Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flowers in the garden

The other day I was asked by my neighbour if I was doing some gardening. My answer - "no, I am taking photos of my flowers." I love catching the new blooms, finding out what new colours have appeared. Bulbs are wonderful things - you never know for sure what you are going to get - especially when someone bought them for you as a present and helped to plant them.

The snow flakes have multiplied this year, which is great, but best of all, the ranunculus are starting to bloom and within the next few days I am going to have my first tulip!

This Ranunculus is not fully open yet.

This was the first Ranunculus to bloom this year.

Finally, an Anemone that is not purple!

Just in time for Daffodil Day!

Dishcloths galore!!

I have been busy knitting and here is the evidence. I'm currently working on an organic cotton cloth for a friend's new baby (two other organic cotton ones are in the front of the pic - pink and cream - perfect for a baby girl).

Some colours of the Peaches and Creme cotton work really well in this style of dishcloth and some are not so good. I ordered two colours that I am really unhappy with so won't be making washers out of them unless I can find some other colour that they combine well with. I need to place an order for some new colours, including some for a beanie I owe a friend (which he'll need for a northern hemisphere winter).

I'm also about to start on some red, apple dishcloths for K.'s pre-school teachers for Christmas. I need four, but that won't take long.

Spider Orchid - On hold for now

So, here are the last two pictures taken of the Spider Orchid painting - before and after.

Before - this is how it looked before I decided I didn't like the background at all anymore. With any other flower/foreground, the background might have worked, and it was looking good as a grassy,reedy background. As I layered on more pastel it was starting to look muddy to me as well, too overworked.

After - I looked at the flower and decided that I want it to stand out from the background, not fight with it so I decided to look at complementary colours and decided that blue/purple was what I wanted. I got as far as brushing off the excess dust from the old background and scumbling a layer of colour just to see what it looks like. But that's as far as it has gone. I'm going to keep looking at this one and thinking about what I really want from this painting. Working on the background as much as I did has taken away some of my enthusiasm for this painting, so I think I am better off leaving it for a time and revisiting it later.

(I have removed the photo of the painting after I made the changes as I am going to revisit it in the future and this was just the 'undercoat'. I don't want this unfinished painting on my blog. Stay tuned for a future update...)

As I said previously, my instructor was horrified. But I'm not. I just have to trust what I want out of a painting, not depend on another person's vision. What I want is to use light and shade, through colour tone to support the painting of the flower. Now I just have to make that happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Everyone in our household has been sick, one after the other, over the last couple of weeks. How annoying is that! We are all on the mend, or mended, now.

No painting done, but much knitting completed. I think I have about 30 or 40 dishcloths completed now, so Christmas presents are well underway.

Actually, there was some painting done. I completely removed the background on my spider orchid painting. I realised that I had been working and working on it because my instructor said it was the way to go. I was unhappy with it, with the 'busyness' of it, but kept doing what was suggested. So I got out my trusty bristle brush and removed the background. (I saved all the pastel dust - I may be able to use it sometime in the future - and what a lot of dust it was.) That painting is going to go on hold for a while and I will come back to it sometime. I need to learn to trust my own feelings about my paintings. I wanted to paint the flower, not the weeds and grasses in the background.

Tonight, I returned to class after a 2 week break. My instructor was horrified that I had removed the background. But it was more her creative vision than mine. New painting started tonight. A portrait of my two nieces, to be a gift to their parents. So far, so good. The change to something new felt good too.

I'll post pics of the portrait's progress as I go along.