Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The completed sunflower

There are two posts today.... since I haven't been here for a number of days. I did finish the sunflower, and I am getting ready to have it scanned and printed into cards. It will definitely take longer than initially planned.... but that is life. So, I hope that you enjoy it... I plan to frame it for an upcoming show in November. I am back at the drawing board, working on the next painting. I will show you the beginnings at the end of this week.

Happy New Year.

Surprises from the garden.....

Happiness is squash tucked in lots of places

More "Curcubita's" everywhere...

And a little "Boo" to shout out to you!

And more babies on the way

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Done, done, done...... no more touch ups....I hope

I think I am done with this bird's nest..... the Robins have grown and gone.... it has taken so long. Since this one is a commission, I just need to pass inspection from the buyer... and then if all is well, it is off to a new home. This is a mixed media... of watercolor, watercolor pencil and colored pencil. The last layer is watercolor.... which brought up some color.

Honestly, a 'detail person' can get quite lost with this kind of painting.... I could just never figure out quite where to stop. However, I think it is as complete as I can make it without stepping over the fine line to 'over doing'.

Tomorrow..... the sunflower.... also completed. Whew... two in one week. I am ready for some pumpkins to paint. Also, I am working on cards.... so that if you are interested in having a small piece of work to frame... these might be of interest to you. I will keep you posted.

Robin's nest

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Great Museaum in Cody....

This weekend we took a road trip.... just to see the "Buffalo Bill Historical Center", in Cody, WY. Okay.... an eight hour drive to see a museum?? Well, it was more than worth it. For many people it is the perfect stop on the way to Yellowstone (only an hour away from the town) and also close to the Grand Tetons National Park. But we always find ourselves rushing past Cody, to get to the park...... so this time we gave our attention just to this museum.

It's in the center of town, so you can't miss it.

The Museum is named after "Buffalo Bill Cody"
and his Wild West Show... which has it's own
special wing of the museum

There is also a wing for The Whitney Gallery
of Western Art.... which is amazing....AMAZING!!

Another wing is dedicated to the culture of the
American Indians of the area.... again, Amazing!!

So, if you want a taste of the West... whether on the way to Yellowstone, or as just a fun destination, be sure to set aside 4-6 hours for this very special museum. It's worth every minute of your time.

Check it out at:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last flowers from the garden show...

Today, it is cold, rainy, and windy. The flowers are shuddering and wondering when summer will return. We took a quick trip up to Cody, Wyoming this weekend.... just to get away. It was actually HOT up there on Saturday, but quite chilly on Sunday. We went to the wonderful museum there. The Western artwork was amazing...and the rest of the museum....from gun collections, to Indian artifacts and culture... to Wild Bill Cody (hence the name of the town) was fascinating. I hope to post some photos of the trip....but need to download (or is that upload) them from the camera. So, enjoy these last photos of summer days....

I am bringing the pumpkins and gourds in tonight.... I am afraid of a freeze.

Also, to our friends in Atlanta and the South East.... please stay safe from the rain and bad weather. I know that you have had a drought... but probably you didn't want this much rain to fall all at one time. Be safe.... you are in our thoughts.

"Datura" which Georgia O'Keeffe made famous.

Poker " flowers...in amazing shades

A beautiful "tiger lily"
growing in September!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Watercolor Sunflower....

I have been working on this sunflower for several weeks. It's not as dynamic as the colored pencil sunflower that I completed several weeks ago.... but it's got it's own flavor. It is still unfinished.... needs a strong dose of 'orange' and details galore. But, I will have class all day tomorrow, and no doubt, I will get a critique on what needs doing. I look forward to finishing this and then completing some other work that needs doing. I plan to make some cards of this one... and hopefully set up an Etsy site (check out ETSY.... great site for all things creative...for sale!!). So, I must do some 'business' today.... host book club tonight..... and get ready for class tomorrow.....plus a Student show at the DBG (Denver Botanic Gardens) that starts next week and goes to the end of October. If you are in the area, it's fun to stop by and see the wonderful artists that are students there. Have a great weekend.

