Patio Sketches

Where-oh-where does time go?  I have been busy – so busy – that I have not sat down with a brush or piece of paper in ages it seems.  Sewing socializing, health, family, photography, hiking, knitting – just some of the things taking up my time.  I can’t use cold weather as an excuse.  I’ve been more busy than I am used to – and enjoying all of it.

And yesterday?  The weather was lovely, so out into the dog free zone I went, travel palette, cup of water, a paper towel, water brushes.  The 6×8 Bee paper is perfect for just playing – it’s a decent paper, 100% cotton, and heavy enough to mush a lot of water around on both sides.  I just played, using the daffodils in a vase inside – brought outside – plants on the patio, fruit and vegetables from the kitchen.  I could tell I was rusty – but had fun anyway!

I need to remember my promise to myself when I retired: paint or draw every day! Like a vitamin or a prayer – good for the soul.

Friday Flower Sketches

I’ve been playing with gouache of late, but really have missed watercolor and its transparency.  Yesterday I thought I would sit down to do some painting, but it never happened.  Today, out on the patio reading a book, I looked around at all the plants, and realized, duh!  There is a lot to play with out here!

I’d moved all my orchids outside to water and air out a bit.  This is the last of the blooming phalenopsis, so I painted it – no pencil or preliminary value studies – just direct watercolor and let it happen.  I can tell by the awkward handling of the paint I am out of practice; as well, the paper is not the best, but that is what sketch books are for.

About 6 weeks ago I took all my old and new flower seeds and planted them helter-skelter.  These are zinnias, plants which are notorious for wilting with not enough water – like in a couple of hours they can look like they will just fall over – but come back miraculously with a bit of help.  Totally crack me up – such simple flowers to be so demanding.  Kind of nervy.  Anyway, what I like about them is that they have beautifully shaped leaves, lovely stems, and smallish bright flowers that burst out of all the green surrounding them.  Here, a bit better handling, with a use of negative painting to create the leaves and perhaps a bit of dimension.

Finally, my favorite of the bunch.  Brush control and forethought.  Here I was perched on a rather tall chair, looking down onto the pot of scaveola, a sort of creeper from what I can observe.  It has a variety of leaf shapes, and the purple flowers sort of send out petals from behind the leaves in a peek-a-boo fashion.  I took a photo of this for Instagram, but you can also see the photo below of plant and sketch, taken with my phone.