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Sunday, February 26, 2017

English Garden

One of my favorite things about England was seeing all of the gardens. We saw plenty in London, often more formal. We were lucky to go to the Cotswolds , away from the city. The area is famous for its thatched roofs and idyllic views  of sheep in the fields. The gardens were glorious. They were often with the most unassuming cottages; making the house seem grander than they were.This painting reminds  me of the old fashioned feeling of the English country garden.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Moonlight

I learned in a workshop once that it is a good idea to change colors every few inches in a painting.. This is to keep the painting interesting. I don't always remember to do that but I think I was successful in this painting. I didn't have the idea that it was  in moonlight until I finished painting. That is one of the things I love about painting; there is always room to be surprised.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Raise the Bar

Since moving from Pennsylvania where thousands of tulips were just two miles away from me; I savor every one I see. My husband always plants daftodils and tulips every year for me. It is a great Valentines day present to me. Because it has been so warm, the daffodils are already blooming. The Japanese magnolia, bradford pears and forsythia are also competing for attention. But tulips are always first in my heart.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

FULL SWING

Another take on zinnias! These remind me of a group of friends squeezing in to take a selfie, trying to make sure their faces show up in the picture. I don't think of them as shy, retiring flowers. They are full of self esteem ready to be elected cheerleaders.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Rose

i like  close ups of flowers. The first time I tried it I was intimidated because it seemed so complicated. But I soon realized it wasn't as hard as I thought when I knew that I did not have to draw every single petal; there would be no visit from "the rose police" to arrest me if it wasn't exactly like the actual rose. It then became pleasurable!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BIG PICTURE

Another important thing in art is composition. I don't always follow the rules; they are made to be broken. But some rules are worthwhile. A painting composition is much more dynamic with some diagonal lines.It has something to do with drawing the observer's eye into the picture plane. That is not to say that I couldn't paint these pots of flowers in a straight line; just that I could do something else in the composition to make it interesting. That could be done with color, value or texture.

POP UP BLUE

Whoever invented the color wheel knew what they were doing. I remember in college doing what I thought were boring exercises using different color schemes. I now know they were very important. This painting has an analogous color scheme. In elementary school language that means neighboring colors. The blues, greens and turquoises help each other out to make a soothing combination.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

By the Book

I do love roses. This simple arrangement seems very tranquil to me; just a few elements to take in.Glass is an obsession with me. I remember painting it for the first time. I was very intimidated but it is like a lot of things in life- you just have to try it. The worst thing that could happen is that I might fail and try again.

Monday, February 6, 2017

School House

I found this old photo at a flea market in Maine years ago. It is of students and teachers obviously posing in front of a schoolhouse somewhere probably in New England. It gives a glimpse at what the social structure was at the time.Some of the students are barefoot and in overalls. They must have been the rural farm kids. Some others have nice clothing and shoes; perhaps they are the town children- sons and daughters of the banker or merchants.
My cousins went to a one room schoolhouse for part of their schooling. When my family visited my aunt's family I went to school for a few days in the little school.the teacher taught all 8 grades and did it very well.I went to a suburban elementary at the time and certainly not accustomed to such a small place but it was a great experience.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Great Delta Tour

I went to New Orleans a foggy morning a few weeks ago. While there I went with some friends on the Great Delta Tour of the swamp and delta area of the river. We had a knowledgeable tour guide who was also a bird expert.Although it was a foggy morning , we were able to see a lot .
This is a photograph of the area that I added a filter to make it more interesting. I hope to use it to make a piece of art work.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Out in the Country

The South is a great place to be in the winter but payback comes in July and August. I lived in a rural area early in high  school. In the summer I would take a 2 mile walk to my Uncle's country store. The store had a wood stove  and one of those drink boxes where you put money into a slot and you slid the coke bottle through a track. After it was full, they emptied the container of bottle tops out onto the ground outside the store. The bottle tops became a great paving material.
 The painting above is based on memories of what I saw on the walk to the store. I tried to show the warmth because on some of those days the heat shimmered just like on a desert!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Marrakesh Express

I painted this a while ago and it is now living near New York City. After I finished painting I was thinkng of a title and the name Marrakesh Express came to me. The reason is that it looks more exotic than a typical flower painting--- not your grandmother's African violets. The title is the same as a song written by Graham Nash and recorded by Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969. Their music is even more relevant today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Change of Pace

when I visited London I noticed that these flower stands were found all over the city.Even though there might not be a lot of green space, the flowers offered up a bright spot. Instead of what you might see in a garden setting the metal containers add a bit of rhythm and repetition that make for an interesting composition. It is a good thing it is camera ready because I don't think they would have liked me going in and rearranging for art's sake!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

SELECTION

I have been experimenting with using texture in backgrounds for my acrylic paintings. I have a large(12x16) geli plate that I can cover with paint using a brayer.I then place things on it like bubble wrap, stencils, etc. to create texture. I place the plate onto the canvas and Voila!- interesting patterns. This painting is a contrast of smooth and rough textures.

