Wishing everyone a prosperous, healthy, creative 2014!
May it be the very best!!!!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
7" x 9"
Arches 140# CP
According to the calendar, today is the Winter Solstice - the shortest day and the longest night. And while I can only hope for the snow I love and paint my dream for a white Christmas, the temps today will reach mid 70s!!
It'll be most pleasant, of course, and compared to the wicked snow and rain storms throughout the US, we have been spared such extreme weather - a blessing to be sure.
So though this year Winter has sent us a day of summer on her Solstice, I'll welcome the season with the Winters I remember and paint them into my own celebration.
Have a happy weekend!
Monday, December 16, 2013
As the days pass quickly in preparations for the holidays, I'm wishing everyone a joyous time of preparations, contemplation, serenity ... a time filled with family, friends, love, festivities .... a time to remember the reason we celebrate this time of year ... and a wish for love, joy and peace ....
Friday, December 13, 2013
So the season of 'snow envy' has begun ..... It seems each year when the skies turn grey and the cold makes me hide under electric blankets, and my energy levels drop and the Winter 'nesting' syndrome begins, I fall into the hope of seeing snow here in my part of North Carolina.
If I lived four hours west of my home town, I'd see more of the white stuff, certainly, but I do prefer the rolling countryside and the long days of summer and sunshine and milder temperatures of middle NC. STILL, there is something so hypnotic and calming, restive and quiet and serene about a snowfall, that I just can't help my seasonal plea!
And to make matters even better, WHEN we do have snow, it lasts a day or so -- rarely longer ... A very nice way to enjoy the stuff! LOL
So while I wait for those rare conditions to fall into place and snow finally falls, I'll sit at my art table and paint my wish for a powdery, white landscape ...
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
12" x 16"
With the weather sending us cold, rain, grey, sleet, ice, snow and more, I'm doubling up my vitamin C ....
How about you?
Stay safe and warm!
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Arches 140# CP
My watercolor classes have spent the last month working on Christmas cards and winter scenes. This one focuses on the sounds of the holidays -- the tinkle of bells ...
Hope your holiday preparations are joy-filled!!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
5" x 7" Alcohol Ink
Outside the trees are mostly bare and
Winter is nudging remaining oak and Bradford pear leaves
from their limbs.
The moon glints the deep, dark night, and
there is a deeper, colder quiet
than in any other season.
The Thanksgiving turkey remains
in leftovers, the holiday rush
has amplified, and
December is knocking at the door.
I say goodbye to autumn
and huddle down,
like the wildlife,
to begin the long, long winter.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving - filled with love, family, friends, joy, and abundance!!
I am thankful for each and every one of you! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
12" x 16" Watercolor
November -- the frosts have come, leaves continue to fall, and daylight fades far too quickly ... but the memories of a glorious Fall linger in my mind and on my paintbrush. I stretch my favorite season a bit longer.
Painting allows me to do this, and while temps dip and rise with the passing of the season, I return to the warmth and glow of my autumn memories.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers. I"m back home, but my mom continues her battle with Parkinson's Disease and her health continues to fail. She's a fighter or sure and the battles will continue for a while.
Again, thank you for your kindness.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Fall - We have Leaf COLOR!
10" x 13"
We finally have leaf color!! SCARLETS, Purply reds, GOLDS, Yellows, Sunkissed Oranges -- even the oaks have turned that marvelous burnt sienna/crimson!! I have to admit that it's now dangerous for me to drive -- each turn of the road has produced such colorful vista that I either have to stop and take a photo or stop to just gasp! WOW!
We're due for thunderstorms and rain today, so we're out taking photos before the winds remove these beauties from the trees.
Hope your weekend is marvelous and filled with color!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
In my neighborhood, the leaves are finally gaining the brilliance of autumn --- golds, oranges, scarlets, and several maples that made me stop in my tracks to take a photo and admire -- a candy apple red so incredibly gorgeous they brought me to tears.
There is a marvelous quote by Albert Camus: 'Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.' And I couldn't agree more.
We celebrate Halloween today - tricks and treats for the young folks, ghosts and goblins, pumpkins and carvings, and dinner with friends. I'm reprinting an article I wrote years ago on the origins of Halloween -- enjoy!
And remember to be generous -- prosperity may follow!
The Origins of HalloweenThe Origins of Halloween
By: Lin Frye
Hobgoblins, ghosts, black cats, pumpkins, haystacks, scarecrows,
larger-than-life cartoon characters, and more “other worldly” figures parade around the streets, knocking on doors and begging “Trick or Treat!” Each fall the holiday many children, and lately adults, look forward to is Halloween … but where did our traditional observances come from?
