Wednesday, April 27, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Fiddle Faddle


I am taking a watercolor class and this is the result or lesson. Not exactly my style but it was good to learn about mixing colors and figuring out what I should copy and what I should add of my own. This is definitely a combination. I am happy to say I am learning, and that is what counts. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Flying Above

I starting taking a water color course in hopes of painting better flowers. This was from a value study. I learned quite a bit about soft edges and trees. This painting brings up so many emotions about beauty and being alone. I thought that it paired well with this Irish Tune that Joe Donavan sent me. 

"The Parting Glass"

Of all the money e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm I've ever did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure time to sit awhile
There is fair maid in the town
That surely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart enthralled
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades e'er I had
They are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts e'er I had
They wish me one more day to stay
But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you all 


Sunday, April 24, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Lily Pads of Richmond Pond


Last night I went to see an Avant-Garde Dance troupe at Meany Hall in Seattle. Inspired by Mark Morris and his dancers, I took the playbill home and cut it up to make these dancing lily pads of Richmond Pond. Where sat my parent’s summer cabin in the Berkshires.  I played there for over 35 summers. It’s a place I return to in my mind when I seek meaning and solace. During the day I would paddle in our inflatable canoe around the lilies which meant curiosity could arise at a moment’s notice And observation could take a front seat while restless body would have a job to do keeping me moving through the cool blue waters. During the nights we went to see the famous Berkshires summer music, dance and theatre. Just like last night, it was the best life had to offer. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge. Sea Flower

 I took a break from painting to spend the day with my grandson, Mateo. We went to the aquarium.

The anemone looks a lot like a sea flower non?

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

30 Day Challenge. Splish Splash of Color

 I perpetually ask myself this question. Why are you wasting your time? Is your art a Passion or an Obsession? Is this a security blanket or an unhealthy attachment? Surely there are more valuable things to do in life. Perhaps a little more reading, writing, house cleaning, yoga, help someone in need? Perhaps a job at home depot? I tell myself I can stop anytime, but I don’t. Instead I listen to the leaves rustle in the morning, look at the various hues of green and yellow out my window, watch the clouds and just immerse myself in the morning quiet. I’ve always been a dreamer. My mother told me my head is “toujours dans la lune.” And now after a life of fighting the dreaming, I have become a first class drifter. Swept away by beauty. Finding bits of focus then grabbing my arsenal of tools that scatter my desk to try once more and capture the moment. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

30 Day flower Challenge. Hellebore - A Winter's Joy

Hellebore a winter joy - This watercolor was created with a paint-along-you-tube from the de winton paper co. You tube tutorials are awesome. My hats off to all those amazing teachers willing to share what they learn. And so much is for free. 


Here the stamens are in their glory. They are massive, long and showy. This is the only winter blooming plant in the Seattle area and by now they are getting ready to fall away until next winter.

 I did take a look in my own garden and found a hellebore still in bloom. The stamens are gone and now only the fused pistils are there, getting ready to bare its seed.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

30 Day Challenge Cosmos


In honor of the cosmic universe, I give you cosmos to celebrate the eternal gift of now.

Friday, April 15, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Calla Lilies for Good Friday


I did this with the help of a you tube tutorial. I am wondering if it is time to take a real class with this teacher Maria Racynska. She has pays great attention to detail and I think I could learn a lot. The goal of the month has been to improve my water color skills. And I feel the progress happening. Good teachers multiply time and effort. 

It  was a good day, Alex and I spent time in the back yard preparing a raised bed for tomatoes, squash and green beans. We rode through the day with the promise of spring at our heels. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge. The Calla Lily


I think this may be a case where the still life set up is better than the art work. Clearly I copied the model all the way. But my imagination is rock bottom when it comes to dressing up people. I don't know why those sort of details bore me to death. Although when I see good outfits on other characters I go crazy in love with them. 

What I like about this composition is that the man has made himself small to better appreciate the details. .   Is he swept away by her beauty? Or a botanist and filled with questions. 

I don't know what to do because I feel the same way. Do I study the science or enjoy the beauty? I certainly feel that both could feed each other.  But a good diagram demands the art be informative. And art that asks the viewer to enter the see beauty that should NOT be too informative. This is like a map vs the landscape. Both have different purposes. 

