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1/4 Sheet Mixed Media (gesso, watercolor, frosty ink)

Arches 140#CP

 

The late fall see-saw of weather changes are here -- today, for instance, was a mild 60F, but this morning -- a FROSTY 34F ... BRRR .... along with a covering of morning frost that rimmed the leaves, made the grass crunchy, and for the south, the look of a light snow. OHHHH, I am not ready! LOL

 

But knowing that these colder days are coming to stay, I was truly inspired by Denis Collette's recent capture of a frosty morning in his woodlands. I was so taken by his photo, I painted this interpretation, and thank Denis most sincerely for allowing me to post it here. Please stop by Denis' flickr stream

www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/8170679405/ to enjoy a rich array of poetic images of a homeland that he clearly loves. Once again, blessings, Denis!!!

 

With Thanksgiving this week, we are busy preparing for the holiday as we'll be hosting the dinner this year. Afterwards, my son and daughter-in-law will make their annual 'Black Friday' trek to dozens of stores, malls, the discount houses, and wherever the sales take them. Meanwhile, we will be enjoying the grandchildren, and in exchange, my son will be doing a bit of holiday shopping for me, too ... personally, I think I got the better deal!! LOL

 

Stay warm ... the holidays and winter are fast approaching!

  

10" x 14"

Arches 140#CP

 

My current state of retirement can be defined in visual terms in this painting, inspired by a fabulous view by Ruby Ferreira

 

See: www.flickr.com/photos/rubenitaugusto/7416181980/in/faves-...

 

Thank you Ruby, for the inspiration and permission to post this!!!!! Please stop by Ruby's incredible flickr site for some outstanding captures!

 

Views like this and the feelings they engender -so exemplify my feelings these days - these days of bright possibilities - days filled with opportunity and promise; days that are free and ripe for creating memories and moments and maybe, bits of magic. (Thank you once more, dear Ruby!!)

 

It's been a busy week - but fun. I spend a day with a youth gardening group talking about squash. We harvested zucchini and together made chocolate-chip, orange zucchini bread -- YUMMMMMM!!!! And to watch those children enjoy and eat bowls of veggies made my heart sing!

 

Then I joined the folks at the Arboretum for the daylong wine tour of wineries in Johnston County -- fun, incredibly educational (who KNEW who much chemistry and horticulture went into a bottle of wine!!!), and yes, delicious!! And then took my grands to see Spiderman! Let me be honest here, I rarely get to the movies. I saw more movies when I was staying with my friend Amy while working out of town then I saw in the last 20 years! So going to the movies was indeed somewhat novel. But oh my gracious -- what a FABULOUS movie!!! When parts of the movie got intense or scary, I would hold Emily's hand, and she and I would scream together! But brave Nick, he didn't even flinch!!! LOL Yep, a chip off the shoulder of his father!!! Such a good time!

 

Today, I am resting. It's been such a dashing-around week, that I haven't spent enough time at the painting table -- but today -- that's the plan!

 

Filing and weeding will wait - though I may take a talk or two ...

 

And dream about another day of sun through the trees and the promise of tomorrow.

  

12" x 16" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

It's been cold. The northeast has been hit with a whopper of a blizzard. And here in the sunny south, there are plum trees in bloom, a colorful haze of opening tree buds in the woodlands, and lawns greening up ... It's nutty weather.

 

I was going through some of my archived 'favorites' and ran across Sharon's incredible photo of this pond. I painted it before in the fall www.flickr.com/photos/linfrye/6922576182/ but wanted to warm my chilly bones and paint it again with the feeling of summertime. I wanted to enrich the reflections so I could include it in the Sertoma's Spring Show "Reflections." Please see Sharon's photo here www.flickr.com/photos/dubonnet/6228002665/ as well as her other wonderful, beautiful and moving work! Thank you Sharon for your gracious permission to use your image once more as an inspiration!

 

It's been an 'over-the-top' busy week ... finished teaching one set of classes near where I used to work, continued teaching classes near my home, met some friends for lunch, was out of town with a friend for a wonderful, 'simple pleasures' party of food tastings, and spent the last two days sitting myself down and finishing many needed chores like art submissions, class write-ups, preparing for an Herb talk due in 8 weeks (have more work to do on that - but my hand-outs are almost ready), preparing paintings for exhibits, etc, etc. I know, I know, those who told me it would be this way once I retired were certainly correct ... who'd have thought?! LOL

 

My prayers are with those in the eye of the storm; hope my thoughts and this image warms them a bit .. Have a super, safe, and warm weekend!

  

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Half Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

The first day of spring brought another week of warm weather with intermittent bouts of thunder, lightning and rain. We desperately need the rain as we are already in drought conditions and the spring blooms are thirsty for a good soaking.

 

These kind of weather conditions make fog and mist a certainty --and each morning I make my way through such conditions on the way to the office. Yet despite our lack of sufficient rainfall, the ponds and lakes are flowing freely and there is a most delightful sound that these waters make along with the spring peepers and frogs making their mating calls.

 

The woodlands are still a tumble of grasses and reeds and not all trees have donned their spring greenery. Sabine so beautifully captured those tumbled woods and water (www.flickr.com/photos/haikus59/6812801914/in/faves-linfrye/) that I was moved to pick up my brushes and paint! I added the foggy mist to the view to honor a bit of my own experience. Thank you so very much, Sabine, for allowing me to use your photo as a reference and for the inspiration!!! Please stop by Sabine's wonderful flickr stream for more wonderful work!

 

We've been doing our 'spring cleaning' at the Arboretum as we finish some garden installations and begin the annual battle of the weeds. We've another workshop this afternoon and we'll continue pruning our fruit trees and berries. It won't be long before we'll be gathering the first strawberries of the season!

 

Hope your day is wonderful!

  

10" x 13"

Arches 140#CP

 

I've always loved the woodlands and the gift of water that runs through them is an especial blessing this time of year. The creeks are flowing once again, the frogs have begun their chorus, and when the light makes its way through the dense foliage, there is a magical moment that is almost transcendent.

 

This inspired feeling was what I felt the first time I saw Denis' image 'Wild Poem' (www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/4147040318/in/photost...). I was transfixed by the light he captured and awed by the play of colors and forms. I was absolutely enchanted!

 

I was finally able to attempt a bit of that feeling through my interpretation of Denis' photo in watercolors. I've given my version a bit more light for the springtime of the year ... but hope that the magical feeling that was evoked by Denis can also be felt in this work.

 

Thank you once more, Denis, for your permission to use your photo as a reference for this work -- and more - for the magic your work continually inspires!

