Heavy Heads

The peonies have been glorious this spring, in part due to all of the rain we have had. I realized that I had better capture the before they all faded!

My lettering go a bit muddled, but I managed to capture the impression of the multitude of leaves, at least. Maybe tomorrow I will try another view while they are still in full flower.

Mystery Flowers no more

I’ve not posted for quite a while. I’ve been very sad — my lovely chicken Ruby disappeared several weeks ago at dusk. Most likely a hawk or an owl, but I will never know. She was a wonderful creature, and a sweet companion.

I’ve been trying to focus on painting again, to capture the beauty (rather than the horrors) of nature. I’ve gone painting plein air twice recently, with my friend Martha, who I met at Hameau last year. It’s nice to have a friend to paint with.

We went to the Penn State Arboretum yesterday, and came across these incredible, delicate flowers. There was no tag, and we could not ID them. When I got home, I spent the evening trying to find these, and finally gave up. Luckily, Martha’s sister knew what they were! They are Dodecatheon meadia, commonly called ‘Shooting Stars.’

We were both taken with their inverted form, and the delicate ‘wings’ above.

I hope to paint them again under more controlled studio conditions.

The Curious Chicken

I was painting outside on a small table, and Ruby decided to examine her portrait up close:

An unobstructed view of the portrait:

(She completed her critique and then sampled the watercolors, both on the paper and on the palette!)

Quick Chix

Last week, I tried to do quick, impressionist sketches working directly with pen and ink, followed by wash.

 

Sadly, a few days later, my lovely Amelia was snatched by a predator at dusk. I am heartbroken, left with just a few feathers….sometimes, life on the farm is tragic….

The View out My Window

I spoke on ‘Keeping a Nature Sketchbook’ at the Pennsylvania Private Forest Landowners’ Conference last weekend. One of the themes I mentioned, and one of the easiest ones to pursue, is simply recording the view out of a window. I often sketch the trees or pasture I can see from my studio space; this particular scene focuses on the tree closest to the window, which sports some subtle mossy bits at key spots. I kept to my winter palette, which will soon be supplanted as spring arrives in full and the sepias and browns give way to prominent shads of green.