Sunday, July 26, 2009

Turks cap Lilly

The Turks-cap Lilllies are beginning to bloom. This orange native Lilly is taller than I am on this misty mountain morning.

I know this is the Turkscap, Lillium superbum by the green star on the inside of the bloom.

The smaller flowers of the Carolina lilly (L. michauxii) do not have the green stripe on each petal that forms the star.

They are blooming with the Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) in this summer woodland garden.

A Dutch woman I knew in Virginia called the black cohosh 'Fairy Candles', like they are called in her country. They do seem to light up the dark woods in their bloom season.

The mist of the clouds gives the garden such an enchanted look and feel. Though it is not that comfortable working in the drippy wet fog.

I have been feasting on the summer harvest. Blowing Rock now has a farmers Market on Thursday evenings. This makes food shopping so easy for me, I can easily go after work. Plus, I get to see my friend Matt and his daughter Sita for a change while he sells his produce, I can help out with keeping Sita occupied while her Mom is at work.

Last weekend I attended a watercolor workshop with Sterling Edwards at the monthly meeting of the High Country Watermedia Society. Please take a look at his art Gallery linked above.

Needless to say, I have done nothing but paint ever since trying to ground my body into acting on what I learned. Such an inspiring artist he is. I appreciated that he took the time to show me a few things. He was really interested in making sure we got it. I am now concentrating more than ever on discerning good combinations of mid tones, & darks, while leaving more room for white spaces, as well as practicing negative painting techniques and the brush stokes he so deflty uses. Very fun and challenging stuff. My stuff looks nothing like his, but I guess it is not suppposed to.
I want so badly to paint scenes like from my misty gardens well.....

Enough typing, I am heading back to the paints for the day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Still Life

I took a holiday for the 4th of July weekend and painted this teapot. It even rained on Monday so I had 3 whole days all to myself, while the rest of the world celebrated births, deaths and Independence.

It was a sweet gift from a friend years ago, I have always wanted to paint it.

I got the white fleshed nectarines from the farmers market in Boone, the daylilly is from my garden.

I seldom paint still life well, but this one turned out OK. Well, it turned out OK the second time I painted it. On the first try I ruined the background.

I am back to watercolors after playing with acrylic paint this last month. The paintings were alright, but when I tried to scan them into the computer they looked awful. I still have so much to learn. When I straightened up my house last month I got the chance to review the work I have painted over the last year, and I am making progress. It is challenging though, to do the kind of physical labor I do every day and still find time to paint. I am grateful for holiday weekends.

With the dog days of summer setting in, Finn & I are moving a little slower now. I can't believe how much that big brown dog can sleep when the weather outside does not suit him! I love that the phone is not ringing so much, and that I can feel a bit cloistered and unreachable, at peace in my own little world, painting vignettes that catch my eye. I think I will go rummage through the house and start composing another still life. There is not much flowering in the garden right now that I haven't already painted at least once.

I do want to get started on a painting of a dear clients garden. She has not been feeling well lately, and I want to see if I can paint a portrait of her sweet garden for her.

In fact, now that the laundry is done, the house is cleaned as well as the car, and the lawn is mowed....I am free for the day to do just that!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Peaky Top

This is the view from the porch of 'Peaky Top' where we worked last week. Peaky Top is a private family retreat, right on the edge of the gorge. The home was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. We are upgrading a few steps, adding some stone walls, upgrading the patio and clearing some views.

I got there before Mike that morning and snapped some photo's. In this photo, Finn is watching intently as Mike pulls into the property. He loves his buddy Mike. Within a second after snapping this photo, Finn made a mad dash for Mikes truck to say good morning.

As always, the two boy's are excited to see each other in the mornings, and had a moment of playtime on the wall. On the other side of that wall, it is about 3,500 feet to the bottom of the gorge. We are pretty much standing on the continental divide here.

Last week, the weather was cool and dry, much better for working
in the gardens. Perfect weather for the 4th of July holiday.

The Town of Blowing Rock was filled with happy visitors for the Holiday weekend. The American flags were waving in the breeze, often hitting me in the head while I worked, the families were visiting and the party atmosphere was all around. All the gardens are ready for visitor's.

Mike's wife Jennifer, and his baby son Malone came by for lunch, so we had little picnic on the porch. Babies do love Finn. When my granddaughter talks to me on the phone, she always mentions Finn.
Earlier in the week we were working on upgrading the entrance beds at the Chestnut Hill Condos. There was a little girl toddler out playing, and Finn played with her so gently, giving her his paw to shake. Malone enjoyed riding on Finns back at our picnic.

Malone also got to do a little bouldering with his dad before we had to get back to work.

I am always amazed with the properties I get to work on here. Each one is so unique.
I just never know what I am going to find at the end of the lane, the first time I drive in.

Like I say...everyday is an adventure.