 

I think the painting is fitting today as well, as it is the first day of daylight savings. Last night, we set our clocks ahead so that more daylight hours will be available in the evening time. For me, that means waking in the dark and driving to work in the dark, but being able to work and play more in the evening hours. Hmmm.... I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not when it seems more and more of us are sleep deprived! LOL

 

I hope your day is wonderful ...and you can enjoy an hour more more of sunlight!

 

Inspired by

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

The start of a day with the bright rise of the sun is a view that seems to bless the hours ahead. There's a joyful hopefulness in such light -- and for me, a lifting of the spirit as though in prayer. The photographs by my friend, Maurizio - have that quality. To me, each capture of such a sunrise brings such a feeling of optimism - so much so that I am captivated and enthralled by his work.

 

Maurizio graciously allowed me to use one of his photos to use as a reference for this painting - and I thank YOU, Maurizio!! (www.flickr.com/photos/53359531n04/6859614072/in/photostream).

 

For my interpretation, I gave the scene a 'later-in-the-morning' light and there's more pinkness in the painting than in the scan.

 

I also fell in love with the light on the water and the marsh. It so reminded me of Charleston and all the mornings I spent there as I raised my children .... the gentle lapping of the water against the lowlands, the soft soughing of the wind through the grasses, the promise of the sunrise for a warm, bright day ahead.

 

Thank you, Maurizio - for your brilliant photography and the inspiration and memory it invokes.

 

Have a bright, sunny, wonderful day!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

The mornings begin mighty cold lately - mid 40s ... but by afternoon, we are in short sleeves and enjoying temps in the 70s -- and some days, near 80F! This makes for our trees to really take on colorful changes. Yesterday, I was busy snapping photos of the yellows, golds and bits of red that have finally appeared ..... Though we are far from color peak ... it's amazing how a week of cooler tempratures, and this week we'll have rain, the parade of hues will really be running fast!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO MY CANADIAN FRIENDS!!! I'll bet YOUR colors are glorious about this time of the season!

 

Glorious day yesterday! We took my ailing computer to the shop -- I get it back today; spent a few hours painting with my friend in the great outdoors, had a quiet, terrific dinner, and then returned to the park for a leisurely walk! MY KIND OF DAY! Relaxing, and filled with just enough diversity to make it fun!

 

We're off to the farmer's market and running errands - but what seems different this weekend, is that NONE of these things are obligatory -- so there's a feeling of relaxation and adventure -- again, both needed after such a strained few months!

 

Hope your day is terrific ..! And thank you for your kindest comments yesterday!

1/4 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

I woke this morning to record temperatures – already we are in the high 60s reaching easily into the 70sF and tomorrow – perhaps 80F! CRAZY! The Bradford pears are in bloom, and behind them, the dogwood buds are so swollen that it will be a matter of days before they too join the parade of springtime that began six weeks too early. In our part of the US, the groundhog could not have been more wrong.

 

But it’s not just the blossoms that are gracing our landscapes these days. The remnants of fall berries are also persisting ….

 

My friend Jerri captured some of these berries in her awesome photo (www.flickr.com/photos/41612388@N02/6810089384/in/photostream). I just fell in love with this image, and Jerri graciously allowed me to use her photo as a painting reference. THANK YOU so much, Jerri for permission to use your incredible capture!!!

 

I was inspired to give these berries a loose, airy feel – a nod to the winds we’ve been having – and a bit of light for the season. It still makes me shake my head that this Sunday we begin Daylight Savings Time and spring our clocks forward an hour …

.

Again, thank you Jerri for the inspiration – stop by to see some of her truly incredible work!

 

Have a great Friday!

 

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

A special thank you to my dear friend Nancy Rose, whose incredible photography inspired this painting. Please check out her photostream ! Most amazing work! www.flickr.com/photos/nancyandwayne/6309202927/in/photost...

 

This image of Nancy's so reminds me of North Carolina - though she lives miles and miles north of me. There's a wonderful bond among flicker-ites I think - when they share places of home or of things they love. There's a kind of resonance that speaks louder than words that melts the miles and makes the world a bit smaller. Thank you, Nancy, for this part of your world that can now be so much a part of mine.

 

The workshop went well yesterday - we had a demonstration and -- homework! This part of the week we're focused on snow -- and though we get only a few days of it during the year, it's such a special time for us when the while fluff doth fall. So today we return with our value sketches and we'll paint. It's a small group of ten women - most of us know a few of the others, so already there's some instant camaraderie. Some are beginning their painting journey, others are looking to try something different, still others are there to learn how to make improvements to their work. It's a good group.

 

Temperatures are in the 60s and 70sF again - seems so fickle and a bit of a challenge to imagine bare trees and blankets of white. I've pulled out some of my photographs from last winter and know in my soul that those cold, icy days aren't too far away.

 

Still, lingering on the porch in only a sweater was an absolute delight -- one more day without bundling up and having the heater run.

 

Hope you have a day of sunshine and creativity. And thank you for your most kind comments and invitations. They are most sincerely appreciated!

10" x 13"

Arches 140#CP

 

Though the blossoms and chartreuse greens in the landscape say 'spring' -- our sudden plunge into into freezing temperatures suggest that we're back to fall ...! With a sweatshirt back on and a chill in the air, I was inspired by Sharon's wonderful capture of a fall river walk www.flickr.com/photos/dubonnet/6228002665/ and she graciously permitted me to use her photo as a reference for this painting!

 

THANK YOU SHARON!!!

 

I love Sharon's work -- from flowers to landscapes - each image is so beautiful and inspirating!!! Take a look yourself!

 

I spent the last few days preparing for the plant sale, repotting plants, cleaning bits of the greenhouse, making signs, and all the minute details that go into a 'sale-a-bration' fundraiser. I'll be as busy next week as well - so my computer time has been shortened indeed.

 

Today our volunteers return and despite the last few cool days, our kale, chard, lettuce are ready for harvest for the hungry. We'll also work a bit outdoors to tidy up the grounds -- so again, a busy day.

 

Hope your day is great ... Stay warm ....!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

A quiet pause in the day

Save the scuffles

of leaves under

our feet ....

 

My sincere appreciaton to Fossibear for allowing me to paint from his incredible work ....!Please stop by to visit his wonderful flickr stream (www.flickr.com/photos/fossibear/)!

 

Our walk through the park this weekend graced us with a quiteness that we haven't experienced there in a long while. There were no ball games, no soccer games, not too many other walkers... just that rare autumnal hush that seems to quiet time and surround us with a long sigh. Only our feet making their way through leaf litter made any sound ....

 

Back to work and though a short week for the Thanksgiving holidays, it's been busy with meetings, budgets, planning meetings, and more changes. Somehow the immersion back to the workweek makes a week of art seem ages ago! LOL

 

We're in for some rain today and tomorrow, but the temperatures have -- including the flowering shrubs -- confused. Last week, we needed winter jackets and mittens; this week, our students are in shorts and flip flops ... and instead of readying for the winter, so many plants are putting out another flush of growth.