Most folklore authorities agree that Halloween as we know it began as a combination of druidic practices and classical Roman religious beliefs. During the second century B.C., the Celtic communities of Northern and Western Europe, especially in Ireland and Scotland, celebrated their year’s end on October 31, the eve of “Samhain (“summer’s end”). This event was marked with agrarian festivals that celebrated the ending of the year (with foods such as nuts and apples). After grains had been gathered the sun was thanked for the harvest. At the same time, the sun was “honored” in hopes that the winter would not be too severe and would return in the spring. “Samhain” was an occasion for feasting since the harvested foods were often abundant.
It was also on this feast night, that townsfolks extinguished the fires in their hearths and met at the center of town. The priests would alight the sacred oak to kindle a new fire in honor of the sun god and to frighten away any lurking evil spirits. Each family head of household would receive an ember from the sacred fire so that he could kindle a new fire in his own hearth to protect the household throughout the year.
The Celts also believed that on October 31, the lord of the dead assembled the souls of those persons who passed away during the year. Since it was also believed that on this day the souls of the dead played tricks on the living, the druids offered sacrifices to appease the souls and protect the survivors.
Our modern Halloween practices reflect some of the influences from the Roman festival honoring “Pomona,” the goddess of fruit and nuts. A harvest festival was held November 1 to thank Ponona for the harvest bounty. Today, many of our Halloween decorations and foods include seasonal varieties of these crops.
It took centuries to incorporate October 31 into the Christian calendar. During the fourth through seventh centuries, the idea of honoring numerous martyrs and saints grew out of the fact that there were fewer days in the calendar than there were saints to worship. Pope Gregory III placed a single day in the church calendar to celebrate all the saints. This day occurred during the
spring of the year. However, during the reign of Pope Gregory IV, he placed All Saints Day and the vigil All Hallows’ Eve on November 1 and October 31 respectively. Historians believe this was done to offset the paganisms of the old “Samhain” rites. Nonetheless, the Christianizing of the Halloween observances took even more time.
Customs of pagan origins continued to flourish in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and parts of England well into the 18th century, and even later in some places. Outside of the Church, folks still held the belief that Halloween was the gathering time for unruly spirits, including witches and those with evil intent. Common practices continued as folks believed the “spirits” were out on Halloween stealing milk, playing pranks, and destroying crops. To allay their
fears of these spirits, people would gather in groups and make strange or loud noises, to keep the evil spirits away. As they wiled away the time during this fearful night, they played games, such as bobbing for apples, and feasted on new crops that included the traditional fruit and nuts.
Halloween was also considered the time of prophecy, and various “discoveries” could be made that night. For instance, young women would divine their marriage prospects by placing nuts in the fireplace coals, naming one nut for her and the other two for admirers. If one of the admirer’s nuts burned quietly besides the woman’s, it meant that the gentleman would remain true. If, however, one of those named nuts split, it meant no lasting happiness with that individual.
Another discovery was made when young people went in pairs into a field of cabbages. The shape of the cabbage and the size of the vegetable they selected indicated the appearance of their future husband or wife.
While most of these earlier beliefs and observances have disappeared, many others have survived with the European settlers in the new world. Through time and changes, many of these former traditions were revamped and revitalized. In pioneer days, some Americans celebrated Halloween with corn-popping parties, taffy pulls and hayrides. With the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s and the influence of great numbers of Irish immigrants, Halloween mischief of the “fairy folk” or “little people” came to America. Instead of using pumpkins, which were unavailable in Ireland, the Irish used oversized rutabagas, turnips and potatoes to carve into hideous faces and light with candles to be used as lanterns during Halloween. In fact, the name “Jack-o-Lantern” is reputed to have come from an Irish tale of a man named Jack who was famous for being stingy and drinking too much. In several encounters with the Devil, Jack tricked him, making the Devil very angry. When Jack finally grew old and died, he was banned from Heaven because of his past behavior and banned from Hades because of all his pranks. Jack, in desperation, begged the Devil for a live coal to light his way out of the dark. Jack put the coal in a turnip he was eating at the time, and according to myth, was condemned to roam the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day.
By the late 1800s, Halloween had become a national observance in the US. Traditions had been altered enough to recognize the parties, dressing in costumes and trick or treating that we do today. Though not all folklorists agree as to where trick or treating came from, one suggestion is that this custom came to the US when European peasants went from house to house asking for
money to buy items for a Halloween feast and demanding that contributions be given to them. If donors were liberal, good fortune was assured to the giver. However, if the donors were stingy, then threats were made and pranks carried out.
A drive around the area assures us that Halloween observances are alive and well. Decorations of haystacks, scarecrows, black cats, witches and the like spice up many neighborhoods and shops. And on the night of October 31, we’ll hear the ghosts and goblins knocking on our doors threatening “Trick or Treat!”
