Monday, May 22, 2017

DAYTRIPPING DAY ONE AND TWO



When not strolling around Savannah streets, we took day trips outside the city to see some interesting sights.  Some things we've done before (like the Tybee Island Eco-Tour done by Dr. Joe Richardson on the beach) and some things were done for the first time (like the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.  

More photos for you to enjoy.


Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens (55 acres of bamboo, water features, an orchid house, crepe myrtle allee, magnolias, a white garden, mimosas, ponds, camellias, cottage gardens and rose gardens) is still called The Bamboo Farm by locals.  




The land started as a USDA research farm growing and testing nothing but bamboo.  It became the Botanical Gardens when the University of Georgia took over the running and began adding beautiful plants and flowers throughout the acreage.  It is well worth a trip!

























I think this large pond, with mimosas growing along the banks, was my favorite, while Jerry spent a lot of time in the orchid house taking photos.  




Our first full day in Savannah was Sunday, May 14th, and we took advantage of the late opening (noon on Sunday) to spend 2 hours walking the grounds, taking photos, and enjoying the various areas - and we didn't even see it all in 2 hours, but were getting a bit tired by then.



On Monday we took a tour of the Savannah Bee Company, seeing the indoor hive and learning some interesting facts about the life of bees from Henry Givens, tour guide extraordinaire.  We saw the outside hives (one standard and one unusual one that can be set up in your backyard - if your town will allow it).  




The hive is inside the store - and how do they get in and out?  They come in through a pvc pipe in the outside wall that goes into the hive so there is a lot of activity going on.  Henry pointed out the queen, the wagglers, the workers, and how the queen works to keep the hive growing and flourishing.  












Outside, after putting on our beekeeper hats (we all looked so elegant), we saw a traditonal hive and this interesting and unusual one called a plank hive (if I'm remembering correctly).  The top opened up and there were wooden slats (like a zylaphone) over the top of the hive (which had a glass front below the slats so you can see the activity).  Each slat lifts up - and there is the honey.


























I, of course, then loaded up with goodies from the store - honey, whipped honey, honeycomb, honey straws, honey hand soap, etc. 


We got a lot of photos to use as references for more bee paintings!


More to come...














Sunday, May 21, 2017

SEDUCED BY SAVANNAH


We just returned from a week in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.  

Everywhere you turned, there were lovely, aging historic buildings (most built in 1800's or earlier).  White blooms covered the magnolias and every corner was perfumed with their soft scent.  On the streets, thirty-foot live oaks, dressed in spanish moss, curved protectively over the cobble-stoned streets and sidewalks.  There is something beautiful at every turn, even if it's just another style of home with metalwork on the windows, lovely doors and doorknockers, and black metalwork balconies.  It was a wonderful week spent in this gorgeous, warm, inviting city, and I'll have several photos to share.  Here is just a taste :)  





Even though it was warm (at least 80F every day), the trees made for lovely shaded walks.



















The most photographed place in Savannah = Forsyth Park and it's huge white fountain in the center.  The water was spraying, creating coolness on a hot, sunny day.







Is there anything more beautiful than the bold beauty of a magnolia blossom in full bloom?














Savannah homes are decorated with metalwork and pretty doors, arched entryways and stairs.  Shutters on every window whether the homes are brick, wood painted in muted colors, or stone.  

































Savannah folk let the ivy grow up the houses, along the sidewalks, on the tree trunks - wherever.  And it adds another architectural aspect to the whole.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

FINALLY! VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS FINISHED



I was feeling stress about NOT finishing this painting so went into my little room on a rainy morning and finished it.  There really wasn't that much to do, so not sure what was holding me back.  But...done!


Virginia Bluebells

16 x 19.5 inches
on Twinrocker 140# coldpress 





Friday, May 12, 2017

A PAINTING FROM A FRIEND



I took this to my framer, Ken Bowman, last week and picked it up today!!!  

If you remember, this is the Delayed Pollination painting done by Randall David Tipton.  I loved it and he sent it to me!!!  

So I took it to be enhanced beautifully by Ken.    




I think it looks super!


Here is a closeup of the frame, showing the bit of textured look to it which sets off the painting well.



Thanks so very much, Randall 💛







And I did pick out 3 paintings to enter into the Kennedy Heights annual juried show, but won't hear news until June 1.  Will let you know when I know - and will show the paintings, then, but no sneak peek yet!

And you're probably wondering WHEN I'm going to get back to finish the Virginia Bluebells - me, too! ha ha

Friday, May 5, 2017

VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS - GETTING CLOSE



Just about finished - some blue on the bells (with some pinks and violets).  And then some shaping of things to finish it.