 

I'm having some computer issues at work, making comments and viewing difficult. I hope these will be remedied soon.

 

Hope your day is wonderful!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

It was overcast yesterday with a hint of rain and with a chill in the air, perhaps a snowflake or two in the forecast. Alas, our air is so dry and we are in such need of preciptation, that even with the right clouds and cold--nothing. Nothing but gray! As I walked around the campus, I noted the full bloom of maples and a few hickories, the crocus, daffodils and hyacinth. Still --

 

I am not ready to let go of my hope for at least ONE snow this winter. And we have had snows as late as March and April. But nothing here yet.

 

So, I turn again to my flickr friends who continue to inspire me with THEIR snows - and one place I go to for inspiration (especially winter snow scenes) are photos by Denis Colette. Denis takes the most AMAZING views of his river and woodlands, and must feel about the natural world as I do - for his photography is like visual poetry. One image of his (www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/4444291198/in/set-721...) inspired this 'warmer' treatment of snow, and I thank Denis not only for permitting me to use his photograph, but more - for the constant inspiration that his artwork brings. His creative images send me to dreaming ... and the place where ideas incubate to become real. THANk YOU SO very much, Denis!

 

It promises to be another warm and sunshiney day - beautiful really - but we've begun the year in great need of rain with temperatures that haven't killed off enough insects, and I suspect this year will be one of terrific challenges for gardeners.

 

On guard!

    

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

There are some mornings that begin with such a rosy, bright glow - but I haven't enough of these lately. So when my friend Fran posted a beautiful image of a brilliant pink, yellow and blue sky (see 'Heaven and Hell' www.flickr.com/photos/fahansen/6674515683/in/photostream) - I was enchanted.

 

My approach to this painting was a bit softer, and I added a bit of rock materials to the bottom of the page. I LOVE Fran's description our the two different treatments (see below) ... but more, I LOVE how one image can inspire another, and this inspiration, inspire something even more ... It's a marvelous web of sharing individual visions of the world ...and we are blessed to be able to view and enjoy each new idea and approach. Thank YOU again, Fran, for your constant inspiration!

 

I'm off to work today with another long, teaching day. Tonight I'll be talking about "Cooking with Herbs" and all the recipes I've cooked up this weekend will be the stars of the class. We'll learn more about herbs, how to use them, preserve them, taste some ideas for cooking with them, and if time permits, I'll have the participants make their own 'herbal tea' bags they can take home for later use. Should be fun.

 

The rest of the week I'll be away from the computer as we attend our annual horticultural 'Green and Growing' conference to view all the new plants and products for 2012 and gain some new ideas to take back to the Arboretum and our own clientele.

 

I hope to catch up as I can ... in the meantime, I hope your week is wonderful!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

THANK YOU, Alvar Astulez (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alvar_astulez/) for your most beautiful photography that inspired this watercolor painting. Please take a moment to see his wonderful works!!!

 

In this image, I was attracted to the light, the fog, and the wonderful dawn light .....I changed the fence and angle of the capture a bit to look somewhat like the views I see in my early morning drives through rural North Carolina.

 

We've been busily preparing for another full class tomorrow, and our vegetable gardening class next week has a waiting list!! WOW!

 

It's a warm week and we've begun addressing the gardens outdoors -- I"m hoping that when we meet Thursday for our kick-off Plant a Row for the Hungry we can begin turning over the soil in preparation for spring planting!

 

Have a great day -- and again, my sincerest thanks to Alvar!

Half Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

The mornings lately have been filled with the misty remains of evening showers and the certainty of the day's heat to come. The offical start to spring is only a few days away, but the last two weeks of record high temperatures -- in the 80sF!! -- make the Vernal Equinox feel like the start of SUMMER!

 

I was tremendously inspired by a photo I saw by Andrew (www.flickr.com/photos/100200300400500/6810561554 as it so reminded me of a color version of the mist and fog I've witnessed over the last few mornings. My thanks to Andrew for allowing me to use his glorious photograph as a reference. and more -- for the inspiration it provided for this painting. Please drop by Andrews's flickr to see some glorious captures! Thank you once more, Andrew!

 

It was a busy weekend with lunch with the grandchildren, my husband's jam group filling the airwaves with wonderful sounds, taking in a concert and ignoring, yet again, those pesky weeds and gardening chores that are beginning to gnaw at my conscious. I spent a bit of time painting and simply enjoying the walks around the park inhaling the awesome fragrance of tea olive, marveling at the the scarlet reds of the budding maples, the innocent whites of the Bradford pears, the magenta tones of the saucer magnolas, the pinks of peach blossoms, the pale greens of the elms, and the yellows of the hickories.

 

Dandelions, chickweed, henbit and bitter cress?

 

If I step a little livelier -- I can walk right past them! LOL

 

Have a great week!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

This painting is based on a fabulous photograph by Denis Collette (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/) -- THANK YOU, Denis!! I painted it a long time ago and it has been sitting in my dwindling archives for months... On this rainy, busy week, I thought it might be appropriate to post today -- Once again -- thank you, Denis!

 

My workshop went well last night -- we all ate and learned and ate some more. I was mighty late getting to my room and up early for our volunteers this morning. I've one last busy, full day with meetings - and then home for my first real weekend of rest. I'm looking forward to it!

 

We're in for another weekend of rain - and my garden really needs my attention -- but perhaps the rain will give me that excuse I need to put it off a bit longer.

 

Hope your day is great!

1/8 Sheet

Arches140#CP

 

It's raining outside, and yesterday was full and late ... but thank heaven's, I'm feeling so much better. Still congested - but my head feels as though a fog is beginning to lift.

 

This painting was done over the weekend and was inspired by the work of Denis Collette (www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette). THANK YOU AGAIN, Denis for your considerable and wonderful inspiration!

On a grey, rainy day, this brings me back to days of warm sunshine and fields of Queen Anne's Lace dotting my fields and roadsides! Seems a long time ago! LOL

 

Today we continue preparing for gardening classes - those eye-candy catalogues have been arriving non-stop since the beginning of the month and we are challenged to resist 'just one more plant!' LOL

 

Take care today -- dream sunshine and flowers!

  

. . . I love flickr day - Jan 5, 2014 . . .

 

. . . have you signed the petition yet?? . . . petitions.moveon.org/sign/change-flickr-back?source=s.em....

  

. . . bigger is better . . . Via Fluidr . . . bigger stream . . . via Fluidr . . .

   

10" x 14"

Arches 140#CP

 

When the day begins with frost on my windshield, and the darkness of morning seems deeper and denser than any ink,

When day breaks with a mere changing of the grey,

and clouds gather even more closely,

When sound echos and arrows through the cold air

Then THAT

is a day that I so hope

for snow.