Remember to be generous … prosperity may follow!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Can't help myself! Got to have some autumn color! LOL
From Hal Borland's "Book of Days" (1964) "Autumn in your Hand:"
"A tree in Autumn is a lovely sight. One tree alone can concentrate the beauty of a whole woodland, leaf by leaf and branch by branch, as one flower can give the essence of a whole garden.....Watch even a single branch outside a certain window, and you are watching the color of change. One morniing there is a spot of yellow on a certain leaf....Another day and that glow may be there. It spreads. The spot becomes a splash of gold...edged perhaps with a thin line of scarlet. It creeps down the leaf between the veins, and then across the veins; and the scarlet edging widens into a band and then a border....Thus comes Autumn, leaf by leaf and tree by tree, thus the woods become a hooked rug flung across the hills with all its folds and all its colors....Pick up one leaf of those already cast adrift, and you hold Autumn in your hand."
Happy Autumnal Sunday!
Friday, October 25, 2013
7" x 11" Yupo Paper
We awoke to temps in the 30s this morning, frost making its first appearance and announcing that the splendid fall we've been enjoying will soon come to an end.
I am loathe to let go of my favorite season and so I'll continue to brighten the shortening days with vivid colors on my palette and extend the season a bit longer.
From Hal Borland's "Sundial of the Seasons" (1964) "Frost Walks the Valleys:"
"First frost has walked through the valleys under the half moon. You could hear it whispering through the fallen leaves as it hurried down the hillsides in the evening, feel its crisp breath as it passed you on a country road. And at dawn you could see its path, glistening on the goldenrod stems and powdering the purple asters. Midmorning, and the tender gardens in the lowlands had limp and blackened rows of tomato vines to mark its path.....
First frost is like a newcomer in a strange country, following the beaten paths of the valleys .....
Meanwhile, there will be mornings when the valleys are lakes of mist, with the frost there beneath them. There will be noons when the valley air is almost touched with June. There will be evenings when the long light on the hillsides is full of magic. And there will be nights when the wood smoke wreathes the starlight in the hollows.
But once first frost has passed this way, the pattern is set ..... and after that the frost will walk boldly over the land."
Catch the color while we can! Happy Weekend!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The cool weather has found us this week, and we awaken to temps in the 30s and 40s -- BRRR -- a reminder that the marvelous fall weather we've been enjoying will soon come to an end, winter will settle in, and the holidays will begin in earnest. For me, I'm still waiting for the reds to show up on the trees!! LOL
Still, the colors here in Piedmont North Carolina are intensifying, and dropping. Already the crunch of footfalls can be made in the growing leaf litter, and more of the sky is visible through the tree canopy. Sunshine is far less intense, and the morning shadows are long and long. The season is fast moving forward.
Thought I'd play a bit with watercolor and do a quick study of our viburnum ... a mix of gold and scarlet, and luscious, dark berries that are just ripe for a bird feast.
Hope you have a great week!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The fall weather is fast upon us ... we've had cool temps all week as well as rainy, overcast days, making summer a memory, despite a warming trend later this week. Leaves have quickly turned to yellow and tarnish, and as yet only the sumac and dogwoods have put on any kind of scarlet. Our peak for color, though, doesn't happen for at least another few weeks, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed.
In the meantime, I'm using the intense colors of ink to summon fall .... and loving the brightness and the flow of ink across yupo.
Hope you have a great day!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Our quick trip to the mountains of North Carolina was a lot of fun with two festivals and a leisurely visit to the many craft and art shops of Black Mountain. We saw fabulous quilts everywhere and even took in a demo of "Bed Turning" where new quilts were displayed and work explained as quilts lined a bed covered with them! Fabulous artwork, and the food of festivals - corn, candy apples, sausages, kettle corn and more were the highlights of the weekend. We found an awesome Bistro for our dinners while in Hickory, NC - incredible food and a server that was not only friendly, but one of the best! We came home with new quilts for our home and those luscious North Carolina apples ...!
The leaves hadn't quite changed to the golds and scarlets we were hoping for - but here and there a single maple would catch our eye with so many different colors that it was a joy to behold. The rain held off until our return on Sunday, and we arrived rested and glad to see so much leaf color in our own backyard!
This alcohol painting was done to celebrate the fall season - and I gave it the colors that haven't yet made it to our part of North Carolina.
Friday, October 11, 2013
My experiments with alcohol ink are proving to be addictive (no pun intended!!! LOL) -- and I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the fluidity, flow and spontaneous nature of this medium on yupo paper. In so many ways, doing these small abstract landscapes reminds me of my 'splash and splatter' technique where one really has to let go of 'control' and let the paint do the directing while we take a backseat and 'fine tune' as we can.