(It's odd how the camera picks up whites and makes the bg darker (before I put color in the bells) and now the bg it looks lighter in the photo.  It hasn't changed a bit and is darker - just Daniel Smith shadow violet.




The Kennedy Heights Art Center (Cincinnati) is having a juried show coming up - entry deadline is May 19 (online).  I think I may try to get one or two paintings into that (you can enter three).  I haven't done much of anything since the GCWS member show last summer.  I have been painting but no one but my blog buddies gets to see anything I do unless I get it in a show in the area.  




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS - NEXT STEP



A bit more done on this.  The bluebells will be blue-violet-pink.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS



Started another painting - finally.  It's from a photo taken on a nature hike - of Virginia Bluebells in the woods.  


We'll see how it goes.










The Mayapples are in bloom.



















And found a beautiful arched Sycamore tree warped (for some reason) to arch over the path - very very tall and straight.










Thursday, April 27, 2017

ANOTHER NATURE TRAIL HIKE



After a night of rain and thunderstorms, (a few days ago), it was so muddy we cut our hike short at the Highland Heights Nature Trail.

Straight up hill became interesting coming back down, trying to crab walk so no one fell and slipped on their bottoms!  

Our shoes were caked (but we took extra pairs, just in case so didn't have to get mud in the car).  

We will return and do the whole walk (4.5 miles?) some other time when it's dried out.









Just before I came upon this little clearing, I saw something move quickly from one side of the path to another (away from the stream on the right to this are and on up the ridge).  A deer?  Probably.  But I didn't get a look of anything but a quick glimpse of approximate size and tawny color.







Growth on an old tree.


Next time we go, I want to go up high enough on the ridge to see the old pear tree (that used to be on farmland which has gone back to forest). 


Not many wildflowers but a good exercising walk (if you go when it's not so wet). 












And here are a couple of blooming things in our yard:  

Lily of the Valley (little white bells growing among the hostas in the shaded side of the yard), 

and Solomon's Seal (white bulbs under the large green leaves in the front yard - in front of the seahorse birdbath that has been there for years = bought it for Sweetie's birthday once years ago and can't remember now how long ago).  























Only one pitiful bloom on my lilac this year :)  And nothing blooming on the mimosa - another year or two and I hope it will be covered in feathering plumes.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!


Finished it.  


You Never Listen to Me!

13 x 20.5" on 140# coldpress watercolor paper


The 3-day job took almost 4 days but it's done.  Then I got migraines (from the stress).  Then just felt sore and achy all over.  On a good day, I spent some time working on this, trying to bring the loud-mouthed bird into focus more.  Done.





Monday, April 17, 2017

THE FIDDLY BITS



This one is now at the stage where I just have to work on the fiddly bits = the feathers need better shaping on the squawker bird and it'll be done.  


Calling this one:  You Never Listen to Me!
It's half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on 140# coldpress


I may not be painting for a while.  The crew arrived an hour early this morning to begin work on tearing down and then building a new wooden deck around the above-ground pool in the back.  It's supposed to take 3 days.  It makes me too nervous to focus on much of anything.  I keep getting up to look out to see what THAT noise was, then look to see where the workers are when I hear nothing at all.  Should I move my car, should I go out to take photos of the progress - and so on and so on.  Just call me Mrs. Monk ("cause it's a jungle out there...").  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

HAPPY EASTER CARDS



Two little cards, made with Strathmore All Media blank cards and envelopes.  Also used some watercolor and "puffy paint" craft paint that makes it 3-D.  Fun.

Did you dye any eggs for an Easter egg hunt?  I can't remember the last time I did that - maybe it's a kid thing?







Have a good weekend.  Hope your egg hunt doesn't get rained out.

And remember:  all that Easter candy goes on sale Monday!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

TWO TERNS - NEXT STEP


It is coming together slowly.  I spend more time looking than painting these days, and that's supposed to be a good thing.  


I wonder if spring will reinvigorate me?  I wonder if I am just suffering from old age?  Heaven forbid!! 



I hope spring (or maybe autumn, if you are in the southern latitudes) brings a welcome change for you.  
  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SPRING FLOWERS



The next few days are going to be warm and sunny.  So drove out to California Woods Nature Preserve and had a nice walk (uphill, but not too fast).  All along the walkway (some boards down for the walk, some just dirt path), there were spring flowers popping out all over.  Here are just a few (those I can name, anyway!).