 

But here in the piedmont of North Carolina, even with days that begin with such promise, by afternoon that bright El Sol seems to win the battle of the sky, temperatures rise, and no snow falls.

 

But it is most often then, that my Northern friends on Flickr, provide just the inspiration to fill that longing -- and one of these dear hearts, Denis Collette inspired and filled me with joy with his image "Rivage sur glace...!!!" (www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/6489454849/in/photost...). Thank you Denis -- not only for permitting me to use your photograph for this painting -- but for bringing me that longed for SNOW that sends my heart singing!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

Driving into work this morning, I saw a shooting star -- another rare event for me ....it so made me smile!

 

We have our 'eat-a-thon' today - our volunteer brunch and our college annual Christmas luncheon ...The day will be filled with holiday music and laughter, the joy of folks coming to celebrate the season, and for those of us in higher education, the close of a fall semester. We are all ready for a small break.

 

There's no snow in the forecast for the next week - but I'll keep hoping. And thank Denis, and those of you who are fortunate enough to have some, for sharing that part of the season with me!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

This is a combination of photos - the barn and landscape from Oxford and the wisteria from where I work. Though the wisteria has just begun to bloom at home, here, 90 miles south where I work, it is in its full violet glory. Ropes of the sweet fragranced vine are looping over trees and fences and running along the ground ... quite magnificent!

 

The weather was perfect yesterday for the art installation at the Arboretum, and the press came out for our Plant A Row for the Hungry volunteeers - now over 20 strong - with new folks joining weekly. These eager, incredible folks raked, hoed and installed plants in the entire kitchen garden .... all in time for next week's plant sale -- I almost cried in gratitude!

 

Today, more preparations and the opening of the new Farmer's Market in town.

 

My gracious -- spring has really been coming in on a run!

 

Have a great day!

9" x12"

Arches 140#CP

 

One should be careful for what one wishes. Our warm weather has disappared, and the freezing morning temperatures have arrived! And though I throw on an additional article of clothing -- it FEELS more like the season -- and I can begin to ready for the holidays with a more spirited soul.

 

My thanks to Andrey Salikov for inspiring this painting! Thank you Andrey! Please see his awesome flickr stream! www.flickr.com/photos/andrey_salikov/6441432041/in/photos... Andrey's view is of a frozen winter scene - and it looked so much like the view of my neighbor's farm that it begged to be painted! Thank you again, Andrey!

 

Here and there beech and oak leaves linger on the trees....but for the most part, the woodlands are bare save for the evergreens that seem to anchor the landscape. While the mornings are frigid, the afternoons warm to a wonderfully pleasant 50F to 60F. There is often fog in the morning, and often sunshine in the afternoons. Yesterday was one such marvelous day as we took our Plant a Row for the Hungry volunteers to see the Christmas decorations at our state's capitol and Governor's Mansion. What a treat!

 

There was a small crowd queing to go through the metal detectors before entering the stately home, but we moved quickly - and oh was it worth the wait! The main floor was decorated in high style - enormous Christmas trees from various North Carolina counties decked in different styles. Some were gold, some old-fashioned reds and greens, others, like the one tree in the sunroom and dedicated to our state's military, fashioned with children's drawings and ornaments in red, white and blue! Carolers were singing in one of the rooms and chandeliers, walls, doors, stairways were all swagged with our native greenery! Eye candy to be sure.

 

Our own wreath-making class the night before - see

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002973201572

made us even more aware of how rich our own woodlands and properties are for collecting an incredible variety of different greens and berries and using our native plants for decorations and wreaths.

 

We had a warm, talk-filled lunch, did a bit of holiday shopping, then returned to the college to finish out the day. A grand time for everyone - bringing this kindred group of generous volunteers even closer.

 

I got home late last night and began this weekend's busy commitments. Next week is the last workweek for most of our college employees (not me, sigh), and so it will be filled with gift exchanges, luncheons, and the like. I must have all my gifts, recipes, lunch items ready to take on Monday - so I'll be in the kitchen cooking, baking, and then wrapping and mailing gifts in order to get those delivered in time for Christmas. I won't have much painting time, but the house will smell divine! LOL

 

I hope your weekend is wonderful and filled with those memory-making scents of the holidays!

10" x 14" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

Retirement has been a busy time for me - a lot to catch up with after 11 years on the road, and I'm thoroughly enjoying my time!!! But sometimes in all this catching up, cleaning, changing, organizing, I long for a bit of timelessness.

 

It was in such a moment that this photo www.flickr.com/photos/dubonnet/7251639712 stopped me in my tracks, and brought me right to that quiet space of contemplation and dreaminess.

 

With Sharon's gracious permission, I created this interpretation of Sharon's beautiful plum blossoms. As I painted, I was transported from the heat-filled, sagging heat of summer, to the fresh, new, potentiality-filled moments of spring ... a time both refreshing, and rich with the season''s promises ahead. I used Unryu paper and watercolor to highlight the 'dreaminess' of the image that inspired me. Thank you, Sharon, for your kindness once again. (Please take a moment to visit Sharon's flickr stream to view some awesome work!!)

 

I spent the day with a friend yesterday making peach jam -- the first jam of the season - and luscious it was! We had a light lunch and hours of wonderful sharing and companionship. Afterwards I returned phone calls and began arrangements for teaching various classes in the fall. I'm excited about this opportunity to share with my 'home' community and begin to build new relationships.

 

I'll be off-line most of week and weekend as I'm planning to visit my sisters and Mom and computer time will be limited.

 

Hope your week is wonderful!

9" x 12" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

Returning home after a long, long, long airplane ride and a midnight delivery of suitcases and meeting the intense heat, humidity and dense air of North Carolina, drain me even more than the jet-lag I'm feeling this morning. My body (and I have to admit, soul) are still in a wee town outside of Wetzlar, enjoying Dori's company, fresh brotchen, the cool air, the castles, painting hours, chatter, shared ideas and inspirations .... and though I'm grateful to be home and to return to my beloved family, I think I'm a bit homesick for a place I've just begun to know.

 

So with a mound of catching up to do, three exhibits to get ready for, a garden that has really misbehaved in my absence, children and loved ones to catch up with, I return to the more relaxed atmosphere of a garden I love here in NC - Montrose. I painted this several weeks ago while visiting my mom ... from a photo I took earlier in the spring. I hope to visit the gardens this fall to capture some of those flowering beautings.

 

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend. I'll be laboring to catch up!!! LOL

1/2 sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

Ah retirement! Folks warned me that once they retired they were often more busy than when they were working. And am I finding that to be true! All of a sudden, I have obligations and commitments that seem to be taking more time than my 12-hour days at work!! Go figure!! LOL All I know is that I seem to have less time to paint than I did before -- and I really need to change that!

