Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Sunflowers. New Piece Finished!

My Sunflowers, 23 x 23 inches on industrial paneled plywood. Images include sunflowers I've grown in my gardens as well as members of my family and photographs from my collection. There's a pale yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly worked in as well, and it perfectly blends in with the sunflowers.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sparkly Things: Vintage Gold Mesh Bags

I really don't know anything about these vintage gold mesh handbags. They were my mom's, bought in the 1950s, and are still like-new. One of them actually still has a little blue sales tag on it! The maker is "Whiting & Davis, Co" and they're still in business. I've always liked to hold these bags, even as a child. They're slinky! They're cool to the touch, have nice linings, and one has a little mirror inside wrapped in the same gold satin as the lining. The history of the company can be found, here. Apparently beginning in the 1950s the company started gifting each new First Lady with their gold mesh bags, but with diamond clasps...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MoreColour!

I call these dahlias in my garden "fraternal twins." They're both blooming on the same plant but are opposites of each other, one light pink with darker pink center and the other darker pink with a lighter center.

June may have moved but her Butterfly bush is doing splendidly! Of course she checks it weekly to make sure I'm taking care of it, lol.

This dahlia is a beautiful creamy white until it fully opens and ages, then this yellow with a bit of pink shows up. I find dahlias utterly fascinating to grow. I hope I'm able to grow them for years to come. 

 This dahlia has very simple petals but I love it. It has a very Sixties "Flower Power" shape to it.

One of the Victorian cast-iron planters in front of Pink Gardens. I outdid myself this year if you ask me, lol! Almost everything in these planters is rooted in water all winter inside and then replanted in the spring. This is a brand new geranium, though, and the yellow Lantana is new as well. I do well with a zero budget! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Flying By

This pretty magenta/red Beebalm is new to the garden this year. They stand about 4-feet tall and should multiply readily through the years. I did some gardening for a friend and she wanted a bunch of these taken out so they could see traffic better from the driveway. She put them in a bucket and I brought them home and planted them!

One of my dahlias this year is this pink variety. This one seemed to be wearing a cap. Those two petals never fully unfurled in the right direction.

A very wet dark orange marigold is home to this bright green insect. You see the coolest little things when you look.

My other marigold variety this year is this solid orange one. I've been growing the same marigold strains for about 10 years. Dried flowers can be picked and very easily harvested for seeds. 

Some of the sedum is beginning to blossom.

So far we've had mostly squash flowers, but I see two small fruit finally starting to form.

The day lilies were fast this year. This is a few days ago and they're almost done blooming already. Hundreds of stems to deadhead now!

I planted an old onion this spring and this came up. I have no idea if the same onion will be in the ground of if there will be a few of them. I've never grown onions before.

Tomatoes are coming along pretty well. My cherry tomato bush doesn't look healthy all of a sudden. These are full size "Mountain Fresh Air" and are supposed to be very large, bright red, and juicy...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Second Period

"Reading Between the Lines" is made from three vintage clapboards joined together.

I've come to think of my work done from 2008-2011, give or take a year on either side, as my "second period" of paintings. I concentrated less on a single central image and began working smaller images into cohesive wholes, or as I like to think, wrote a song with harmonies. If an image is a musical note, I string notes together into a nicely orchestrated song by the end of my pieces, lol. All of my vintage images are from my family's collection of negatives, slides, and prints.

"And Thus it Began." This piece includes very brittle, lacy dried leaves which Nature radically decomposed for me. I found them on my daily walks, in the fall, and each one was a work of art. I knew I had to include them in some art. They're completely clearcoated and will last forever. Or longer than I will, lol.

"Pals, Peaks." Images include an artfully designed poem I wrote in the 1980s, as well as scans from an old 1920s children's book that belonged to my mother.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cloudy Day, Bright Flowers

Pretty salmon-colored Geranium is going on ten or eleven years old. I cut them back every fall and winter them over in the attic.

Bright squash flowers are hopefully the beginning of lots of yellow squash, one of my favorite summer vegetables.

Bright magenta Rose Campion is also known as a Pink Mullein. They have grayish aqua stems and leaves and these date back to my mom's and my grandmother's gardens.

A wildflower, or weed, as many call them, this wild tradescanthia or Day Flower has lovely blue blooms. They're tiny, but as I've found so many times, take time to smell the roses and take time to look WAY down at the smallest of plants. They often have beautiful surprises for you.

 
Two more of my "ancient" Geraniums. I've wintered over white, bright red, bright pink, and salmon colored varieties.

A digital glitch when shooting these perennial Spiderworts or Tradescanthias caused the image to almost look 3D lifting the pale bluish-lavender flowers right off the page.