It's been a week of cold, rainy weather and though we've needed the rain, I've sure missed the sunshine. Still, the leaf color changes seem to be happening far faster with the cooler temperatures, and already there is leaf litter everywhere. I hope to catch more tree color on some car rides this weekend.
For those who've asked about alcohol ink process and information, I would highly recommend extensive searches on Youtube and Google as I am so new to the process I have a difficult time finding words to explain what I'm doing. I hope this changes as I become more familiar with results from my experiments, but in the meantime, there seems to be a lot of information already on the web that will do a far better job of explanation than I can right now.
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Alcohol inks have been around a long time -- but they came to my attention during a gallery tour several weeks ago. I fell in love with their vibrancy and their spontaneous workings.
I purchased a number of these for my birthday and have been attempting a number of experiments and having a blast! This small work is the result of those 'playful' evenings. I really love the blend of semi-realism and abstraction ... and quite truthfully, the 'surprises' that these inks produce on non-porous subjects.
I'll continue my experimentation as I really can't say I've mastered 'any' of their workings --- but oh my is it fun!!!
Friday, October 04, 2013
12" x 16"
It's that time of year again when fields turn golden and the light brings a glow to the woodlands. My favorite barn now sits among grasses that are thigh-high and wave with each passing breeze. I love to come upon this place in the morning when the sun seems to highlight the aging wood and yellowing fields.
It's been an incredibly busy week for me with obligations, paintings to put up, take down, classes, car maintenance, house chores, celebratory lunches, supply gathering for new classes I'll teach and more. There's been little time for resting and it seems September has blown by with the wind. Hopefully October will be a bit slower ...! LOL
Weather has been warm and beautiful, with summer temps returning in the afternoons. I picked the final fig from my trees and my first persimmon. The fall apples have started to arrive, and I am in heaven. My favorites - Pinova (very hard for me to find in my part of North Carolina), Honey Crisp and Pink Cripps -- YUMM!!!! I see a lot of apple dishes on my menu!
Hope you have a great weekend!
Monday, September 30, 2013
7" x 9"
Today is one of those milestone birthdays and we've spent the weekend celebrating. A wonderful dinner out on Friday, birthday party with friends on Saturday and a lovely dinner with my son, grands and in-laws yesterday ... all delicious, fun, wonderful, heart-warming - and all helping make this 'getting older' business much easier and far more pleasant! LOL
The weather too has been incredibly glorious! Fall blue skies, bright sunshine, slight breeze, and a sky show of clouds that makes "looking up" both a metaphor and a reality. We've seen hay bales, fields turned golden yellow with rudbeckias and goldenrod, spots of crimson among the sumac and dogwoods, new apples in the grocery stores, the promise of festivals and fairs over the next few weeks, and the whisper of change on the wind.
It's been one of those weekends filled with all of my favorite things -- and a gift beyond measure.
I am truly grateful and send a warm, heart-felt thank you to my friends and family here for their love and support and encouragement. Blessings.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
7 1/2" x 11"
While visiting my mom, I would often take a short walk along the woodland roadsides that border my sister's road. I am always enthralled by the treasures I find in these 'wild' areas. This year, the bittersweet had already set seed and the berries were mustard in color - a deeper brown/yellow than the leaves I've painted. I plucked a bit of branch to bring inside to paint. After a few hours, though, the golden husks of the berries had shattered, exposing the most glorious orange/red seeds ... and creating the subject ripe for painting.
As the days went by, I found more 'shattered' husks as more of the golden bittersweet turned crimson with seed and brightened the roadside foliage. Leaves were beginning to turn color in earnest, and I was enjoying the orange, gold and russet of the sassafras as well as the bright red of sumac.
Here at home the sycamore and tulip poplar have already turned a rich mustard/gold and in some cases, earth-brown as they fall fast from the trees.
I really do love this season, and it won't be long before I'll have enough under my feet for crunching!
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Dahlia Collection Bayard Cutting Arboretum, LI, NY, a photo by linfrye .. on Flickr.
While visiting my sisters and mom this past 10 days, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend an afternoon with my dear friends Susan T. (www.flickr.com/photos/52358552@N06/) and Joan T. (www.flickr.com/photos/23074176@N08/) at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum (www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com/).
The day couldn't have been more gorgeous - blue skies, mild temps, sunshine -- and a garden filled with blooms! We visited the area near the community gardens where the Dahlia collection was housed and in full glory. We sat among the vegetables and sunflowers and painted plein air together. It has been so long since I've done any plein air work -- such fun, and to chat and enjoy the scenery, flowers, and weather with good friends - was just a bit of heaven!
The time, of course, went far too fast -- but I hope to see these gals again soon.
Thank you again, Susan and Joan for a most delightful afternoon!
for dozens of photos from this trip including plein air sketch.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
12" x 16"
WELCOME TO FALL!!