 

This is another view of the dilapdidated Oxford barn I painted earlier. I can't seem to keep a barn for myself as they are well liked and, gratefully, are selling well. I'm also working on a 2013 calendar of area barns and I need at least two more paintings for that collection. I've taken the photos of some marvelous old barns I wans to include - now I just need to stay home long enough to paint them!

 

I got to see my grandchildren earlier this week... a gift I've been hoping for for a long time. We've also set a movie date next week - and promises of individually-planned activities for each grandchild. I am thrilled to finally be able to do this! I've made plans to see my mom and catch up with her, and now to schedule a long weekend with my daughter and my granddaughters. And yes, fit in more of that much needed cleaning and reorganizing.

 

I still haven't felt that "nothing to do" feeling, but I know it will come eventually. Meanwhile I'm enjoyed all those things I've had to put off ....

 

Our weather has been insanely hot -- days upon days of temperatures in the 100sF with equal humidity. I go outside early in the mornings to water some of the plants, then stay indoors so breathing is possible. We've not had a lot of rain, but next week is supposed to bring a cold front and some precipitation (fingers crossed).

 

I hope the rest of your week is terrific!

10" x 14" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

In the piedmont of North Carolina this year, the fall color is slow to arrive, but here and there, we are seeing a bit more of the reds and golds and oranges that we would have typically seen last month. The early yellows, however, are now turning dark gamboge - and in most hickories - more a burnt umber. Yet many more of our early yellow 'turners' ... have already lost over one-third to two-thirds of their leaves, especially the sycamore and tulip trees.

 

And so, I was inspired, once more, by one of Denis Collette's glorious capture: www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/7005671681/. I saw in my mind's eye his incredible b/w tree in the golden light of early autumn - and the 'vision' reignited that 'I must paint more fall view' feeling that sends me straight to my painting table and has me joyously absorbed in the process of light, water, paint, color, and values. THANK YOU so much, Denis, for permission to use your incredible image -- but more -- for the inspiration!!! (BTW, I used a vertical format for my version in lieu of Denis' horizontal capture.) Please take a few moments to enjoy Denis' wonderful flickr stream -- and see for yourself just how AWESOME it is!

 

It's been a busy time here and our fabulous 70sF sunshiney weather has continued. On Friday, my dear daughter and her two girls came up to spend the night with us as we both attended my daughter-in-law's baby shower. What fun it was!! And I SO LOVED seeing my daughter and playing with Taylor and Riley!! They are growing by leaps and bounds -- and my gracious, their conversations - at ages 6 and 3 -- are so grown up! And holy moly, they NEVER keep still!!! How I wish for an iota of their energy!! LOL (BTW, my son's and dil's baby, a boy, is due mid-December.)

 

I spent Sunday with my son, his wife, her parents, and Emily and Nick enjoying the last day of the NC State Fair. My granddaughter 'encouraged' me to take one of those swirly rides with her - - which didn't look too wild. But by the time my stomach found its proper place and my hands stopped shaking, she, her brother and my son were having a good laugh at my 'wobbly state.' LOL Then to make matters even more topsy turvey, my son fooled me into taking yet another stomach-wrenching ride ....By the time I finally gathered myself -- I had to laugh -- though it took me a good long while to walk steadily .. and no, I never DID open my eyes on either of those rides and my knuckles were indeed WHITE ... geez ... the things we do for the folks we love!! LOL Anway, I won't be suckered into THAT experience again! LOL

 

We're to continue this marvelous weather for the rest of the week -- can't wait to get back out in it and walk on those crunchy leaves! Have a great week!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

I suppose water has been on my mind lately - and a wonderful photo posted of this view by Linda Stilin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stilinstyle/6009955621/in/photostream) inspired this work. THANK YOU SO MUCH Linda! Take a look at Linda's fabulous photos --!!!!

 

I changed the mood to sunset and that rosy glow I seem to favor ....

 

We're down to the very LAST day of voting!!!! We began this challenge with a tornado, experienced drought, floods, and an earthquake, and ended the voting period with a hurricane ... whew! This is one project we won't easily forget.

Thank you for voting one last day! The winners will be announced tomorrow --

 

PLEASE VOTE!

www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Index/439?brand=0

 

Thank you always for your support! Have a great day!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

Thank you all for your birthday wishes for my sweetheart. We enjoyed the day...and even got outdoors a bit in the sunshine. Great to see El Sol again, even if it were only for a day!

 

I've had marshes on my mind lately. Don't know why, but for some reason I've been thinking and dreaming of those Charleston estuaries teeming with the beginnings of sealife. I found a photo reference of a marsh and sunrise and used it to dream about warm days and the sultry summers our family used to spend on those marshes so many years ago.

 

The days, even with a bit of sun, are still mighty cold, but each evening as daylight lingers longer, we know spring will be here soon. I"m hoping we'll get a bit more snow before then, though it seems rain is more in the forecast over the next few weeks.

 

We've another busy week with several workshops planned .... hope you stay warm....!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

THANK YOU once more, Denis for the inspiration for this painting! (Please see Denis' incredible photography here: www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette) ...! Though fall may be behind us, the morning cold temperatures encourage me to find warmth where I can! When I go outdoors to feed the kitties, I find them huddled in their 'cat house' under the heat lights - they too struggling to keep warm.

 

Our temps are supposed to rise for the rest of the weekend and next week - and reach the 60s and 70s .. and though I am still pining for snow, I'll take the warmer weather. It'll be hard to resist the urge warm temperatures as they seem to push us outdoors to the garden -- our last frost dates are typically in mid- APRIL -- so we'll all try to resist the desire to prune and plant! LOL

 

The grands come today for the weekend so I'll be a bit out of touch ..

 

Hope your day and weekend are wonderful!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

The weather has swung to warmer temps - finally - but the fierce wind yesterday kept us indoors most of the day. We ventured downtown for a while, even took in the exhibits at our small history museum -- so good!!! The exhibits so reminded me of why I love Oxford - it showcased our unique architecture (though I don't paint it very often); the farms and barns (my favorites); oral histories; our county's emphasis on education; our wonderful rolling hillsides and rural ways ....

 

This painting is from a photo reference I've had in my files for several years, and one that I painted about three or four years ago. I've simplifed it, changed the lake into a river and added a mountain ... but what draws me to this view are the fields of wildflowers. Here and there along my drives, I'm beginning to see the wildflowers (predominantly weeds -- still so wonderfully colorful) -- making their spring appearance.

 

I'm waiting for the wild mustards to bloom closer to home - they've already done so south of me ...I LOVE seeing those bright yellow fields, though our farmers dread the work they'll need to do to rid their fields of those plants in order to grow field crops ....

