Happy Solstice! Bouquet for Busby

Bouquet for Busby, ink and watercolor, 11x8.5 inches

Bouquet for Busby, ink and watercolor, 11×8.5 inches

On this shortest day of the year here are some cheery flowers to brighten the darkness.

While I was away visiting my mom last weekend, my cat-sitter Rachel (of McGraw’s Paws) cat-sat for the first time since Busby my tabby cat died. She was sad not seeing him too and left me this stunning bouquet of flowers in his honor and a lovely card with these wise and beautiful words about sorrow that are worth remembering for any loss:

‘When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

~Kahlil Gibran

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Every Day in May 3 and 4: Curtains and Spice Bottles

Every Day in May 4: Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8x5 in

Every Day in May 4: Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8×5 in

I have a whole rack of Penzeys spices but these are my favorites that sit out on the counter for daily use. Their pepper is nothing like the tasteless stuff from the supermarket; it has wonderful flavor and I put it on almost everything. Their cinnamon is sweet and delicious and the Sandwich Sprinkle is great on salads, veggies and meat.

Every Day in May 3: Curtain, ink and watercolor, 8x10 in

Every Day in May 3: Curtain, ink and watercolor, 8×10 in

I have such a tiny bathroom I had to sit on the sink to draw this. My favorite part was drawing the funny patterns on the glass blocks in the window. When I remodeled the bathrooms in my duplex I requested glass blocks in the shower and a window that opens set inside the glass blocks. The wavy glass was fun to draw and is meant to provide privacy but in reality, it’s not perfect. Good thing the neighborhood doesn’t have a few of the window! Also featured in the sketch is my Black and Decker dog washing shower attachment that makes it super easy to wash my dog and she loves hopping in the tub for her spa treatment.

Every Day in May 3-4: Curtain and Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8x10 in

Every Day in May 3-4: Full page, 8×10 in

Flowering Crab Apple Blossoms in Bottles: Oil Paintings

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10x8"

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10×8″

The branches I snipped from a tree in Berkeley provided many opportunities to sketch and paint. The first were watercolor sketches. Then I did these two oil paintings and some other sketches I’ll post later. Two of my favorite things to paint: flowers and glass. Crab Apple Paired (above) is available here.

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple Under Warm Light, oil on archival panel, 6×6

This sake bottle is from a nice sushi dinner I had with my son. He’s much more knowledgeable about such things so he ordered the sake. I was delighted by its wonderful peach colored bottle with a kind of etched surface. I knew it would be fun to paint. I used a very warm light for this still life set up which made everything a little peachy. This little painting is available here.

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8x5"

Gone Wild With Wildflowers (and Watercolor) Part 2

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8x5"

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8×5″

This was one of my favorites of all the wildflowers (see previous post for the wildflowers’ back story, which had such a variety of parts, from the pea-like pods to its spiky green leaves, plus I love purple.

Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Another curious plant with a variety of features and quite vibrant in color.

Yellow spikey flower with photo

Yellow spikey flower with photo

Here it is above in real life (though a bit blurry) with its portrait.

Gentle white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Gentle pinky-white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

These were very delicate.

Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo

Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo

I had to take an allergy pill halfway through the day because all the wildflowers were making me sneeze.

California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5x8"

California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

The first attempt at the poppies above came out nice and fresh but my pen was running out of ink so I drew over the lines with another pen and then wasn’t crazy about the composition so I sketched them again (below).

California Poppies, first attempt,  ink & watercolor 8x5"

California Poppies, #2, ink & watercolor 8×5″

I liked the composition better. Since this is our California state flower, it deserved an encore anyway. If you know the names of any of the flowers, let me know and I’ll update the captions.

Bachelors Buttons (I think), ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Gone Wild With Wildflowers, Part 1

Bachelors Buttons (I think), ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Bachelors Buttons (I think), ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Just days before the city mowed down all the “dangerous” wildflowers on Carlson Boulevard for the second time, finally killing them, I walked along the narrow median strip with cars zooming by, and snipped specimens of each to paint. (I previously wrote here about why they were dangerous. They grew back after that first trimming.)

Pink Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5x8"

Pink Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5×8″

Pink Wildflower sketch with photo

Pink wildflower sketch with photo

I took them home and went wild, putting them in pretty bottles and vases, then sketching and painting them all day long.

Pink & Yellow Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5x8"

Pink & Yellow Wildflowers, ink and watercolor, 5×8″

Pink and yellow wildflowers with photo

Pink and yellow wildflowers with photo

My goal was to make free and fresh sketches of each flower that captured its personality while keeping composition in mind.

Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers with photo, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Little Daisy-Like Wildflowers with photo

I postponed posting because of the time it would take to prepare the many sketches, scans and photos from that glorious day. I finally made the time; I didn’t want to be posting spring wildflowers in the Fall!

Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle with photo

Lacy Wildflowers in Blue Bottle with photo

Do you know the names of any of these flowers? If you do, please leave a comment and tell me and I’ll change the captions with the correct names.

There are many more wildflower sketches to come, which I will post in Part 2.

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