Friday, May 23, 2014

A Rite of Spring

One of my favorite things to do in early spring is buy plants.  The Growing Place is a riot of spring color, texture and gardening inspiration, and today was the perfect day to go.  Here are a few images from my annual trip.I can't remember what these fiery ones are, but the burst of color makes me smile.
 Look at how the delicate purple color makes the yellow pop on this primrose.
Another dainty blossom enjoying the sunny day.
This iris is getting ready to pop.
 Wouldn't this be fun to have in a backyard garden?
 This miniature garden looks like fairies might actually come and visit at night!

 This tiny pollinator was enjoying himself.
 I had to laugh at this gentleman.  While his wife shopped, he found a cozy spot to read his paper.

 Here's another spot to relax, and these moms and kids are taking advantage.
 Finally, the front of our house BEFORE.  It looks green, but don't look too closely at all the weeds and overgrown bushes.  Hopefully I will post an "after" photo soon!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Spring is a hard animal to tame.  After being cooped up all winter, every time the sun is out and there's warm weather, I want to to outside and soak it all in.  Instead of cleaning the house, I will probably head over to the Arboretum in the next half hour.  But in the meantime, I went outside this morning and took some pics of my neighbor's tulips.
The above one is a normal photo, which I like.  I decided to play with the bottom one in Photoshop, and came up with this painterly look, which I also really like.  
 I am also taking a couple of online classes.  One by Alisa Burke is called "Sketch into Spring".  Here's a practice page with a technique where you paint wet-on-wet with watercolor in the basic shapes of spring flowers.  Later you add some expressive lines to make the flowers stand out more.  On this one, I haven't added any lines.  The one below I did yesterday and already added the lines.  Some of the flowers I like, some I don't.  It's going to take some practice to create organic looking lines.

 And I'm also taking another class.  This isn't necessarily an art class, but it incorporates art journaling.  It's with Brene Brown, called The Gifts of Imperfection.  This week, we were supposed to identify our "Superpower" and the "Kryptonite" that keeps us from exercising our superpower.  At first I was a little confused about what she was looking for with the term "Superpower".  But I think I figured out that it's an inner gift that I have and incorporate into any meaningful work that I do.  I chose Enthusiastic Vision.  Once I get a vision in my head for a new project, I tend to jump in with both feet, and try to pull everyone in with me.  (And without realizing it, I demonstrated this by spending ALL DAY working on this cut paper image that I wanted to use on this page.)
 Given my superpower, I have illustrated my Kryptonite below.  Depending on the scope of the project, who is around to get involved with me, and my current energy level, I can easily become frustrated, disillusioned and burnt out.  Fortunately, I didn't experience any of those in doing these pages, and I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out.

 That's a bit of what has been going on with me with week.  And if you'll excuse me, I have a house to clean date at the Arboretum.