 

Soon .... soon ...

 

Have a great day!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

My thanks go to Jen'B whose wonderful capture of Christchurch Harbor (http://www.flickr.com/photos/doggone_photograhps/5418307482/) inspired this painting.

 

What drew me to her image was that moody blue/pink light that comes at the end of the day and which she magnificently captured, the marsh grasses, the reflections of the sky on the water .... I didn't follow her photo exactly, but drew too on my memories of the South Carolina marsh where I spent so many years raising my children. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Jen! Please keep sharing these magnificent views!

 

We had about 30 minutes of snow flurry yesterday - so many of our Plant a Row for the Hungry volunteers didn't make it in. For those that did, we watched a most incredible, frightening DVD "The Vanishing of the Bees" about the decline and sudden disappearance of so many honeybee populations -- HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WORLDWIDE. If I wasn't already convinced about the importance of buying local foods, supporting our local farmers and growing foods organically, this video would certain convince me! I shared it with our volunteers so they could truly understand why we do what we do in growing food for the Food Bank and the philosophy behind our approach to gardening. See the movie it if you can! And I'll see you at the Farmer's Market!

 

Hope you have a great day!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

A friend and I were discussing how words and paintings inspire us in all sorts of ways - music too - and so many images posted on Flickr never fail to inspire and uplift me - and Ian Dalton's work (www.flickr.com/photos/ians_paintings/6057167856/in/photos...) is one of those inspiring sites that I often turn to for just such musing. THANK YOU, Ian, for the inspiration - yet again!

 

It's SOOOO GOOOD to get my computer back from the shop - and to know that it is free of all the snags that seemed to give me trouble the last few weeks. C and I spent the day yesterday running errands - a trip to the Farmer's Market - always a festive event, groceries, eye doctor, this store and that, a walk around the neighborhood - all filled with the cool fall weather, sunshine, relaxation, and the landscape in golden, bright, delicious tones. Absolutely DELIGHTFUL!

 

I've begun seeing more and more reds in the trees and shrubs --- and with the rain coming and more cold nights, it will be a fast few weeks and our peek color should be dazzling!

 

The balers are in the fields, and I hope to capture a few photographs of my favorite hay bales and barns ...what can I say ... I love 'em! LOL

 

HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!

  

12" X 16" Watercolor on Unryu Paper

140# Arches 140#CP

 

Each day I eagerly look forward to the inspiring artwork and captures of my friends on flickr. There rarely goes by a day without me opening up my contacts page and sighing in joyous wonder at the incredible photos and paintings that my friends have created.

 

It was just such inspiration by my friend, Beth, www.flickr.com/photos/74264119@N02/ that I was moved, inspired and fired-up to paint this warm rendition of daylilies. THANK YOU SOOOOO much, Beth, for allowing me to use your photo as a reference, and far more, for the inspiration!!!! BLESS YOU! Please drop by Beth's INCREDIBLE flickr stream to see and be inspired by her AWESOME works!!! Again, Thank you, Beth

 

I fell in love with the textures Beth added to her capture, and the wondrous color combinations of yellow, antwerp blue, orange, cobalt violet, burnt sienna. I added salt to my washes to try to recreate the DAZZLE of her work, and also added unryu paper to achieve a bit more white spots here and there for splash. It was a fun painting ...and I really loved working with these colors -- they sure warmed up the day!!!!

 

I'm working on several other renditions as I try to create a different 'style' or approach to this same image. I really have fallen in love with this color palette.

 

We've been promised another warm week. This morning, it was warm enough to walk outside without a hat, gloves or heavy coat. Mercy.

 

Hope your week is splashy and joyous!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

Getting the colors right on my screen for this painting has been a real challenge ... the wonderful reds and yellows in the painting itself seem to make the scanner go crazy!! (Maybe it too loves autumn!! LOL) Nonetheless, my thanks to Fran for the inspiration and the autumn view (www.flickr.com/photos/fahansen/6336108819/in/photostream) -- her photograph that literally had me YEARNING to join her for a walk in these woodlands! Blessings and thanks once more, Fran!!!

 

Our workshop has been a blend of demonstrations and painting with critiques ...an interesting way of learning. Each of us choose our own images and we were encouraged to have Freeman critique and assist. I've had a good amount of time to paint, which has been a blessing in itself...and I've throughly enjoyed the week. Like most things, I truly hate to see it end!

 

The rain is behind us, but oh my, my woodlands no longer look like this painting. Bare trees are ever more visible, and the leaf litter at my feet is inches high. Temps are supposed to climb a bit this weekend -- another tease of fall ...but the loss of color in the landscape is more prediction of winter.

 

Hope your day is great!

9" x 12"

Arches140#CP

 

My thanks to TT_Mac (www.flickr.com/photos/j_mac_tt/6514098065/in/photostream) for inspiring this painting!!!! THANK YOU TT! Please stop by to see some incredible photographs from TT!

 

It's been a roller coaster of a holiday for us. We've had some incredibly joyful times with our grands and visits with family.

 

But my mom has been ill. Just before Christmas she had a fall, fracturing her hip and requiring a partial hip replacement. She was doing quite well in rehab, but then fell ill with an infection. Just before Christmas Day, her infection worsened and she was rushed to the hospital. For a few days, we weren't quite sure if she would recover.

 

As of last night, she seems to be making a bit of progress - though it's slow going. I'm heading out of town to visit her for several days and will be MIA.

 

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers on my mom's behalf. At 88 years old, these set backs take a long time to work through.

 

Hope your holidays were joyous ...

 

Stay well!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

I painted this wintry landscape before I left to be with my mom. I was playing with some of my friend Doris' techniques (www.flickr.com/photos/djr-aquarelle/) and this was the result. It wasn't what I had hoped to post at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, but it sort of fits with the experiences I've had this week with my mom's illness.

 

She's suffering from Parkinson's disease, had a bad fall, a hip replacement, infection. Her condition seemed to be improving, but the roller coaster ride we've been on this week continues, and the optimism we felt yesterday, has been dashed today.

 

If I can use this painting as an anology, my sisters and I stand in the foreground, aware of the snow and the trees and the winter, and mom, sadly, stands in the magical light away from us - much like the etheral forest of this painting. At times, she joins us, othertimes, she's across a chasm ...

 

It's mighty sad, depressing, frightening, for us ... and more ... for her. We all deeply appreciate your prayers thoughts, encouragement. We'll all need the strength to endure this until the end, whenever that comes.

 

We know that we are not alone in this kind of challenge as we watch our beloved parents age and decline, and we lose them bit by bit ... physically and mentally.

 

Thank you for your patience as my family and I work our way through this...