The weather in New York has been incredibly fall-like --- warm, pleasant days, blue skies, and cool crisp evenings.
Leaf color is changing slowly here - but already the berries are formed and turning colors, seedpods are drying and the reds of sumac are showing themselves. I picked some bittersweet for our table- yellowed berried and golden leaves. By morning, the pods had opened to reveal bright red capsules.
Mom has had a good week and it's been a joy to spend time with her doing the things my sisters do daily for her care. I had a couple of days to visit with my sisters - and that too was marvelous.
The time, though, always flies, and it will be good to get home again and resume my life there. With loved ones scattered across the country, though, it often feels like bits of my heart are left here and there and only truly united when all of us can all be together.
Used to be when I was younger and more foolish, I wished for things ... but now, older and I hope more wise, I wish for TIME -- the only thing we can't save, borrow, or hang onto.
It truly makes that saying 'Live each day to its fullest' even more urgent.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Summer temps have returned, but my mind is already geared for fall and for playing a bit with new color combinations.
This painting is an interpretation of the waterfall (cascade) that I photographed when I was visiting Doris in the spring.
You can see how I cropped the photo and simplified the subject ... and changed the greens to more colorful paints. It was a lot of fun!! and not as 'bright' as it appears on some monitors. The pinks and purples are more subtle in real life.
I'll be on and off line for a while as I care for my mom ...
Friday, September 06, 2013
6" x 6"
The high heat of the summer is less intense these days as we make our way toward fall. Bright greens have dimmed and the yellows and purples that tend to mark the onset of autumn can be found in wild flowers and in garden beds.
Mums are finding their way to retail shelves along with bright pansies. And for my garden, the last of the roses are bidding the summer adieu.
This small splash and splatter was a demo for one of my classes .. I like the use of turquoise in it - to me, at least this year, it seems to fit the seasonal color shift.
Have a great weekend.
Monday, September 02, 2013
12" x 16"
According to local weather forecasters, today is the 'meteorological' start of fall. To my eyes, the season, at least in my part of North Carolina, has been gradually showing herself in the hints of yellowing leaves, the appearance of fall yellow flowers - Helianthus and Coreopsis varieties), the browning of the sedges, the start of another haying season.
The muscadines are ripe now on the wild vines, the berries of the hollies and sumac are finally red, and the beauty berries are starting to turn their autumn purple.
The season has started and I plan to enjoy each subtle change and color.
I haven't found bittersweet berries nearby yet, so I painted these from a photo taken last year while visiting my sisters. I love their reds and golds and how they seem to herald the season.
Have a most marvelous week!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Already the light is changing in the late August sky. I've spotted dogwoods already kissed with a red blush, tulip trees have begun dropping their leaves, and the emerald green of summer is fading to tarnish. My ornamental grasses have developed their plumage, and the figs are almost gone. School has begun in earnest, and the last horrah of summer is ahead this weekend.
I LOVE the fall - with its harvests and ripening, colors and berries, seeds and apples, campfires and holidays. Though our summer this year, feeling shortened by cool temperatures and rain, has been incredibly pleasant, I am eager for the fall and all the culmination it represents.
This painting was done in preparation of a larger work and the use of a few new paint colors. I'm already collecting leaves for fal projects and hunting for berries. There are a few apple festivals coming up, the State Fair, and other joyous events.
I'm making preparations -- how about you?
Have a great weekend!
Monday, August 26, 2013
140# Arches 140#CP
Thank you all for your well wishes for the festival. It was fun, exciting and successful! The day couldn't have been more beautiful - sunshine, low humidity, and not too warm. There were over 50,000 people at the festival, and the sea of humanity kept walking and talking and looking and laughing, eating and enjoying hour after hour. I want to acknowledge the tremendous help of my husband and friends who were there with me talking with customers, dashing for snacks, setting up, tearing down, and supporting my efforts. I owe them a huge amount of thanks.
School begins this week for my North Carolina grandchildren. In these final days of August I too return to enjoy the last of the sunflowers as they say good bye to the season of light and heat. Already I see their yellows mirrored in the fields and here and there among the trees .... I hear the words of John Denver this morning from his song "Fall" ....
"Reflections in the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering, winter's on its way
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the wind
And more than that it's oh so sad to see the summer's end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make a change, I think I'd let it be
But I don't remember hearing anybody asking me ....."
Enjoy the week and the warmth and the sunshine!
Friday, August 23, 2013
Brusho Paint Pigments
140# Arches CP
Been another busy week and I've been readying for participation a large festival this weekend. I was juried in to the 'Cary Lazy Daze" festival in North Carolina and I"m thrilled. There are thousands of attendees, music, arts, crafts, entertainment, food. I won't have much time to visit other exhibits, but just being able to participate in this event is exciting!
