Daylilies, Mexican Petunias

July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Deeper color as summer grows warmer, days long.

Advertisements

Lilies

July 19, 2014 § 2 Comments

Spectacular lilies this year. Plus six weeks of bloom, who could ask for more? Ordering more lilies for next year.

Spectacular lilies this year. Plus six weeks of bloom, who could ask for more? Ordering more lilies for next year.

Dogwoods and Azaleas

July 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

SFSmith_140630_4772

Watercolor

40″x30″

Dogwoods, that timeless favorite of spring, and azaleas, deserve lots of attention, and this spring I gave it to them. This a large painting for a watercolor, and painting at this size presents difficulties of many kinds. For instance, all the brushes need to be of different sizes than those used in “regular” watercolors, each image is larger and therefore the working area dries more slowly, and possibly unevenly. The number of flowers required to complete the planned painting is enormous. Many dogwood branches and azalea flowers went into creating this large painting, but, as Frida Kalho  said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.”

Rex Begonia, Dutch Iris

May 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

Watercolor 22"x30" Spring flowers plus indoor plants--a study in color contrasts, not what is usually on view in the garden at the same time.

Watercolor
22″x30″
Spring flowers plus indoor plants–a study in color contrasts, not what is usually on view in the garden at the same time.

Stargazer

May 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Stargazer

Lilies are coming around again this year–many more to come in the next several weeks. Isn’t it interesting how plants come back year after year, the same in species, but each one a different individual? Many new paintings are now deep in the plants, growing every day toward full bloom.

Jonquils, Guinea Hen Flowers

May 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Watercolor, 19″x25″
These guinea hen fritillaries are the among the most interesting flowers I’ve ever painted. They bloomed for several weeks, each flower lasting about 10 days. The checkered pattern of the petals is just amazing: makes you speculate about the working of DNA to create a checkered petal. They remind me of the poem in praise of “dappled things.”

Forsythia, Quince, Oregon Grape Holly

May 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

Forsythia, Quince, Oregon Grape Holly

Once again, finally, Spring is coming back. It’s been a memorably long and severe winter, and the earliest flowers, like the forsythia, and the flowers of the Oregon grape holly, have never been more welcome. My garden had no quince shrub, and when other gardeners’ quince began to show color, plant envy led to yet another trip to the nursery. The color of quince flowers is unusual, a pink-orange-almost red that is rare in spring. In fact, I can’t think of another flower at this season that is anything like quince, hence its great allure in March.
Of course the pure yellow of forsythia is an icon of early spring, so much so that I was reluctant to make it a big part of a painting. However, there was no denying the pull of the opening buds, all alone in borders and highway plantings. As for Oregon grape holly, I had never had cut branches in the studio, and didn’t know that these unassuming little flowers have a sweet, resinous fragrance that is almost like turpentine, irresistible to bees, and now to me.