Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Nature compliments with her favours

Yesterday it rained. A big black cloud alarmed me so much, with how dark it made the interior of the house, that I had to look outside to see if we were having a solar eclipse that no one told me about!

After the rain, the garden looked so happy.
The zucchini leaves looked happy!
Don't you think these heirloom tomatoes look jolly too?
The tender green of tender peas in their tender green pods,
the beets just bursting out of the ground,
and whoops! I ate another one.
In the foreground, the spiky-leafed artichoke has been loving the hot dry weather we've been having.
Here is the wonderful broad-leafed Ligularia Dentate or what I prefer to call it, "Midnight Lady".
It produces its flowers inside a pod

like this! 3 flowers bursting forth
Hens and Chicks, that very popular rock garden plant, a desert succulent,
 still sits in its original container.
Potbound, it has sent forth this ridiculously tall stalk of fuzzy flowers.
a close up of a fuzzy blossom
Our bird bath has to be checked regularly for mosquito larvae that squiggle about like tiny tadpoles.
This leaf lays partially underwater, brocaded with the most amazing pink spots.
Meanwhile, the 3 apples we thought we had left have magically turned to 4!
How funny that we couldn't see the 4th apple for so long.
With another month or more til they are ripe, I find this a terribly magical time.
There is something wonderful about watching your own apples grow...
The peaches still number 3. They don't hang like an apple but cling very tight to their branch
They, too, need some time to ripen, but a hint of their peachy colour is starting to show.
And here's something peachy I enjoyed doing, using a photocopy of one of my Artist Trading Cards in this collage made with dictionary papers with definitions starting with the letter "E"(a gift from a fellow Mermaid Circus classmate and ATC trader) and some washi tape (a Japanese decorative paper tape) with a cut-out of some clams from a can label.
I finally got it into my head that there are other beautiful things to paint besides mermaids!
 I enjoyed doing this little watercolour with mixed complementary colours for the greys.
Let's make "complimentary" the word of the day.

Monday, 29 July 2013

last days of July

My enthusiasm was flagging last week for a number of reasons.
The crazy heat was getting to me too, and then...

this lovely thing happened...
I received a darling handmade journal in the mail from someone I barely know, possibly a real life angel, in the online Mermaid Circus class I've been in since (I can hardly believe it) April.

The first few pages I filled were awkward and clumsy, indicative of the mood I had been in,
but then I came to the watercolour paper and decided to go back and work with the original design I made for my first ATC at the beginning of the month.
And this is where I stopped.
There are still a few days left for anyone who might want to do a trade with me.
You can see the details HERE.
And here is a picture for my niece who I promised to show an update of our garden.
See how well the aluminum pie plates are growing from the trees?
With 3 apples and 3 peaches left on each tree, I can't say they've done the best job of discouraging the deer, but at least I'm getting used to their tinging in the nighttime breeze.
It is cooler today and overcast with a possibility of rain.
I hope wherever you are the weather is kind to you
and that you are kind to yourself.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

a Grand-Pré afternoon

It's a welcome rainy day here in the valley. And welcome cooler temperatures, too, in the low 20's C.
It's a perfect day for colour-correcting the pictures I took on Sunday when we took a little jaunt over to Grand-Pré, the rolling farmland and dyked fields to the east and northeast of Wolfville.

First stop was The Tangled Garden for some Rose Petal Ice Cream
Wally and I are at odds about the dried flowers.
I love 'em.
a beautiful handwrought iron hinge at a gate to the gardens
I so wanted to walk the gardens, or rather, sit in them.
One day I will come back with my sketchbook.
Outside the gardens there was still much to see like these
beautiful grape buds and blossoms
this pink mallow and giant castor bean leaves
royal purple clematis
purple clematis and pink bud
surreal beauty of a thistle
a spiral-thorned ornamental thistle
Planet Thistle up close
Fat Rose Hips
tiny rose full blown
a small natural rose bouquet
Grape vines
Always game for a craft show, we came 'round the back of the Grand Pre Museum to find out what the tents were about, but the afternoon festivities in memory of the Acadian Expulsion of 1755 were over, and people were busy cleaning up.
Nearby stands the statue of Evangeline
Hey! More Hay! This poster explains the straddle
Two men working the hay straddle
An old illustration of an Acadian threshing scene
a lovely Acadian in original handwoven linen and wool costume stands in front of the hay straddle
a tiny roadside church on the perimeter of a dyked farmfield
Looking across the Minas Basin from Grand Pre towards Blomidon at low tide
 Ever the fan of the mother and child image,
I took some pretty fuzzy shots of this quintessential subject
 Forgive me for it was hard to decide which of these pictures I liked best
 Each had a story of its own
 I think of the reflected light in a particularly favourite painting of mine by Berthe Morisot.
If you should go to this link, tip your screen back to help darken the image which will make it easier to see her wonderfully loose brush strokes that would work so well on this beach scene
Leaving the sea, we came out to the dyked fields that were created so long ago
Houses overlooking the dyked cornfields
 And finally my humble efforts at painting the Artist Trading Cards I've been making this month
and my latest efforts in process. I got out the tracing paper for this one as I wanted to try some multiples of the same composition, and of course this is the fast way.
peace in your journey