The weather again has been a mixed bag of cool and warm, sun and torrential rain. The figs continue ripening a pint or two at a time, and they're a wonderful gift. There'll be another day of jam making and more dehydrating for the winter once the festival is over.
School has begun for my grands as well. Seems the summer has passed in a blur of activity and weather changes. Funny kind of a year.
Hope you have a super weekend!
Monday, August 19, 2013
12" x 16"
Funny thing about hydrangeas - at least these old fashioned, snow-ball types -- they respond to the pH in the soil by showing their flowers as more pink for more alkaline soil or more blue if the soil is more acidic. This year, the same hydrangea that has been happily blooming a marvelous blue/purple had blooms of pink, blue, almost white and purple! I think it was having an identity crisis!
I have a new variety though, the name escapes me now, that is growing about 3 feet from this shrub that remains pink no matter the soil type. The blooms are far more delicate and paler -- but it is definitely always pink. I have too a smaller shrub of hydrangea, lace cap, that showed more blue this year and it resides right next to my 'old fashioned.' Go figure. Watching the appearance of the flower colors was like watching someone wearing a 'mood ring!'
Been a rainy weekend and a good catch up after several intense weeks ...Sun should be returning along with warmer, more typical temperatures.
Have a great week!
Friday, August 16, 2013
It's been such an incredibly busy time for me -- I can't believe that my grandchildren begin school again next and the following week. This summer has been so unusuallycool and rainy - and it has absolutely flown by!
My figs have begun ripening as have those of my neighbors. Today a few dear friends of mine got together for a 'figging' party where together we made fig preserves, dried figs for the winter, make a peach and fig tart for dessert and shared a simple dinner - all while watching a movie in between courses and dishes. Such laughter and joking and sharing -- can you imagine a chatty group of women in the kitchen all at the same time!! Yep -- fun too!
These daylillies were a commission from one of these dear friends ...painted from one of the many photographs I took of her marvelous garden. We'll mat and frame it this weekend ...
My own garden is bearing the signs of summer's ending. Most of the Queen Anne's Lace, purple cone flowers, gaillardia and other flowers are in seed -- all wonderfully pollinated by the abundant butterflies we had this season. I'll soon be collecting seeds to distribute for next year's crop.
Along the roadsides the goldenrod has begun taking over more and more fields, while the woodlands are showing signs of yellowing tulip trees and sycamore. The colors haven't changed completely, but here and there on different branches, the shift in color has started. Even the sumac is beginning to show signs of red. SO VERY EARLY for us!! We've a long way to go before we have true 'color' -- but it's starting ....
So glad to have spent as much time as I have painting flowers this summer. Their delightful display is almost over. Soon, it'll be time to hunt for fall berries!
Have a great weekend!
Monday, August 12, 2013
11" x 14"
We're finally getting a bit of rain and a surprising 'cool down' this week. The cooler temps we've experienced this year have made this the most pleasant summer in recent memory. Instead of high 90s and low 100sF, we've been blessed with mid 80s to mid 90s --- far more pleasant in comparison.
It's been a summer of flowers for me ...can't seem to paint enough of them. This was painted in a more traditional method after a splash and splatter start.
Hope you have a great week.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Thursday, August 01, 2013
12" x 16"
It's been an amazing summer - temps have been cooler, there's been more rain, crops have been delayed in their ripening, and already I see fall goldenrods along the roadsides ...
Still, the flowers of summer insist that the season is not 'quite' behind us ... and so I honor their effusive joyousness and continue to paint them in all the glory and beauty they deserve.
Enjoy the sunshine!
Monday, July 29, 2013
5" x 7"
Pen and Wash
Summer days lately have been filled with tons of activities from gardening to exercising to trips and grandchildren - all delightful and fun, but resulting in limited time at the art table.
I've been using this spirit of summer to return to some quick pen and washes - enjoying the freedom I feel working on small, informal pieces that can later serve as inspiration for larger works.
These hibiscus were inspired by those in my garden ...
Have a great week!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
10 x 14"
Arches 140 Rough
Brusho, Winsor Newton, Pastel
The heat wave we've been suffering under has finally cooled to 85-88F ... (after 95F with equal humidity, mid 80sF actually feels cool). We've had a week with only intermittent showers and the feeling of 'summer' has finally settled.
With the return of sunshine, blueberries and figs are finally ripening and tomatoes and other summer veggies are being harvested in earnest.
I painted this view from memory using Brusho paints in liquid form... I love their vibrancy, and instead of the 3-4 layers of paint needed to enrich the values, I needed only one of the Brusho. Doing so made the painting go faster as well as kept 'mud' out of the complementary colors. The 'other' side of Brusho, though, is that once it's down, it doesn't lighten as traditional watercolors ... and so I found I had to use a bit of pastel to get in a few more lighter values. A lot of fun and again a good learning experiment.
