Irises are Easy

This is an old post I decided to dredge up for this week's Paint Party Friday and Sunday Sketches.  Hope you don't mind!!!

During the long weekend, I finally got my fingers in the dirt of my garden.  I was reminded of all the beautiful gardens I've had in my life and it started me on another flower painting week...

Watercolour on paper 6x9

and because I was so successful at depicting the flower of my choice,  I did a second, larger painting:

Watercolour on paper 9 x 11.5

And another one...
Watercolour on canvas paper 9 x 12

Can't wait until things are blooming & I can paint from life instead of memory.

Have a great weekend!

Linking to:  

Paint Party Friday     

And now for something completely different

I love flowers, I guess that's pretty obvious from all the flowers I keep painting.  And since I haven't been able to figure out how to achieve depth in my artwork, I've given up trying and decided to just paint and not worry about it anymore...

With that in mind, I painted this abstract:

Again, it wasn't the look I was trying to achieve... :P  but I really like the result and I'm not tempted to "fix" it yet either.    Guess that means it's a success!  lol

Have a great week!            

Linking to:  Paint Party Friday

A Little Piece of Paradise

Here is a series of photos showing the scenery of this beautiful area where I live.  My town is situated in a valley between two mountain ranges - to the east is the Rocky Mountains and to the west are the Purcells.   Enjoy!

I love how these pretty flowers grow
in little bouquets all over the
local hills.
The flowers are Balsamroot.
A wider view of the little bouquets.  That's the
Purcell Mountain range in the distance.
This reminds me of the Sound of Music...
Dancing in the wildflowers :)
then a swim in the creek
hurry up already!
More wildflowers

A babbling brook

a closer view...

can't get enough of how fresh this looks :)

Old growth trees

leaves just emerging from a very long winter

My favourite place, only a few paces away from the large creek yet a hush fell over as I entered this shady glen.  
And because I didn't show you our Rocky Mountain view,
here is a photo from some time ago.

Hope you enjoyed my little piece of paradise.  Have a happy week!

The Cottage

I started painting this picture yesterday.  I've been working on it off and on, waiting for paint to dry and trying to get the shadows and flowers to look right.  I don't know...  It looks really paint-by-numberish to me and I haven't been able to figure out yet what it is that I need to do to improve it.

The cottage has changed colours four times, the garden has changed shape and I added the trellised vine when I was having trouble with the depth of the cottage!  I sure wish I could get away from this one-dimensional look that I always seem to have going...

Oh well, guess I'll figure it out with more practice.  Meanwhile, I do love all the paintings I'm creating and that's all that matters, isn't it? 

Mudroom/ Laundry Room Makeover Part 1

I've been going through my house for the last 8 months, ever since I first moved in, adding storage spaces and eliminating cupboards installed in odd or inconvenient places and other things that made no sense to me.

My mudroom doubles as a laundry room.  It's a long, narrow porch with doorways to the kitchen and the backyard that connects to a bathroom through a 4'x7' space that once was a storage room.

The Pansy

You'd think a simple picture would be really easy to paint.  Just duplicate the lines and fill in the colour and there ya go!  but OH NO, there's always a twist to it.

I started with a very simple photo of a beautiful pansy:
Gorgeous, don't you think?  It was taken by a photographer named Michael Mancil. 

Anyhow, This looked really simple to me.  A lot of yellow, some dashes, some shading and I would have a beautiful painting.  NOT!  I can't believe how much I struggled with this painting.

I began with the plan to have just the main flower on a white background.  I didn't like it.  The white background didn't do the yellow justice, so I added turquoise.  It still looked weird, so I added the back of the flower and the stem with some leaves.  That looked better but my main pansy still looked wrong:

The top of the flower didn't look right to me.  I tried shading, painting it out, painting it back in, adding contours, taking contours out.  Nothing worked.  Finally, I hung it up and walked away.  When I came back to it, I decided to add some more shading:

OK, now we're getting somewhere!  The top of the flower still looks weird - lose it!!  Here is the final version with the top petal painted out and mega turquoise paint added:

Now I'm happy.

(Still a little too one-dimensional but I'll figure that one out as I go along.)

A Field of Sunflowers

I've had a picture in my desk caddy for quite a while.  It's something I came across while surfing the 'net and fell in love with.  I have no idea where I got it from, but I love the picture

I absolutely love sunflowers so I decided to try my hand at painting this image.  I started out great with the sky, the tree and the barn.  I took artistic licence with the distant trees in the center of the photo but once I got to the field of sunflowers - omg, what to do!  I could not get my brushstrokes fine enough to accurately depict this photo... :P

In desperation, I began looking for some tool to help me create some semblance of petals.  I chose a q-tip.  It gave the painting a kitchy kind of look, so I went with it.  I couldn't get the orangey sky quite right so I painted it out, giving my painting a blue sky with clouds. 

Sheesh, what a mess!  I got rid of the tree in front of the barn, my depiction of it looked odd to me.  I kept working on the petals with different shades of yellow and with some white.  Then I added some highlights and stems.  I was at it off and on for a couple of days, trying to find a way to give the petals better definition but I still couldn't achieve quite the look I wanted.  

When all is said and done, I'm happy with the end result although it's a far cry from what I was trying for!!

Inspired by a Poppy

I just created my very favourite painting so far.  It was painted from a clipping I took years ago from an old Country Living magazine.  In fact, it was on the back of the clipping I had taken!  Now that I am moving ahead in my new passion, this painting has become my signature image.  Here it is in all its glory:

And here is a picture of the clipping:


It's funny how something you hang onto for years and years can become the trigger for an entirely different purpose than the one you originally intended.

Gotta love how life works out.

Have a wonderful day!