Some years ago I wanted to learn about plants, since I skipped botany in college. So I signed up for a local flora class over at my local junior college. The class was a delight, taught by a botanist of note in our area. I’m sure I’ve mentioned Linda before~she has been studying the sedges of 3 states (that I know of) and writing excellent guides to them. She moves fast for a botanist, so we have to grab lunches pretty quick, but we’ve been dear friends ever since that class. This painting is for her. I kept it sketchy, to suggest a bird about to flit to the next thing…just like Linda!
The River Pool
When I was a girl I couldn’t get enough of peering into pools of water. Whether tide pools at the sea or small lakes here in Illinois, I was endlessly fascinated to see how the light reflected on the surface of the water shifted as waves rippled, and to watch the critters swimming about. Walking along the Des Plaines River, I was tickled to discover that as the river meanders it also creates still pools of water. Edges are wonderful places, full of change and life.
Melissa Blue Fine Art
One of my favorite things in spring is when the crabapples burst into bloom. I wish it could last forever! When my neighbor’s tree is done it showers my car with pink petals, like a benediction.
I’d like you to meet my new studio dog, Pete 🙂 🙂 As you can see, he is settling right in, throwing things on the floor and generally causing consternation.
He’s quite fierce when he has hold of this little blue starfish thingy. Big growls from little beast.
As you can imagine, painting time has been curtailed a bit as we get to know each other. I’ve wanted a Westie again for years and years, and am so glad I took the plunge with this wee one. He’s already a great little dog.
A little painting is still happening, thank goodness. It is time to paint butterflies again!
Monarch on Coneflower
Changes fascinate me. As I sit here, I can gaze out at my sodden garden. Unusual warm temperatures hastened blooms, and now it has turned cold and wet. We’re getting quite a lot of rain which seems welcome to me and my button bush. Life teaches us that all things must change, and yet we seem to resist this. Perhaps we should be asking, “what about these changes might be good?”. Just a thought.
There is change going on in my studio as well. As you can see from this lively Monarch, I want to move away from the strict reporting of the facts of representational painting toward a more intuitive response. I’ve been reading about Georgia O’Keefe and am inspired by something she spoke of. Rather than stand outside of creation and report on it, she wanted to paint from the midst of creation. I love the idea of that, and will be exploring it in my own work.
For my Monarch painting, I felt that the blue-lavender background was too static. I wanted to suggest movement and energy, and thought broken color at the top of the canvas would do that. When the paint started to drip, I decided I quite liked that and so encouraged some more colors to drip. Too fun!
So that’s what I’m up to. What changes are you noticing in your life?
“Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.”
~Dame Edith Cavell
This past weekend I was asked to paint on location at a new store in our area, called Summer’s Boutique. It is a wonderful shop featuring up-cycled furniture and art objects. If you are in the area, look it up. You’ll be delighted with the treasures you’ll find.
I had it in mind to create a demure botanical painting with a nearly white background. By now I should know, that just wasn’t going to happen! Yesterday the painting and I had a long discussion, and this is how things turned out. I’ll never be invited to join a botanical art society, that’s for sure 🙂