 

I'll come home in a few days time to pick up the threads of my own life and my sisters try to fit this new challenge into their daily routines. I imagine I'll be making more frequent visits to see my sisters and mom and lend what support, encouragement and relief I can.

 

It's going to be quite a different new year than we had hoped for ...

 

But we're strong, we've got some wonderful support, and like many others, we'll come through this ... and we thank you for being with us through the long, journey ahead.

 

May 2012 be bright and surprise us all with miracles!

 

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

Flowered arbors ... don't you love them?!!! My own small arbor, covered with Jessamine as finished blooming, but the arbors we visited last week at Montrose Gardens were covered with the most fragrant roses!!!

 

I was painting this yesterday - when the phone rang -- to my utter surprise on the other end of the phone - clear across the Atlantic - was my friend Doris - all the way from Germany!!! WHAT A THRILL! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/djr-aquarelle/4733289830/in/contacts/).

 

We chatted for a short while - and I am so grateful for her incredibly perfect English!!! The connection, truly, was far clearer than I often have when speaking across our community!!! LOL Her surprise absolutely made my day ... and I've been hearing her sweet voice all evening!! Now to hope to paint together one day soon!!

 

I've another busy week ahead of me with next year's budget, tours, lectures and workshops to finalize ... where does the time go?

 

I also want to send prayers for the latest victims of tornadoes in Missouri ... this year has been horrific with natural disasters ... over 100 people have lost their lives to another bout of tornado damage ... prayers indeed.

  

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

I'm still working with many of the wonderful ideas presented in Virgil Carter's class .... here, a typical Tuscan farm or vineyard treated with colorful warm colors against a cool mountain range - Tuscany, Sicily, Italy - home of my dreams. I hope to return once more - until then, I visit through my paintings.

 

I'll be heading out of town for several days and will be off line. It'll be a mighty busy time and I won't have much time to paint or have access to a computer - I'll check in as I can - and paint as often as time permits.

 

I hang my 60+ paintings today for the exhibit. I'll have to enjoy this showing once I get back. But we've worked feverishly to frame, mat, create signs and explanations of each piece, organize, and today, finally place on walls. I'll take photos!

 

Thank you too for your continued support and votes for the orchard. We're mighty close - with only 20 days or so until the competition is over and the winners announced!

 

PLEASE VOTE!

www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Index/439?brand=0

 

I hope your weekend and week ahead are wonderful! And keep playing!

  

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

Bill posted an orchid challenge (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorus_maver/5461127055/) in the Watercolourist, Painting with Light group. I have been painting 'loose' flowers for a while, and thought I'd return to more traditional watercolor techniques to approach this very formal flower.

 

I tried scanning my painting on 2 different scanners, but the light bleached out the pale yellow, sky blue and magenta background -- but if you squint a bit, you can just about see the colors in this upload.

 

THANKS so much, Bill for the challenge - Wonderful fun!

 

We've another late night gardening class tonight -- vegetables -- my favorite topic! And a full-house and waiting list!

 

I took a long walk around the campus yesterday - already crocus are up, forsythia is a bright yellow, and our apricot trees (Prunus mume) are in FULL bloom -- yet the temps are in the 40s making spring seem more like a dream than the flowers may reveal ...

 

Hope your day is grand!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

A special thanks to my dear friend Ernesto for allowing me to use one of his incredible photographs for this work. Please check out his wonderfully inspiring photostream - www.flickr.com/photos/vilageron/ .

 

The cold has arrived - and after our bout of rain yesterday, the leaves are falling fast from the trees. Walking from my house to the mailbox is like walking in colorful litter -- only a bit crunchier! LOL

 

It'll be a super busy week as we prepare our grounds and celebrations for orchard planting next week -- it's exciting to think that we'll soon have over 40 fruit trees in the ground - and after a few years - delicious fruit to share! Each time I eat an apple, I'll be dreaming of these trees!

 

Hope your day is magnificent!

1/8 Sheet

Arches140#CP

 

Among all the devastation of property and loss of life, and the bustle of recovery work from Saturday's tornadoes, this small lake near my home sits as a tranquil reminder that there will be less frenetic, painful days ahead. It always seems so contrary to me to have blue skies and sunshine following a big storm -- but there it is ...Perhaps it's a message of hope midst the ruins and sadness.

 

I return to work today to see just how much damage our grounds have endured. I've seen photos and talked to my staff, and we've been spared the worst. I suppose the hardest thing is bearing the disappointment of work and effort lost so quickly and knowing it must be done again .... and again ... and realizing just how fragile it all is ...

 

Still, the gratitude of safety fills us all ... and prayers for those less fortunate.

 

Thank you all for your votes and support!

 

Vote today! THANKS!

 

www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Index/439?brand=0

Para ti kabagis mi, Clifford...

Adda kami la ditoy, kabsat... Urayin da ka agsubli...

 

Solitary creature

Hilton lagoon

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Honolulu, O'ahu

Hawai'i

 

*Inspired by the beautiful body of work of my dear friend, Susan Gary. Thank you, dear Sue! :)

 

Copyright © G.DelaCruzPhotography. All Rights Reserved.

 

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

The storm finally came our way last night - thunder, lightning, wind -- and blessed rain .... thank you all for doing the rain dance with me!!!! It rained for several hours -- and though we still need more -- I am ever grateful for what has fallen and relieved our thirsty plants and wildlife!

 

This painting was greatly inspired by a moving photo by A. Cascalheira (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascalheira/) -- what an incredible photographer!

I loved the pink hues and the still waters! My upload looks bit crooked this morning -- sorry ...!

 

I'm off for several days to visit my dd and granddaughters -- so I'll be mighty scarce until Sunday.

 

I hope you have a great week -- keep the paints wet -- and thank you for your rain thoughts!

10" x 13" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

There is something that just pulls me back to Italy time and time again. I can't seem to get enough of that incredible country! So flickr images of Italy really make me swoon, and the recent posting of Venice at night by Antonello Liguori really had me dizzy with joy! Antonello kindly granted me permission to paint from his masterful photo www.flickr.com/photos/antonelloliguori/8239170688/ -- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Please stop by his flickr stream fto see some incredible, GORGEOUS work!!!

 

Painting abstracts, using bolder colors, attempting more 'mood' scenes, working a bit on buildings are some painting projects I've been playing with these days. Painting this work allowed me to attempt many of these experiments in one painting. I've tried to keep this work loose and a bit sketchy. Not only was this a really terrific learning experience, but painting Venice also brought me back to a city I love. I am so ready to return to Italy!! Thank you once more, my friend, for also evoking fond, loving memories of my time in Venice!

 

My goal for 2013 is to continue working on many of these painting projects, approaches and techniques. It'll be an adventure!

 

What are YOUR goals for 2013?

