Friday, July 17, 2009

The Back Yard in Mid-Summer

"I'm trying to arrange my life
so that I don't even have to be present"
- Anonymous -

The Perennial Garden in all it's jumbled glory!

A broad view of the creek and open space beyond..

The creek is actually a 'ditch' so we created a "Falls"

A screened porch to keep the 'squiters" out

So here I am, getting ready for a break from the blog. I will be back in a few weeks - fresh as a daisy (or maybe a black eyed Susan...which will be filling in the garden, by then). I am also going to try to put down the paintbrush and pencil, which is even harder for me to do. I will give it my best shot.... but if I fail at that, I will bring you the work completed.... or new sketches.

Thanks for being there.... commenting.... caring through the e-mails..... I WILL BE BACK!!

Now, I hope that you get to take a break, as well. Grab your book; or your sketch pad; or your sweetie, and have some Summer fun! See you soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Working kind of Summer

"Nothing feeds the center of a being so much as creative work.
The curtain of mechanization has come down between the mind and the hand"
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh -

slowly the work continues on my thistle.....

...While other works wait for my hand....

Most of my cards sold at the Nursery...just a few left.....more to create....

I have enjoyed this summer.... working steadily almost every day. With my classes at the Denver Botanic Gardens completed and none on the schedule for the summer, I have had a bit more freedom this year. It is a good thing for me.

I just picked up my work from being on display for four months (alas, nothing sold....but I am getting it out there!). Last week, I got back the few cards that didn't sell at the Nursery.... with hopes of making more for future seasons.

There seems to be a pause in the pace of the Summer.... a natural break that calls for time out from the workaday world. Tomorrow, will be my last blog for several weeks. Yes, I am taking a break. Part of me needs to force my "being" away from the computer too. It seems that I enjoy this as much or more than all of you out there.... I find myself thinking of all that I want to share with you each day. So, if I pause, the mechanism of my art will rest for a bit and there may be a fresh spirit that comes back...with the creative juices flowing...

I will post another blog tomorrow - sharing the back yard with you now that the "Cotton" from the Cottonwood tree is done dropping all over the flowers and then I won't be back for a bit. So, give me a few weeks.... and find a restful spot, in the shade of a tree... with some lemonade...and enjoy this amazing gift that we call "Summer".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden memories

Daisy's, once taken from Grandma's garden, thrive at our home

Lilies along the fence - store bought

Lilies dug from a dear friend's garden

If I walk around our garden, there are flowers to be found that have been bought by us, but many have been shared by family and friends - those are the most precious. Our daisies come from my Sweet Hubby's's his Mother tended for years, now a lovely memory.

I have many flowers growing that were gifts from friends, when my own Mother died several years ago. They are a gentle reminder, through out the flowering season, of her love of the garden, as well.

Finally, there are flowers from friends.... dug up when they were thinning their flower beds, transferred lovingly to our back yard, and now thriving in their new home. All are treasured and tended with love....favorites now, because of the friendships and the memories.

Gratefully, we have lived in the same place for a very long time... and I have been able to nurture this garden and enjoy the ongoing tribute. I often think that when we move.... we will clear out so much of the garden to take with us, all that will be left is an empty patch. It would be hard to leave all of these memories behind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Red Tailed Hawk sighting... at least the nest!

The large dark spot in the middle of this tree is the nest

Last week, we discovered that the Red Tailed Hawk was in the neighborhood (swooping through the yard, looking for food, no doubt - didn't spot me!!). Then, we noticed that there were little ones (well, Junior size RTH's) practicing formations on the golf course. So, we took our binoculars and the camera (with a telephoto) on a scouting mission. With the help of a few other bird watchers, we found the nest.

Apparently, last Winter, the nest in the tree near our house, blew down, so they came back this Spring and found a better (more protected) tree, and set up housekeeping. This nest is quite a bit larger than last years and if you didn't know it was there, you would never have noticed it.

So, they are back - happy and flying about - growing safely and yet, coming back to nest each year. I hope that this will be an on going thing. I wish that I could have shown you the birds, but they were 'in flight'. I will keep watching for them, though, with camera at the ready.

