Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Art and Nature

Here they are all grown up and blooming.
I get such inspiration and rejuvenation from the garden.
What could be better than sitting on the deck, in the sunshine, drawing the flowers blooming all around you?
Nature and art seem to go together so naturally.  Even the original cave paintings show nature - well, usually man conquering nature as they show people driving mastodons over a cliff.  But still, art is a way for us to make sense of the world around us, to capture a part of nature forever.
In the dead of winter, when I look at this little sketch, I can remember the sunlight and the birdsong and know that nature renews itself as it renews me.
Watercolor pencils in the Pentallic sketchbook.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Welcome back, my lovelies.

These are the promises that greeted me on the morning of the longest day of the year.   We've had a lot of rain this year and many days of grey, sunless gloom. 
Then, there were two or three days of glorious sunshine, just in time for Solstice.  The perennials took that as a sign and wasted no time putting up buds. This is what, as gardeners, wait all winter for.  The perennials always know when to send up their buds as a solemn promise that summer really is on its way.

These superstars are (from left to right) Japanese Daisy, Siberian Daisy, and the always lovely and graceful day lillies.  Welcome back!
Pen and watercolor pencils in my lovely new little Pentallic Nature Sketch sketchbook.  The paper is divine and takes water really well.  I like it a lot.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EDM 276 - Draw your grocery store

Home renovations and a monstrous cold have left me little time for drawing.  This is our neighborhood grocery store near my house.  It has recently gone through a massive renovation.  I think it's finished now, but it remains a singularly uninspired piece of architecture.
What did inspire me though, was the dramatic sky that was transitioning from ominous and threatening to blue sky and fluffy clouds.
I don't think this is very successful - I'm not happy with it for a lot of reasons.  With skies it seems that you have to wet the paper, drop in the paint, walk away and hope for the best.  I think it requires lots of practice so that you know how much the various paints will spread and how much water to apply.  I will keep practising and next time I will try add lots of paint and then blotting clouds out.  That might give the softer, more nebulous look that I want.
For better or worse, I always post the EDM challenges that I do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Creative Every Day - Bliss

There are so many things that are blissful in my life. I am fortunate that way. The beginning of gardening season is one of the ways that my soul renews and rejuvenates itself. We've had lots of rain over the last two weeks, but I managed to plant the bedding plants and tomatoes and seed some lettuce in between showers of rain. It was blissful. With my hands in the dirt, and the sun warm on the back of my head, all seems right in my small corner of the world. Nurturing the small plants, watering, fertilizing, coaxing them into being the best they can be is blissful. Listening to the birds splash in the birdbath, squabble amongst themselves, and sing the sun across the sky is blissful. Sitting on the patio, viewing my garden, with a soft pleasant ache in my muscles, sipping on a Wild Rose WRaspberry Ale is blissful.
It doesn't get much better than that, unless of course, you add in drawing what you planted. Now that's bliss.
This is also my 250th post.  That's also kind of blissful (and amazing).

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Harbingers of summer

The irises are blooming in my yard right now. I planted these many years ago, and they are the plants that made me believe I could be a gardener. They are hardy and cheerful and low-maintenance. When they bloom, I know that summer is not far away no matter how cool and rainy the weather is. In fact, they are one flower that often looks better in cloudy weather with raindrops glistening on their petals.
Watercolor in the Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Mat showers and flowers

My tulips came up and budded out in April when we had some nice warm weather. Then the weather turned cold and they stalled. These ones I rescued from the snow that threatened to crush and break their stems. They bloomed inside and were such a sunny, cheerful hit of spring I had to draw them. And this poem is the perfect description.

by A.E. Stallings
The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,
Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading finishes like starts,
Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.
The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see—
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,
The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.