1/8 Sheet Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

Jean's long anticipated workshop began on Saturday with Jean reviewing her philosophy and approach for painting watercolors, materials, paints, paper, brushes and the like.

 

Our first task was to warm up by 'painting for the bin'. In other words, our task was to paint simply to get the paint flowing freely and with abandon -- and all the time, WATCHING and LEARNING what pigment and water do on the paper. We reviewed the use of splatter (oh yes, I do LOVE to splatter!! LOL), adding salt, moving the paper around, adding water, trying colors that we normally don't use, using saran wrap to create textures, and the like. (One of these warm up exercises created my recently posted "Wash Out" (www.flickr.com/photos/linfrye/8151852150/).

 

After several of these, Jean suggested we visualize and paint a tomato ...simply, paint a tomato. The purpose of this exercise was to use water and pigment to create that fruit all the while learning -- and more -- ENJOYING -- again what is happening on the paper! To learn what each different pigment does on the paper, how it reacts to water, to salt, to the addition of more water. To learn to have a playful attitude toward a particular subject, to paint with that kind of joyousness that most often results in spontaneous, fresh and marvelous works. And we were to accept our painting events - the blooms, the runs and the like. Then Jean gave each of us a real tomato to paint the subject once again ... again painting with the same attitude and joy.

 

The tomato above is my tomato attempt using the tomato I had in front of me as a guide. It was fun! And more, the pressure was off to 'produce a frameable' painting - since we were 'painting for the bin' ... with nothing more pressing than to simply enjoy AND LEARN from the process.

 

(Painting like this is so INVIGORATING and REENERGIZING and RECREATES the reason WHY we paint watercolors in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless you, Jean, for this gift!!!!)

 

The workshop continued with Jean demonstrating flowers, eyes, dogs, people and more. I cannot truly express what her enthusiasm and artistry gave to that room of watercolorists !!! We all were painting tomatoes and marveling at Jean's demos --- and each of us trying to replicate what we were learning with images of our own. (More on the next post.)

 

Jean's 'tomatoes' are shown below along with some of her demonstrations in process.

 

Jean suggested that we paint a tomato every day -- that doing so would teach us everything we needed to learn about watercolor, and all that we needed to learn would be in that single painting - and by the continual painting of the same subject day after day after day ...

 

(To learn more about Jean's philosophy, exercises, demonstrations and the like, please see:

www.jeanhaines.com And try her books and DVDs ... all of them marvelous!)

 

I will be offline much of the rest of this week and weekend as the annual Art of the Carolinas is going on in Raleigh. If you've never had a chance to enjoy this awesome event filled with workshops, a trade show with prices that are to die for, demonstrations and the like - hurry over or see www.artofthecarolinas.com/ for more information.

 

More to follow ...

    

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

This quick painting was inspired by works of Denis Collette (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/) -- THANK YOU Denis!!! Though this particular photo of Denis's is filled with more autumnal color, I left this quick painting lighter as though spring were on its way.

 

It was another late evening yesterday and there is much to do at home today. These busy days make me long for the leisure of the holidays!

 

Our last few days were such a tease for warmer weather - tonight the cold returns and with it, the chance of snow next week.

 

Our Plant a Row volunteers spent the morning choosing vegetables to grow in the greenhouse -- all in anticipation of spring ahead --- hope indeed!

 

May your day be filled with warmth!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

My heartfelt thanks to Nancy Rose whose magnificent images of fall inspired this painting. Please see Nancy's exquisite photos (www.flickr.com/photos/nancyandwayne/). Thank you so much, Nancy!

 

Our colors are still mighty bright - and though our evening temperatures are in the 30s and 40sF - our days are incredible warm and can range from 50s to mid 70s! While it's wonderful to walk in warm temperatures, it sure makes clothes layering a major necessity! LOL

 

Orchard preparations continue, and now we wait for our trees to arrive. Today we work on tidying up the rest of the gardens, organize the day, and work on the kitchen garden.

 

The cisterns we've also won are due to arrive any day. We will be collecting over 5,000 gallons of water from our greenhouse roofs ... and this water will go right to the orchard.

 

Should be another wonderful sunny day before rain returns tomorrow ... Hope your day is great!

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

My special thanks to Annie (http://www.flickr.com/photos/annieclic/) whose wonderful photograph of this view inspired my painting. Thank you Annie for allowing me to use your photograph -- and for the inspiration!

 

We've had a bit of rain this weekend, and it's foggy this morning. The temps climbed to the high 70s yesterday and it seems warm weather will be with us along with the storms that typically come with the spring.

 

My dogwoods are in bloom and my trees are just dressing in their vernal coverings ...the season progresses.

 

Hope your day is grand!

10" x 14" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

When Doris and I decided on this trip, we promised ourselves that we would spend a good amount of time painting and sharing ideas and techniques.

 

I so wanted to learn how to paint buildings like Doris does. So on one of the days we didn't tour, Doris set out to do a step by step of one of the castles we had visited earlier in the week. We decided on Scheffenberg Castle.

 

Doris is a master of perspective and buildings, so she made sure I had a good drawing before I proceeded. Then I went on to try her method in my own 'signature' ... and this is the result.

 

Both the trip AND the painting was a lot of fun!

 

THANK YOU Doris for the instruction AND the Castle visit! See Dor's glorious version:

www.flickr.com/photos/djr-aquarelle/7813673654/in/photost...

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

A good friend of mine sent me a link to French artist Thierry de Marichalar (http://marichalar.blog4ever.com). I love the light in his work and the flow and fusion of wet in wet work. This painting was done from one of his lessons. In real life, there is more yellow and a bit of darker purples .. but I've had a time trying to get the colors adjusted on two different computers! LOL

 

It was a good day yesterday with warm enough temperatures to have our students outdoors and working in the gardens. We even found hyacinths in bloom!

 

Today, it's several talks and teaching and preparing for my training session tomorrow. We're supposed to have rain tonight changing to snow. But the ground is warming and so the snow should be a flurry instead of any kind of accumulation.

 

I hope to be able to take some photos of the hyacinths before the rain sets in!

 

Hope your day is grand!

1/8 Sheet

Arches 140#CP

 

After finally get a better handle on perspective through Virgil Carter's class, I felt I could tackle those barns and angles for the challenge (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stilinstyle/).

 

I also wanted to simplify the scene a bit with a more colorful approach. Since the original photograph was taken in fall, I kept the season the same and simplified the grasses to give more of a focus on the red barn. Since the photograph and property held special meaning for Linda's sister, I didn't want to stray too far from the original ...

 

I'd like to try this again in a different season ...

 

It rained a bit over the weekend and blessed us with much needed water and a cooling down of our temperatures.

 

I'll tackle some long-delayed chores today and see if I can get a dent in that long list of 'one-of-these-days'!

 

Have a great one!

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