Call it a Day

I like to mix the modern with the old fashioned. Although the subject matter appears to be from a by gone era, the fact that it is on a modern frameless canvas brings a little edge to the painting.The good old days were romantic but I have read about what it was like to walk on unpaved muddy streets, not to mention the contributions made by the horses! I will take my roses any old way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SECOND NATURE

Zinnias are the all-time favorite "happy flower."The combination of all the variety of colors is breath taking. A perfect contrast is the cool silver bucket.
I am leaving Ocean Springs, MS. today to go back home. I have spent several days with my group of friends That I have known since elementary school..We went to the Walter Anderson art museum yesterday. He was from an artistic family of painters and potters. He often took a rowboat out to Horn Island and stayed weeks at a time studying the creatures and plant life found there and then translated them into paintings.
you are not familiar with him; look him up. His work is a treat. This is a photo of a room in a community center that he painted for$1 many years ago.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Violet Phase

African Violets are one of my favorite flowers. I think it is the texture of the leaves and blooms; very velvety.This composition seemed to have an abstract feel to it.This is in contrast to the old fashioned nature of the flower which has a reputation for being a "grandmother" plant.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas

My parents had huge Oak Leaf hydrangeas planted at their home in Mssissippi. The beauty of these plants is that they have tremendous staying power. After their summer blooming of snowy flowers, the dried blossoms  stay as an elegant reminder of their beauty. Then as fall comes along the leaves turn beautiful colors to rival even the most majestic tree. A definite more for your money purchase.
 I am in Ocean Springs, MS this week visiting with friends who go back to elementary school. That is a long time for some people born in 1952 and 1953. We have a wonderful time together and  feel 18 again as long as we don't look closely in the mirror!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Beauty Follows

The colors in this painting are some of my favorites. I had done a textured background prep for this painting and the texture shows through the flower  shapes and vase.I think it makes the painting much more interesting; a little  mystery added.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Choice Blooms

This was one of a series that I did of the same vase of flowers. I have found that if a subject does not excite me the painting of it won't either. The little bits of lime green with the pinks and purples were compelling enough to paint it several times. This one is headed to Syracuse, New York.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Interior Memo

my husband planted tulip and daffodil bulbs yesterday. I know that seems late to some who live in other parts of the country but it works here in the Upper South. The weather has been unseasonably warm and the ground was not cold enough to plant the bulbs. We have planted in January the last several years and have had beautiful flowers every spring. Today we had a snow so the timing was perfect.
I like these yellow tulips combined with the blue and white pitcher. Very Dutch!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year a few days late. I had hip replacement surgery December 12 but was still able to enjoy the holidays. We had a great time with family all the way through New Year's Eve. Excess cookies and pie have gone the way of the trash can ; it was wonderful but I have to stop!
This photo is from my instagram account- features the top posts of 2016. I have been blessed this past year and hope to be able to create more art in the upcoming months. I learn something new every day!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

WILSHIRE BLVD

Years ago I  went to Los Angeles with my husband on one of his business trips. I walked a lot and saw these cute men walking  home from the store on Wilshire Boulevard. They were talking the whole way constantly and didn't notice me stalking them. I  took a lot of pictures while I walked. I couldn't wait til I got back home to be able to paint this picture. Of course back then was when we had to wait for the pictures to come back to see how they turned out. Not the instant gratification that we have today!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Best Face Forward

When in California a few years ago; my sister in law was gathering sunflowers in bottles as centerpieces for an event. They were all over the counters and tables in her kitchen and just took my breath away with their collective beauty.It is kind of similar to seeing masses of tulips planted close together- so much more impressive than three or four planted in a garden.
 I would love to receive huge bouquets of flowers as a romantic gesture, but only if they were free. My husband knows that I would not want him to spend that kind of  money on flowers- just hoping he wins the flower lottery, even though I have never heard of them!

Ladies in Waiting

We have watched a few period shows like the Tudors.What struck me about them was that so many people lived in a particular castle at one time. It took so many people to run the daily business of what went on; from scullery maids to ladies in waiting for a queen. I wonder what the job description was for a job like that? The ability to sit and wait for hours for nothing to happen? According to those movies and tv series there was a lot of hanky panky!
These beautiful pansies are like those ladies in waiting; all beautiful but groomed to waiting for their chance.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Blue Path

There is something of a fairy tale aspect that this painting.Just enough to image a princess  floating down the path or Red Riding Hood going on her way to see grandmother!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Flowers at the Edge.

My uncle did a lot of farming years ago with his brothers . They had cows and pigs as well as planting a lot of acreage with cotton, soybeans and corn.All of that was for business, but there was always a family vegetable garden. Most of the family gardens I saw usually had a few rows of flowers on the edge. I never asked about it but wondered exactly why they were planted-- seems a little sentimental to me. Maybe it was a female member of each family who put them there! Anyway they  were always beautiful.

Season Red

This painting of Amaryllises is a looser version of ones I had painted before. I try to buy some bulbs every year to enjoy for most of the winter. They usually come in a glass vase with pebbles in the bottom of the vase and water is added just to the bottom of the vase. It takes about a week or two to shoot up and bloom. Last year I had one that had four blooms on one stem!

Friday, December 9, 2016

FAVORITE

This painting has one of my favorite color schemes.I love the transitions of the warm magenta to the cool purple. Those colors seem to beg for a touch of the cool mint green. I am lucky to do what I want to do. I sit down everyday and have the luxury of getting to choose what I would like to paint. This hasn't always been the case. I remember as a single Mom I had a car accident and had to have my car repaired. The guy who owned the body shop asked if I would paint his black 57 Chevy in exchange for the amount of the deductible I was supposed to pay. I had never before painted a car, but was willing to try.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Afternoon Sun

This is painted from some more flowers I had on one of my tables at Thanksgiving.They really lasted a long time;I just threw them out yesterday. I placed them on some napkins that I had bought at Williams Sonoma some years ago. The tablecloth they matched is long gone but I do love the color and patterns of the napkin fabric.They are perfect with the yellows and reds of the flowers.