Hope your week is terrific!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
7" x 10" Splash and Splatter
WN Artist Quality Paints
Canson WC Journal Paper
The sun has finally come out and we can see blue skies once again. I don't remember such a rain-filled spring and summer!
Despite all the grey skies, my coneflowers are as happy as ever - bopping about in the breezes, being visited by butterflies and other pollinators, and lending the morning such an intoxicatingly sweet scent ...
These biennials seem to find a comfy home throughout my property. They once were contained in a small 'herb-sized' hexagonal bed and now have 'moved' to the front beds, side beds, and here and there, even the back beds! Not that I mind at all, as I find them eminently cheerful.
Each fall, I take their dried brown seeds and scatter them about, helping the flowers in their movement across my property. In our warm fall weather, the seeds sprout and leaves form a basal rosette which later dies back in the winter. In the spring, the biennial plant grows another set of leaves and flowers. By planting these seeds in the fall, they are tricked into flower production in one year instead of waiting the two years to flower.
With the blue skies and sun, our temps are rising again -- mid 90s for the rest of the week. But I'll gladly take a bit more heat to see that sun again!
Hope your week is going well!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
10" x 14"
I have to admit to the fun I'm having experimenting with Brusho powdered pigments. There's a marvelous spontaneity and vibrancy to these paints that, try as I might, I just cannot replicate with traditional tube watercolors. I do enjoy tube paints as much as Brusho ... the effects and application methods are somewhat different though, and I suppose that is the charm and challenge of having alternatives in one's paint box.
My garden continues to delight with it its red, pink, yellow and orange flowers and as I prepare for teaching flower-painting classes next month, my art table is filled with photographs and flower paintings. After all that color, though, the calm effect of blue really struck me in Dianne's beautiful capture: www.flickr.com/photos/60712129@N06/9209269102/ . I was immediate mesmerized by the sense of quiet and coolness in this image and it inspired me to combine my experiments with Brusho for a landscape painting. This is the result. The Brusho in my interpretation of Dianne's image lends the scene a more sunshiney, warm brightness,but the blues, at least to me, tend to calm that down a bit and quiet some of the 'heat'...
Thank you so much, Dianne for permission to use your wonderful photograph and more, thank you for the inspiration it provided. Please stop by Dianne's flickr stream for more incredible creations www.flickr.com/photos/60712129@N06/with/9209269102/ .
I hope you're having a terrific summer. The weather in my part of North Carolina, like in some many other parts of the world, seems to be a mix of cooler temperatures and a lot of rain. Here it is July and we've only had a handful of 90F temperatures (thank heavens!!) - instead of the dozens we typically experience. We've had rain and heavy storms four to seven times a week so our soil, parched and droughted over the last five years, now has an excess of water, and some areas are experienced flooding and downed trees. It definitely is a 'different' kind of summer ....
Monday, July 08, 2013
Brusho WC Paints
Winsor Newton Artist Quality Paints
Summer is zooming by as days are filled with gardening, grands, classes, gatherings, chores and the like. The languid summers I remember as a youth seem so very long ago, and while I thoroughly enjoy an 'active life' ... those days of napping by the poolside, leisure reading, sun bathing, and quietude seem only dreamlike now.
Still, there are moments when that peaceful stillness descends ... typically early in the morning, just before or just after the sun rises, the dew moist on the grass, the birds just beginning their morning songs, in the garden I gather berries, figs, produce. The air is fragrant and cool, and the day before me holds its promise .... How I love those moments ...
And I love too those fragments 'in the sun' too ... coming across a sun-lit field of flowers ... the the light glinting off he grasses and flowers bobbing in the breeze. Those too are magic summer memories. I tried to capture that feeling here in this field of zinnias painted with Brusho watercolor powders. I wanted a vibrant feeling filled with all the light and glow of a summer afternoon.
I'm thoroughly enjoying the Brusho - its unpredictability and spontaneous results. Lots of fun .. especially on summer days - their vivid colors mirroring the light-filled season.
Have a great week.
Friday, July 05, 2013
My 'wild' flower garden is exploding with purple coneflowers and Queen Anne's lace -- so I really love how the sweet blues of delphinium dot my garden and surprise me with a bit of cool color. Here and there I find white delphiniums too - and take their seedheads and spread them to the other side of the beds.
Since returning home, I've been plowing my way through this area of the property to wrestle it under a bit of control. Like most parts of the south, we too have had an incredibly rainy spring, and now with the summer heat and abundant moisture, you can only image the happy dance of the weeds!! Plowing my way through the thick undergrowth and finding these hidden sweeties has been a nice 'reward' for all the hard work.
Hope your July 4th was wonderful!