Over the years taxonomy has taken on more complication in hopes of achieving greater accuracy. Family, Genus Species isn't enough. Now we need Clades and Tribes! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

30 Day Challenge A Pansy for Steve

 A Pansy for my brother Steve.

RIP in 2009. He took his own life and I just wonder if he new how much he was loved. Life isn't just about the beautiful and whimsical. You are not alone if you struggle with your humanity. True we are amazing but we are also a hot mess. He loved flowers and it was something that we both enjoyed talking about. He was a member of the Mensa society and was indeed quite knowledgeable about botany. I am not such a member, and in fact as I get older I struggle to learn new things. But for some reason Botany calls and I am responding.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Day 8. Sweet Violets


My dad's idea of the perfect flower is the violet.

On my 21rst Birthday Alex took me to Tavern on the Green in Central Park. By far the nicest restaurant I had ever stepped into thus far in my young life. My dad phoned  me at the restaurant. Back in 1977 that meant that the waiter would lug over a phone, cord and all to the table. He said he sent over some Violets and they would arrive shortly and that he loved me very much. I felt like a princess. 


They never came, but that didn't matter. It was the thought that counted.


Now the wild variety grows in my yard. If you are from the NW you might think of them as a weed. But for me they are confirmation of my Royal Veins.

Friday, April 8, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Day 7 The Primose

I dragged this pot of Primroses from my front porch. They have been in bloom since late January. I thought I would observe and paint them. Primroses are such troopers. Wilth the bulk of annuals waiting until the good weather, these hold their bloom in the cold. 



My mother gave me primroses  the day after my son Keir was born. She went to take a walk and  probably pick them up at a gift shop. It was September and although out of season, nursery's find ways to force their bloom. Coming from a family of five childen getting a gift from mom was special. I cherished the plants for months. Until the very last bloom fell off. Then I was at a loss of how to get them to keep blooming.


These primroses will head back to the front porch and will no doubt be tossed in May and supplanted with geraniums that come out around Mothers' Day. So be it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Day 2 Spring Fling with the Five Petal Flower.


I have no idea of the variety here. I just painted these flower following a tutorial on  you tube. I like the loose look and papery feel. Below is a list of possible five petal beauties

  1. Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
  2. Prince's Pine (Chimaphila umbellata)
  3. Swamp Candle (Lysimachia terrestris)
  4. Forget-Me-Not
  5. Baby Blue Eyes
  6. Columbine Flower (Aquelegia canadensis)
  7. Sandwort (Arenaria grandiflora)
  8. Four O'Clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
  9. Hibiscus
  10. Plumeria
  11. Lenten Rose (Plumeria acuminata)

Friday, April 1, 2022

30 Day Flower Challenge Day 1


Here is a morning glory.The first of what I hope to be many flowers for the month of April. 

Family Convolvulaceae
It is a funnel flower with a star like pattern
made up of 5 united petals
5 separate sepals
The leaves alternate
The ovary superior
There are over 1,600 varieties world wide.

 Growing up in Maryland, my mother had morning glories just next to the railing of our  front porch. They trailed all the way up white string to the top of the porch providing the perfect amount of dappled shade. She shared with us her fascination for their opening in the morning and closing at night. Th morning shade buffered the hot easter sun and the closing at night allowed for the last rays to touch our faces.  She took great pleasure showing them to all of  her five children and even to the neighbors who passed by.  We in turn were quite proud of the display as well.

I can still remember standing in the dappled sun just behind the backdrop of open flowers. It was morning and my mom was having her very hot strong coffee and admiring this plant. I would look at each bud and watch the way it tangled itself around the string. They were plentiful. Audacious even.

When I moved to the Seattle area, I was told they were weeds. It's so wet and lush here that it is true what they say. I see them growing on the side of the road and on top of other plants. I have even gotten rid of a few vines myself. But secretly I want to grow them again, Have them vine up my back porch to remind me of this precious childhood memory. 

I have many memories of hanging out on that front porch. It faced South and I would see  rolling hills beyond the single row of houses that stood opposite our street. We grew mint on one end of the porch and had a rose bushes as well.  My brothers Luke and Steve loved plants as much as I did. Steve even earned a degree in botany.