"Mountain Fresh" variety of tomatoes in my garden is new this year. These tomatoes are getting bigger each day. I've never heard of the variety but am looking forward to trying them. I bought four plants this year, this one, a red cherry variety, and two Romas, but I have about a dozen volunteers coming up that are probably heirlooms of some sort from last year.

 The first "rail" of cherry tomatoes is coming along nicely!


I've got about a dozen little groups of Dill coming up. I not only use dill leaves in cooking and salads, but I love to grate the dill seeds as well. They taste completely different so it's like growing two plants in one. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Majestic Beauties

This beautiful David Austin rose is one of my favorites. It's off to the side of a parking lot at the condos I walk by everyday. These roses have an amazing aroma and as you can see, are the perfect rose shape, too!

I call this Foxglove in my garden the "King." It's the tallest and the most robust of all of mine. Of course, it's like picking your favorite child, lol. I have about a hundred of these blooming right now in all of the shades between white and dark pink. More photos soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Flower Time at Home!

The yard is really starting to burst into color. We've had so much rain though, that many of my perennials are taller and somewhat weaker than usual, so I've been busy staking up plants I've never had to before. It's always something, right, lol? I'll have lots more flowers photos in the next few days. I've been working on several new paintings, too, so stay tuned for those as well! 

Downstairs neighbor, Rick, has these pretty orange annuals in pots on his steps.

Do you like butter? Shiny Buttercups are spread throughout the lawns. They don't seem to thrive when I move them into a garden so I leave them in the grass now. The lawn is only mowed every 2-3 weeks now so they're quite pretty most of the time.

The inside of one of my varieties of Foxgloves. They're like burgundy leopard spots.

The graceful "S" curve of a Foxglove.

One of my darker, raspberry colored Foxgloves. Through the years, starting with just two plants, one dark like this, and one bright white, I now have almost every shade from white to pale pink to dark pink to an almost burgundy with a few pale yellow ones. I can only think that they're cross-pollinating with other plants around the neighborhood. 

A side view. They're like little trumpets. 

A bright yellow and gold hybrid bearded Iris. They're such beautiful flowers.

The peonies are just gorgeous this year. They're so heavy this year, and we have rain so often I've been picking them and bringing them inside. I don't mind. They have the best aroma of any plant, in my humble opinion!

One of the paler Foxgloves.

These pale plants have a slightly different shape to the flowers. They're not quite as bulbous, they're simpler. And just as lovely!

This purple Iris has beautiful zebra-like veins on the lower petals.

This Spiderwort has been in my gardens for several years, but was planted in an area that was too shady. I finally transplanted them into the sunny front yard this year and they're thriving. 

Spiderworts look just like lily plants while they're maturing but the flowers are completely different. Instead of separate flower stalks, the blooms come out from the cruz of two leaves. Each flower only lasts a day, like day lilies, but there are 10-15 buds on each "crux" so they last quite a while.

This variety of Foxglove has little "hairs" on the outer edges giving them an almost catfish-like appearance.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Clown Car Arrives at Pink Gardens

Given to me just a few days ago, this newest part of my collection makes me smile so much! I love clowns and, of course, I love cars, so this vintage tin toy Clown Car is awesome! Expect to see him in some of my art really soon.

I turned 57 today, born in 1957. I guess it's a special year but I'm flat on my back with a sciatica flare up! 

One turns the clown's head to wind up the toy. Once you do, the car moves forward for about a foot, stops, backs up for about a foot, stops, and keeps on repeating. I love it.

The painted details are right up my alley with stripes, tiny squares and colors with a lot of patina.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

My maternal grandfather's discharge from WW1. He enlisted in 1917 at the age of 29. Giving thanks to all of our veterans of the past, the present, and the future. This day is to honor all of you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring's Rejuvenation Under Way!

This is a multi-petaled tulip. It's not a Parrot tulip but it's close. This was an afternoon sun, very strong, but within a half hour we had a quick thunderstorm and downpour. 

All three of the African violets I've planted together are blooming at the same time. I love the mix of colors. Combined, this planter is now more than 18-inches wide.

A loose arrangement of cut daffodils inside. The yellow variety in front has multiple petals and the barest suggestion of a "trumpet" in the center. The thinner ones in the back are more traditional but they're very tall and thin in the garden.

This Azalea in the yard is more than 8-feet tall. The pink ones are done now but the smaller dark red variety still has tight buds.

A grouping of Grape Hyacinths on my walk to town.

This little family of Canada geese hangs out by the small pond in town. There's a boardwalk at one end of it that's a shortcut to town for me. There are five little goslings.

This is a very nice perennial garden behind one of the town's historic house museums, the Deacon Grave's House. I'll take photos of this garden all summer. It's really one of the nicest ones in town.