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Funny thing about landscapes -- we like what we like -- no matter where in the world we go. Visiting Germany and Italy, I still found that my heart skipped a beat with each RURAL landscape - despite the incredible beauty of the architecture ... I guess you can take the girl out of the 'country,' but can't take the 'country' out of the girl! LOL
Here is a painting of an Italian farmstead using traditional watercolor paints and techniques. This view appealed to me because of all the greenery and of course, the field of poppies! LOL
Have a great week!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
11" x 14"
Brusho Watercolor Paint
Winsor Newton Artist Quality Watercolor Paint
I have always loved doing 'splash and splatter' watercolors - the method I created by splashing bits of water onto paper, splattering in different paints, and then creating something from the results -- sort of a "Rorschach" creation in watercolor.
I heard about Brusho from posts by Joanne Boon Thomas (www.saa.co.uk/art/artbyboon) and immediately fell in love with the vibrancy of the colors and the spontaneity of the methods. My dear friend Lorraine surprised me this summer with an early birthday gift - a starter kit of Brusho and DVD (See www.brushosecrets.com/) for information and more details.
When I got home and after catching up a bit, I began playing with the paint powders. This is my third painting using Brusho.
A few tips for its creation:
How I did it:
* Used a photo I had of zinnias
* 'Painted' the zinnia outline and highlighted areas I wanted to save with masking fluid, let dry
* Sprinkled yellow, orange and red brusho in those areas I wanted to color in those hues; green, yellow and
turquoise in those areas for leaves
* Brusho is VERY pigmented and so try to leave as much white as possible as I found it to be more difficult
to remove from areas than the Winsor Newton tube colors
* SPRITZED area with my fine mister - again be cautious about spritzing -- spritz lightly to retain some of the
powdered specks of pigment for texture and white areas; a bit heavier sprtzing for a flow and blend of colors
* Let dry
* Used negative painting to create petals and center. I did this with both Brusho and Winsor Newton tube
colors. The powdered Brusho pigments can be placed in a cup and water added to used like liquid
watercolor paint. I used heavier mixes of Winsor Newton as well.
* Added negative paint to make leaves and veins
* Added more brusho for tone and highlights
It was lots of fun!!!
Hope you have a great Sunday!
Friday, June 28, 2013
15" x 11"
Wisteria season came to North Carolina just before I left for vacation, and I managed to capture a few photographs that I took with me. I got to see wisteria in bloom again while I was visiting Doris, and I really love the fragrance and the way the lilac gives everything a purple glow.
I painted this while at Doris' and the scene s from one of the many farms around Oxford, North Carolina....
Hope you have a great weekend!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Red Building - Another View of Siena, a photo by linfrye ..home and slowly catching up on Flickr.
Siena, Italy is a beautiful city filled with magnificent architecture, busy public squares, churches, shops, and people. I have to admit that my preference though is for smaller towns, a LOT more greenspace and buildings that are no more than several stories high. Still, when I think of Siena, this view is what comes to mind---verticals, stones, arches, towers.
Outside the city gates the countryside ripples over hills and valleys and small mountains with more greens than I can imagine trying to find paint mixes ..... the two sights - the green against all the stone - speaks "Italy" to me ... I land and people I love ....
Monday, June 24, 2013
While I was in Italy, I found it most difficult to sit long enough to paint ... there was always another corner to explore, a landscape that caught my eye, storefronts that had so much appeal I had to look further ... and the distractions of so much beauty kept my finger on the camera shutter instead of the brush.
I can't explain what it is about laundry on a line that seems to be so appealing - especially against stone walls, or shutters, or arched doors -- but it seemed the moment someone spotted those marvelous shapes swaying in the breeze, out came the cameras or the brushes!! LOL
This particular sight was spotted in Castellina and was painted by a number of folks from our workshop. I sketched this while on site and worked on the painting after Doris and I returned to her home. I kept the painting small (those luggage restrictions!! LOL) and a bit sketchy as an attempt to keep the spontaneity.
Hope you have a great week!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Doris Poppies - HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, a photo by linfrye ..home and slowly catching up on Flickr.
9" x 12"
While visiting Doris, we worked a number of days in her garden. It was always such a pleasure to see what was blooming there. Since her home in Germany was north of my southern US home, I got to experience spring twice ... arriving with the tulips and plum blossoms, experiencing the fragrance and beauty of lilacs, the first collection of spring lettuces, the incredible beauty of peonies, the blooming of azaleas and rhododendron and so much more. I greatly enjoyed, too, the addition of these colorful poppies, sitting in a large pottery jar on the patio. Each day we'd note the changes and new blooms .. such cheerful flowers
One mild, warm afternoon, I sat in the sun and sketched the blossoms and later painted them. They so remind me of my time with Doris and the garden we both love.
Happy First Day of Summer!