Friday, May 30, 2008

Waking up the Garden

After a long, bleak winter the garden is beginning to wake to the warmth of the sun and the spring rains. Most of the perennials are peeking above ground, but only the intrepid tulips are blooming. They got a big dump of snow on their tender leaves awhile ago, so the leaves are quite twisted and discolored. And then the blooms were threatened by a day of extreme heat. I cut these to spare them and they brightened the kitchen for a week. The pink one has the loveliest green tips and stripes down the center of the petals.

But that was the first step down the slippery slope of Calgary gardening. Even though I knew it was too soon, I could not resist these dahlias. They were so spectacular that I also knew that if I waited for two ore weeks, they would be gone. So the next day I went and got them, and there were only two of the rose ones left. And then of course, they looked so gorgeous and so lonely out there... well, I'm sure you know how this story ends. With me hovering and covering. We did, however wait until today to buy the rest of the annuals. I no sooner got them in the ground, then it began to rain again. Aah, it's good to be in the dirt and the rain. It's where I belong.

"Paradise lost can only be regained by those who remember it" --Andre Hardellet

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

EDM 171 - Ice cream

When I was little, we would often go to the Dairy Queen in Red Deer for ice cream. Back then, the Dairy Queen only did ice cream and they did it very well. Their banana splits were divine. Three mounds of ice cream, one topped with a ridiculously yellow pineapple sauce, one with a smooth chocolate sauce, and one with strawberry sauce. It was lusciously topped with whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Delicious! But for some strange reason, the bananas were never ripe. Never! You would think that by the law of averages, you would occasionaly get a ripe one but they were never ripe. You couldn't even cut them with that cheap plastic spoon. But we still ordered them. The day after I drew this, while out with friends at the Old Spaghetti Factory, the meal ended with a little dish of their famous spumoni ice cream. I wish I could have drawn it because it was so pretty, brown and green and white, in a tiny little silver dish. But I ate it instead.
This is drawn with Pigma micron pen in my day journal and colored later with water color pencils.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Walk in Spring, Bitter disappointment

The weather has been very cold and wet and I was desperate to go for a walk. I wanted to find some pussywillows to draw. Nothing was blooming in the garden and everything just seemed so dull and uninspiring. At Glenmore Park, I found this gorgeous branch that had been blown off in the wind. The twig was the most beautiful colors, orange, yellow and red, bursting with sap. The pussywillows were so delicately colored. I had fun drawing it and using the watercolor pencils which finally seemed to be the "right" medium for the subject. Finally I was inspired! I even found a quote that summed up what I felt when I drew this, my joy in drawing the everyday things around me:
"Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen." Robert Bresson

And then I scanned it...

Honestly, in real life it does not look like that! I have been struggling with this Moleskine drawing journal and it's given me nothing but grief. The color throws me off, and in this case it really threw the scanner off. It's about nine shades too yellow and the delicate blues and grays of the pussywillows don't show up at all. So then I tried something with blue shades in it. This is the one thing that is blooming in my garden but was buried under the latest snowfall on Friday. It's better, but again there's too much yellow in the scan and the blues and violets are washed out.

I think this journal is not for me. I think I will use it for my everyday writing journal, and go back to the Aquabee sketchbook and the Moleskine watercolor journal with white paper. Sometimes, things just don't work out the way you want them to.