Sunflower in watercolor

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Colorful Gardening...

Here are a few more photos from the garden tour that we went to. This was my favorite....with colorful plants in beautiful pots, to decorating balls matching the the colors of the plant's leaves. Great gardening is not always just plants... but coordinating just the right plant with it's pot....or place in the garden; Creating areas for lounging.... or work.... or entertaining. This "Master Gardener" did just that.

I loved this Fuchsia, popping against the blue pot

There were so many pots in the garden with plants in them that would not survive the winter. I can only imagine the work entailed, to bring these indoors, and the space needed to shelter them.
I absolutely loved this colorful combination.

And just when you think you have had enough of the color,
A serene spot with waterlilies and gold fish calm the soul.

A perfect garden, in my book!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creme de la Creme

This was my favorite garden...... for so many reasons. The succulents were amazing - even the more simple and common ones were beautifully potted, and placed in such a way, that they created their own vignette. Then there were the touches all around - a feast for the eyes. I must admit that I will 'nab' some of these ideas for next years garden. I am already thinking about different Cactus...and Succulents for the garden.

A beautiful 'textural" plant....
would be fun to paint or draw!

I loved these flags....
anyone know where I can find them??

Of course, this is the season of the "Sunflower"
Yet, the varieties in all of the gardens were interesting

A beautiful Cactus....blooms were spent,
but the color was still bright and bold!!

I am a little sad to see the end of summer and the beginning of the "Quiet" season for the garden. Somehow, if I can see the green, or find some color every day, my heart is filled.
I must get out and photograph the squash & pumpkins (and give the snake a warning that I am coming!!) to share with you. Next year.... Cactus for sure!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

We spent Saturday, in the rain, touring gardens.....gardens that are tended and loved by those who write, speak, and earn a part (or most) of their living with their gardens. There were a few exceptions, but these were the leaders in our community... and it was a gift to be able to enter their garden spaces and see what and how they do it.

Of course, I had my favorite..... a professional Horticulturalist.... whose garden was also a design dream. His creativity and sensitivity to his garden space was amazing. There were at least five spaces within his 1/8th acre to sit, ponder, reflect, or party (Seriously, if Denver didn't have Winter, you could live out there!!). I wanted to move in.... stay.....it was that wonderful. It was an 'eleven' on a scale of one to ten. That is not to say, that the rest of the gardens weren't a 'ten' out of ten..... they were. There was something for everyone - and it was a pleasure packed.....if cool and rainy..... day,.

Okay.... so enough of my babble..... I plan to show some photos this week, of the gardens and their delights. I hope that you enjoy them as well.

Here we go....
first garden..... huge; a "jolly jungle";
self- maintaining, perennial garden.

Creatively placed gourds and pumpkins.... loved this!

A 'composite' flower....loved the yellows.
(of course I did.... I am in my yellow phase!!)

A happy part of the garden!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Horray.... I finished!!!

(colored pencil on Mylar)

Well, I finished the sunflower in time for class..... don't look too closely... still pretty rough, but it will be fine for color/shading example. I do plan to go back and finish up some of the detail and then try to frame this one. Of course, I hope the water color turns out, so that I can make some cards, etc. from it. I may also do that with the nest.... which I will complete in the next few weeks.

So.... class tomorrow.... more adventures of the Sunflowers. I just love them.... have enjoyed this thoroughly.... as the days cool down and Fall peeks around the corner. Can you feel it in the air? I love this time of year.... just not what is coming up.... brrrrr.... not at all ready for Winter.

Also, I will take photos of what is in my garden.... can't wait to show you what is 'peek a Boo-ing' under giant leaves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Productive Day in the studio

This is a colored pencil drawing on a sheet of Mylar...
A whole new experiencefor me!

