Friday, April 25, 2014

Mini Iris

This is the first year I've tried growing these and I was surprised at how really tiny they are.

The reason that I covered them with gravel was to discourage the squirrels from going after the bulbs. So far it seems to be working and I'm looking forward to seeing how many of the other bulbs that we put in will come up this spring.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting started in the garden

I'm glad to see warmer weather and am deciding where to start on the garden. I haven't ordered anything in because there's so much here that really needs trimming, transplanting and clean up.

The large containers I used by the studio last year for peas and carrots will be put to use for my strawberries. Having them up near my worktable will make it much easier to check on them often and it's easier for me to walk on the driveway than it is to cope with the uneven ground in the back yard.

I'm in no hurry to drag the walker out here so I'm setting things up so that I can manage a lot of the work without it.

We are hoping to build more raised panting boxes but those plans are on the back burner for now.

Meanwhile, it just feels SOOOO good to sit out in the sun...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bright Yellow for Spring

You caught me daydreaming of the time when I can have flowers blooming in the yard instead of confined to pots in the house. I started with pen and ink drawings yesterday and am moving on to colored pencil today.
If the flowers last long enough I'll be moving on to acrylics next.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Quite a week

No progress on the garden. We got about 10 inches of snow which seemed to confuse the chipmunk, squirrels and birds who are apparently sure that it MUST be spring in spite of the snow.

The only art happening was in the mail but I did make some progress sorting out my work table and making room for the day that I will get back to painting.

There was quite a bit of company popping in and out and phone calls every time I turned around so it would have been hard to work on a painting anyway so I guess it was just as well.

I designed a lot of new products in my stores and got rid of several hundred that weren't selling in an effort to keep things fresh and come up with something that will make everyone happy.

I've got a couple of pots of bulbs in the house so that I will have some fresh, spring flowers to draw or paint. They bloomed so fast that I may not be able to capture them on paper and canvas in time.

Wish me luck! I'll post any results here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Recycled Catalog and Scrap Paper Greeting Card

Here's a look at the finished project:

I started with one of my old drawings but you could use a page from a kids color book or some clip art. Anything that's big enough to glue bits of catalog pages to.

I found it easiest to glue things is the right places and then cut my finished design out making any changes along the way that I needed to. I ended up changing the shape a bit in order to get the petals from the garden catalog pictures to fit.

Next, I looked for card stock and paper pieces big enough to make a card out of.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The snow's gone in the front garden

The snow has finally cleared out of the front yard and I've finally been able to be outside again.

 I'm starting small by moving some of the decorations around and deciding which of the furniture needs a bit of retouching or repainting.

The squirrels are having LOTS of fun swinging on the bird feeders and chasing each other around the yard.

I'm having less fun in the yard just picking up small branches and trimming back old grapevines.

It's a bit wet out today so I didn't want to take my old camera out but I'll take pictures for you as soon as the weather drys up a bit.

Yesterday was warm and dry enough to get some spray painting done so I experimented with some different finishes on the butterfly wall hooks I started a few months ago.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

of butterflies and brushstrokes

You may remember some paintings I'd done recently with black backgrounds. Some of the single butterflies worked out for designs but I had no real use for the finished painting. Always one to recycle things or upcyle them into something more useful. I decided to add other colors to the background area and use each of those places to practice a few basic brushstrokes on.

The thing that makes this project fun is it's similarity to that chair design I had in a magazine years ago. Whenever I feel stuck creatively and unsure of which direction to go next I fall back on some of my old favorites and mix them with things I've been doing since. Often the effect is something new and exciting. Even when it's not successful it's refreshing and pleasant work that helps me get ready for the next idea.

Snow fooling

 Can you believe we're starting April like this? I took these photos YESTERDAY.

Things are beginning to melt and clear up today. There's a clear patch in  the driveway and all the snow is off the sidewalk and the street.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Challenges of Painting what you grow

It's probably true with most creative people that we avoid the work that takes the most out of us. It's what I call wading around the shallow end, we're reluctant to really dive into the pool because you never know how really deep it is or how long it will be before you come up for air.

A painting is much more than you see on the surface. I'm sure you're thinking "what's so hard about flowers?"

For those of us that grow them too there's choosing the variety, the place that you want to plant it, getting it to grow and then choosing just the right moment to paint it when it's open at the stage that you're trying to capture.

Working from photos just isn't the same as chasing the light and seeing the subtle changes with each shift of both the sun and the plant.

There are a lot of other things I could paint but few that I'm as passionate about so for know I'm doing some cleaning, organizing and card making as I wait for the weather to fill my garden with color.