Dalias, Dalias and more Dalias

Day 21/31 – # WorldWatercolorMonth

As the days roll deeper into summer the dalias are blooming at Longwood, and oh so many colors, shades, shapes and species. Here are just a few…

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Fish of the Reef !

Sketching at the National Museum of Natural History- Day 20/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

A trip to D.C. always entails a quick stop at a museum or two on the way back, and this time I had an hour to spare and decided that a visit to the Reef tank at the National Museum of Natural History was where I’d spend it. I’d forgotten it was summer and that the summer campers would be out there and of course the Natural History museum is top on the list. Not surprisingly getting up close to the aquarium wasn’t possible, for as when one wave of yellow kiddie tee shirts left, along came another group in green and then another in blue and so on…It simply was amusing to watch the kids arrive like a swarm of bees, park themselves in front of the tank, squeal and point and chatter on about Nemo and Dory, and then just as sudden as they arrived, they quickly moved on to the next exhibit.

it was impossible to stand close without blocking the kids, so I found a spot across from the aquarium and tried sketching the exotic salt water fish. They darted about so quickly it was hard to stay focused on any one of them. My only recourse was to skip about the page from fish to fish filling in details as the swam by. Of course this means the paint dried in between strokes! Oh well, I’ll get to do this again soon.

Poppies in the Wind 

The last of the few poppies swaying in the wind as I walked by, turned my head, but it was the numerous seed pods that stood sentinel over them that really caught my eye! As the poppies dropped over from their own weight, the seed pods stood upright,  ready for the next generation to take over! 

🔙Back from a short break 💤

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert EinsteinOne of my all time favorite quotes! 

Sometimes I just need to take a break from things to quiet the mind and focus 🔬on other stuff. So every so often I take a short break (at times it extends into longer than expected) – a break from social media 📵. Turn off all external noise and focus on all things not social media! This frees up quite a bit of time⏱. (Ever wonder how much ⏳ we spend on social media 😜!

During these times I “do more things that make me forget to check my 📞📲⌚️”

I take that extra time to read 👓(read stuff not on social media) 📚, or spend time looking, 👀really looking🔎, and sketching 🎨in nature 🌿🌻🍀🍄🐞🐝🦋🐠, or take time to converse with family and friends🗣👥(not just txt) 🙇🏻‍♀️

Over the last four days I did just that. I finished two good books 📚 👍. I did lots of sketches 🖍🖍and studies en plein air 🏕⛰and quite a bit of gardening 🍃🎋🌾- in the cooler🆒 hours⌛️ of the day of course ! 

I sketch and paint everyday regardless of whether I post or not. A lot of these sketches never see the light of day 🌕 beyond my easel or sketch book. No matter, coz it’s the discipline that counts, right! 

If you haven’t guessed it already today is #WorldEmojiDay. I rarely use emojis! So it’s quite a comeback from a break on social media, wouldn’t you say!

Happy World Emoji Day or 😊🌎🌐🌕📆 

Here’s my favorite brushstroke done @hirshhorn of Roy Lichtenstein’s brushstroke!

Tomorrow I’ll post the stuff I’ve been working on over my break! 🚙 (interesting, that’s the emoji that came up for break- car brake! Hmmm) 

Looking up from down hill

Day 13/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

The heat and humid of the past few weeks with intermittent thunderstorms every two to three days surely says it’s summer. That being said, the usual summer blooms on the meadow garden are a bit late and just putting out color. The  rudbeckia, coreopsis and a few culver’s root are out but generally there’s a lot more than yellow and white – there are purples, pinks and mauves, reds and oranges of the allium, Joe Pye Weed, milkweed, aster, sedge, fern, turtlehead, sunflower, goldenrod, verbena, monarda, penstemon, mountain mint, ironweed, and more, dispersed through the hillside on the meadow gardens by now. Still I’ll settle for some color any color on a hot sultry day like this. 

Tropical Patterns 

Day 8/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

Today’s post is about Patterns. At the US Botanic Gardens the tropical plants all around were luscious and very green. Only a few had blooms on them, but that didn’t really matter because the leaves were large, some of them even a 2-3 feet long and a foot wide and heavily patterned. Meandering through the pathways you didn’t really distinguish each leaf individually because the stripes and the colors just seemed to merge and flow into one another forming intricate patterns of yellows and greens in all shades. This is just one pattern that stood out and it happened to have a calyx adding an extra pop of color. 

Utamaro’s Okubi-e

Day2/31 #WorldWatercolorMonth 

Sackler gallery’s has a new exhibit ‘Inventing Utamaro’ displaying the famous triptych depicting the theme of “snow, moon and Flowers” of Kitagawa Utamaro. Along side this are also some fabulous woodblock prints of this legendary Japanese artist. I was really drawn to his woodblock prints. I managed to do a quick pen and ink sketch inside of a few and then used the sketches as reference to do this watercolor sitting just outside looking in. These prints now called okubi-e or large head pictures became part of his signature style. This one was titled ‘Wakana and Wakanoura of the Wakanaya’. 

I’ll be back again tomorrow for the second half of the painting. 

Longwood Fountainscape

Day1/31 #WorldWatercolorMonth – yes it’s #WorldWatercolorMonth 2017! It kind of snuck up on me though  Charlie O’Shields over at Doodlewash has been reminding us for almost a month now! 

The gorgeous flowerpots at the base of Longwood fountain terrace were just begging to be sketched. These exotic blooms had such a tropical air to them, I just wanted to capture the essence, but I’ll have to do the flowers over again.

Snow on the Meadows

I love to go for long walks whenever I can and I always bring my sketchbook along for that quick capture of a scene or a mood that strikes without warning. Walking in the meadows at Longwood Gardens after a snowfall takes on a whole new meaning. The blue and purple hues of the distant wintry horizon, the soft fluffs of snow clinging to the seed heads, the dry grass that once stood upright now bent over weighed down by the icy snow clumps, the melting snow frozen in dripping icicles on the twigs and shrubs that catch the sunlight and scatter it into flashes of rainbow colors, the crunch of the frozen snow beneath you feet, and that smell of the frigid air that surrounds you, all make for an atmospheric experience that words fail to describe in full. Here’s my pictorial description in purples…

and here’s another one in moody blues…

Playing with Purples 

Everywhere you look out side, everything is covered in white. Three days of snow and ice storms, three days of painting snowy wintery scenes, and I needed color in my life! My  blue orchids are blooming indoors, and on this cold winter day they bring such brightness and color to the indoors. At present these orchid and the winter jasmine outside my window are all that’s blooming around here. So I’ve been playing around with purples and blues. Here are some different version of blue orchids and my play with purples…

And then without the oranges…

And now that I’ve got my color fix and used up a lot of my purples, I can go back to painting snow again! I’ll post my winter scenes in my next post.