I am working a lot on this drawing, because the flowers are fading fast... and my studio is starting to smell a bit like dead flowers.... not pretty. However, I decided to try something new and play with my colored pencils on Mylar. Wow.... do I love this .... it's just so much fun and it's going down pretty quickly. Not to worry, I plan to do the watercolor for class.... but this way, I have the color & shading, pretty well in hand, before I start painting.

When I checked the initial drawing, the ellipse was off but just by a bit... so that has been reworked and I am off and running. I will show you more, as this project unfolds.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quote of the day....

Would you believe that the ellipse on the front sketch of the sunflower, on my last blog was all off? Class was amazing, and I showed the sketches to my teacher.... it was a 'no go' on the sunflower - partially opened. So, literally, back to the drawing board.... and a tough weekend with the allergies, so not much work done today. I found this quote on a blog....and I wanted to share it with you.

So here is the quote:

He who can no longer pause

to wonder and stand

rapt in awe,

is as good as dead;

His eyes are closed.

- Albert Einstein

Just as I need to view my work with new eyes... and make adjustments, you need to stop and take a peek at nature today. We all manage to get going too fast. Too many people are scared, angry and irritable.... just trying to survive, but afraid of the future. WE are our future! So, stop, go outside and just look around (well, if it is pitch dark, and a storm is brewing... you might re-think that!!).

We have much to be grateful for.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

tracing paper sketches.....Step one

I am getting ready to take a 'sunflower' class at the DBG (Denver Botanic Gardens) and I have been sketching like mad on tracing vellum, so that I can have something ready for class. My sunflower is from the store... and it is quickly succumbing to age... but I have taken some photos and have been making preliminary sketches on the pad below. It is good for me to throw this on to the computer.... now I know exactly where I need to go to 'fine tune' the sketches.

I just felt like sharing the process with you. It starts here, with a live plant.... lots of sketching.... creating a cartoon (if you look closely you will see the pen outline for the cartoon) and a value study. When I am pleased with this stage.... I will transfer it to watercolor paper and start my painting.

Lots of work to do on this one...
but the basics are there.

I like this one a bit better....
I see where I can add and subtract

I will have class tomorrow, so there will not be an opportunity to blog. I hope that you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, with good weather, good food, and some relaxation!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Now for the back yard....

So, here is the rest of my garden photos......with a shot of the back yard. Back in December, this was all white.... totally blank.... but this September, it is awash in color. I must remember this and hold it in my heart.... which will get me through the 'blankness' of Winter.

Impatiens..... truly the beauties of the back yard

Nasturtiums are sweet hubby's favorite
He is the Master Gardener

Black eye Susan's fill the yard....

Even the Hydrangea's are growing this year
(that is big news in Colorado)

A 'P.S"..... the color of the last photo is much more golden than usual. Believe it or not, we are getting the haze from California fires and it changes the light completely. Say a prayer for the people of California, and the firemen fighting those fires.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Front Garden.....or the Jolly Jungle!

Well, the garden is better than it's ever been. With all of the moisture this summer, we are not suffering the normal drying up of the garden. Usually, by this time, things are fairly brown, and flowers are losing their 'spunk'. This year, we are experiencing a "Jolly Jungle" of plants. The Baby's Breath is still blooming!! The Black eye Susan's are wild and taking over. In the back yard (to be shared tomorrow), the pumpkins are overtaking the garden (well, they are 'duking it out' with the Black eyed Susan's). I planted 'boo' pumpkins an a white pumpkin. I haven't actually checked on how many are growing, as our rather large resident 'garter' snake is snoozing in there somewhere, and I have a tendency to SCREAM when I cross his path. We respect each other's privacy and I give him a wide berth. So, enjoy my garden. I will share the back yard with you tomorrow.

Nasturtiums, Baby's Breath, and Black Eyed Susans
share the garden with less aggressive plants.

Wild grasses and marigolds share are on the side of the house
Along with Morning Glories staked in the corner to keep them under control.

A close up of the fountain and plants

A low and quiet place to sit (kids love it, as it's just their size)
This stoop brings one down to the level of the garden....
Odd, but we love it.