All along the path we took (named Trillium Path for a reason), there were these lovely white trilliums popping out - so pretty.  There were also a few purple ones which were just peeking up - not in full bloom yet but probably out in a few days.


A woodpecker was busy creating holes in the tree trunks, sounding like a construction crew loose in the woods!  Did you know that their tongues are super long and actually wrap around their skulls?  I didn't believe it, either, but it's true!


Many songbirds chirping.  And two hawks (couldn't see what type but definitely hawks) flying high and screeching at each other = mating or fighting or just playing?




























Dutchmen's Breeches, those little white funny-looking flowers that do look like puffy breeches hanging from the plant.















I saw these Mayapples but no flowers or buds yet.  Maybe in May?  You have to look under the large leaves to see the flower and/or the fruit.  













And a natural heart in a tree trunk.  No carving or initials on it - which is a surprise.



It is predicted to be warm and sunny until Easter Sunday, when it will rain on the egg hunts, I think.  Maybe it will hold off until later in the day so the kids (and adults) can search for those chocolate-filled eggs and colored eggs and overdose on candy for the day.


I promise to return to painting next week.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SPRING HAS SPRUNG


I haven't returned to my little art room to finish the terns.  Spring has sprung and I have been able to get out a bit, enjoying the sunshine and warmth.  Some clearing of the front flower and ivy beds done to let the new sprouts come up (need to do the side bed, too).  


And in my back yard, I have more violets than grass - which is fine by me.  So pretty to look out on a carpet of violets! 



 And look up to the redbud blooming.  I wonder if my lilac is going to bloom much this year (we planted it in a sad place and it doesn't get enough sun so...it tries but isn't very robust). 


It seems a shame to sit inside on such pretty days - before we get more rain and thunderstorms.






I hope you are enjoying the weather, wherever you are!













Sunday, April 9, 2017

APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

April is National Poetry Month.  
Pick up a book; read a poem.  
Think about how we use words 
to convey so much that cannot, 
truly, be conveyed.  Watch the sun shine 
through the windows onto the calico cat, 
the chocolate lab.  Breathe.  Today is all we have, 
but it's pretty good enough right now.



Friday, April 7, 2017

TERNS - NEXT STEP


Just the sand done and the shadows.  
Not really a lot to paint on the birds 
so I'll keep it light.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ANOTHER START - BEACH BIRDS


After painting plants, I have to return to birds.  My reference for this sketch is a great photo taken of Royal Terns on the beach.  (Because of their black top-knot that looks slicked back, I always call these birds Elvis Birds.)

One of the terns is obviously getting a good talking-to for something, but it doesn't look like the message is getting through.  (Of course, it's actually a puffed up/large juvenile tern wanting his/her mother to FEED ME - like all birds do.  Mom was trying hard to ignore this insistent baby and just kept walking away, with baby following, squawking all the while.  


I drew the sketch out on tracing paper, and will transfer that to watercolor paper, pushing the birds farther apart so the beaks are not touching.




Monday, April 3, 2017

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PIG?



Just a little painting for the fun of playing with colors.  

So...what color is your pig?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

COPY CAT ANNOYANCE



A few days ago, a blogger buddy, Randall David Tipton, known for his gorgeous landscapes, painted an abstract that was full of yellow light and energy.  And he called it Delayed Pollination because some bees somehow showed up in the painting :)  I wanted to immediately go down to my little art room and pull out the TerraSkin paper and fluid acrylics and yellow pigments.  So I did.  

Unfortunately, his painting is SO MUCH BETTER than mine.
But I had fun with this and will probably go back to it sometime in the future to make it more coherent.  (Abstracts still have to follow some rules of composition and I find there are none followed in my painting here.)

Oh, and the title of the post = Cat Annoyance is what A Man Called Ove called the cat he ended up keeping, which I thought was a perfect name for a scruffy, ratty, insolent cat that takes up residence in your home without your permission!  There were some lines in that book that made me laugh out loud but I've finished it and still don't know whether I liked it, or not.  


Thursday, March 30, 2017

AND YOU THOUGHT THIS WOULD NEVER GET FINISHED!



Well, it's still not completely finished! 😊


I need to go back and make the main pod pop a little more with color because the photo looks better than the real thing so...maybe a light glaze of a warm red but not too much.  And I need to push back the open space/background on the left upper side.  


Then...on to something else.  I have a hankering for some loose, wet-in-wet stuff.  We'll see where that takes me.




(While I was painting this, my left hand went numb.  A sign of carpal tunnel syndrome?  Hope not!  I often wake up and find a hand numb and just think it's because I've slept with it under my head or something.)