Back tomorrow with photos from the garden.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sweet Pea from a sweet friend......

Sweet Pea's from a friend provided work at Art Group

Friday mornings are reserved for Art Group - which I love. The friends are dear and we share our gardens with each other which results in work completed on these mornings.

Last week, my friend Jill provided me with Sweet Peas, to draw.... and today, she brought more for me to complete. Well, how could I work on my thistle... when these sweet flowers were just waiting for me. So away I drew.... then did a watercolor wash as a base.... topping it with some colored pencil. What fun! ..... and for a change, a completed (though rough, at best) piece to share with blog friends.

It was a perfect morning, on a lovely warm, but not too hot, day. Now, for an enjoyable weekend. Have a good one!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Working Hard.....

continuing to work on my thistle....

I have been plugging away at my thistle - some parts I like better than others, but getting a 'comment' on occasion, encourages me to continue to work away. I love the details of a thistle....

...And with humor, I can see the mistakes and work that needs to be done, when I blow it up and pop it on the blog. Also, I forgot to print it in the large size, so you may need to double click on it to look at it up close and personal.

I am thinking about making cards (for sale) for all seasons. I made a few for a local nursery this Spring, and it was fun to get the art work out there, in a small format. Now, I am contemplating "Fall" cards.... and possible "Winter Season" cards. I better get busy and get to work, or there won't be any cards.

I heard this week a tidbit about thistle. If the flower is fresh and you pick the center (purple area) it is said to be very sweet and lovely to eat. Now, I know that thistle is considered a 'weed' but I love knowing that it might be sweet.... inside and out. Seriously, though, you might want to check that information before you actually decide to EAT a thistle.... and watch out for the prickles!!

Thanks for your comments! They really do encourage me a lot!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer is finally coming....

"Earth laughs in flowers"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our Hydrangea's 'wintered over' and are starting to bloom

Soft colors grow stronger as the sun starts to shine

Larger than our daisies, these yellow echinacea are lovely to me!

Can the daisies be far behind??

We have managed to get sun every morning, but by the afternoon, the dark clouds have gathered and loom overhead. We have had micro-bursts of wind...... rain.... hard rain... and small hail..... in the afternoons. But the weatherman guaranteed us a nice week.... hot and sunny, and I am more than ready.

Our July 4th was cool and rainy and a bit chilly (well, really, pretty cold by the evening). But we bundled up and took our quilts out to the golf course and had a spectacular display of fireworks. I am so grateful that our city made the decision to 'splurge' on this - it brought joy to many a heart after a pretty tough year, all around.

So, here is to the little things: Sunshine, flowers, good books , and warm summer nights & fireworks on the 4th of July!! Enough to bring cheer to everyone!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

From our garden to yours - Happy 4th of July!!

Bunny celebrates the 4th with our flag!

I thought that I would share my herb garden with you. At the present moment, it is fighting with the Cottonwood Tree and the tree (with all it's cotton fluff) is winning. If you look closely, there is lots of stuff tucked in the flowers, herbs, and sandstone of the garden. However, our resident 'bunny' is taking care of the flag, in celebration of this weekend.

I salute America as it celebrates another birthday. I am grateful to live in such a beautiful state, within this beautiful country with so many choices and freedoms. I am also grateful to take the responsibility needed to keep those freedoms.... in what ever capacity that I can.

So, I hope that you enjoy this weekend..... sharing it with friends or family or in a quiet fashion.
Happy Birthday, America!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Putting the pieces together....

Putting all of the pieces of this puzzle together.... before it wilts!!

I had to take several photos of my thistle as it was slowly wilting on me. The studio now has an air conditioning vent, but it still stays pretty warm in there, which (when taking flowers out of their environment) is not conducive to maintaining good specimens.

So I am drawing when ever I get a minute and working out the details directly on to the paper. It's not the best method of drawing - but it's working on this piece.

I also just got my dandelions back from the framer and they look so much better in a frame. Of course, a great framer helps.

So, if you are near Boulder, and want a Super Great framer..... go to Fast Frames, just around the corner from Whole foods (across from the new Barnes & Noble book store). Okay, I was not paid for that plug.... but I will take a photo of the painting and you will see how nice of a job he does.