceremony was a combination of Art Show, Raffle, Silent Auction to benefit the program, and graduation of sixteen students.   I am glad that I went and celebrated this passage of a passion.
So, now I am officially a Botanical Illustrator.... though, as most students agreed, it is just the start of our learning process.   I hope to continue taking some classes (the discipline and increased knowledge is always a help to my work), as well as, continue working on something that I truly love to do.

And.... I love a celebration.... any celebration... which confirms that we can live and enjoy each day, regardless of external chaos in the world.  Maybe, we all just need some more calm... beauty, and appreciation  to move forward.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Maple leaf...

            This one is done in colored pencil.

Yesterday, I had a lot of fun finishing up on the Maple leaf (at least, that is my assumption...please correct me if I am wrong).  When we walk the neighborhood, I pick up leaves, bring them home and paint or draw them in the studio.  It's so much fun and then I have a great study for later projects.  

Today, we are painting pumpkins in the back yard.... with my Painting partners.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's coming.....

Today, I noticed a change.... the morning sun came a bit later; the weather is cooling, clouds are coming in....and I think it's officially Fall.  Our weather has been so perfect that the date that Fall arrived just didn't seem quite like the moment.  Today, I can say, 'It's here..."

There are so many leaves on the ground... almost time for raking.  The wind seems to blow a bit stronger and we had a touch of rain.

Tomorrow, my little art group is planning to paint the pumpkins (not actually paint on them... but sit around and draw them - but you knew that!).  I have shown you some photos of them... but now they are changing quickly... so the oranges are vibrantly showing their stuff.

I am working on a Maple leaf, in colored pencil, today.  I having so much fun with it.  It's been a blast.  Tomorrow, I hope to have it completed and share it with you, as well as some photos of the pumpkins.  
So, now that I have enjoyed my break with you, I will get back to work.

Oh... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TONY!  (that's my Brother-in-Law), who is a great guy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A singular leaf...

           A leaf from my walk

Here is another leaf that I painted yesterday.... from my walk this weekend.  I was asked why I paint just one leaf... instead of many.... mostly because I had the paper to fit just one leaf.  I need to order more paper.... so I guess, I will do studies for awhile (i.e. one leaf at a time) until Monsieur Le Blick sends me paper.  Hope you enjoy this one... I have started yet, another, in colored pencil.  I feel a 'series' is in my future!