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.

Hellebores and Tulips

May 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hellebores and Tulips

This is the full image of the painting of hellebores, tulips, and pussy willows. I showed a detail of this painting last week, but finally I have the full-size image.

Star of Bethlehem, One Rose

April 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Star of Bethlehem, One Rose

A flower new to my watercolor work–not the rose, of course, which is a mainstay of the garden palette, but the Ornithogalum, called the Star of Bethlehem, which, in the painting, is the tall spires at the back. They are supposed to naturalize well, but only time will tell if that is true.

Detail of Hellebores, Tulips

April 24, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hellebores, Tulips

Late winter verging early Spring used to be a nothing time in the garden. Since the hybridizers started working on hellebores, things have changed. Except for the recent and unlamented harsh winter, we can now have the extraordinary beauty of hellebores, in clear new colors, as early as February. This is the first time I’ve painted these wonderful plants and flowers, but it won’t be the last. This photo shows only a detail of the full painting.

Size and Scale

January 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

This small painting of one rose and two tulips is an exploration of the issue in painting of size vs. scale. The painting is only about 5″ x 14″, a small size, but the rose is huge in scale compared to the tulips. The rose crowds the space, barely fitting onto the paper. The tulips are more polite and well-mannered, shown at a size you might expect on a little painting like this. Still, the tulips have a lot of presence, with bright color, and detail in the lines that move down each petal.

The use of red and yellow as the predominant colors of the painting is also unusual, more assertive than you usually see in a watercolor. That tells more about the impact of the painting–strong and aggressive in the representation of flowers that are more often depicted as soft and pastel-like.

One rose, two tulips.

One rose, two tulips.

 

Yellow Rose, 2 Red Tulips

January 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

One rose, two tulips.

One rose, two tulips.

Austin Roses, Japanese Painted Fern

November 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

The roses and ferns of early summer, the best time

The roses and ferns of early summer, the best time

Goldenrod and woodlilies

November 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

One of the late-summer series.

One of the late-summer series.