Tag Archives: flowers

Lilacs… (26/365)

IMG_4294.JPGScents and memories… so strongly linked at times one could believe therein lies the secret of the time machine. The scent of lilacs evokes memories of my mother, who loved lilac bushes, perhaps because when she was born, a celebratory lilac bush was planted outside her grandmother’s house.

This bush caught my attention this afternoon when I was scurrying back to rehearsals after a quick break where I enjoyed this…

IMG_4290.JPG…a cuppa decaf latte love…

 

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Not surprisingly, lilacs (and the colour, lilac) have featured in the work of many artists over the years… Here’s Sill Life with Lilacs by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky

 

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Lilacs in a Window by Mary Cassatt, 1880

 

 

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The Glass of Lilac by Georges Braque, 1946

You know what I’m going to say… all these images of lilacs in vessels makes me want to a) go find a lilac bush and, in the dark of night, snip a few sprigs and b) do a still life painting featuring lilacs!

 

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Lilacs by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872

Hmmm…. if only there were a way to impregnate the images with scent…

 

 

 

 

 

Orange You Glad… (20/365)

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After another morning of blood tests and follow-ups (all is well, Dad is on the mend…) Dad and I headed off to Glendale Gardens (at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific). The man-eating rhodos are in full-bloom and putting on quite a show at the moment.

I was on a mission to find a couple of things. The first was some good examples of the color orange as that’s the Artists Magazine is looking for Instagram submissions using their #artistsnetwork_colorstory hashtag and, yes, the featured color for the next couple of months is orange.

Sparty’s dashing orange life vest made it into my notebook yesterday…

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The color is actually a pale impression of the real thing, which is neon crazy bright (a good thing, I suppose, if he went overboard and needed to be rescued), but I didn’t actually bring an orange pencil with me. This led to a somewhat awkward moment in the hospital waiting room when I had to ask Dad how to mix orange… He looked at me like I had just asked ‘what do I do next, I’d like to breathe…’ I know mixing colours is second nature to some, but for me, I never really got past yellow and blue make green. And so far, most of my early efforts at sketching stuff has been without colour and certainly without colour mixing…

Anyway, the answer (delivered with a minimum of eye-rolling, I suspect because Dad is not feeling his best) is red and yellow. Which, I guess, I maybe did kind of know because what else would you possibly mix to get orange?

IMG_3882.JPGAs it happens, the gardens were filled with orange-y flowers, blossoms, and blooms of all shapes and sizes (and, scents… but that’s hard to deliver via the Internet).

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Looking at those variations on the orange theme, you can see how some are more yellow, some more red… In my imagination I am swirling my paintbrush through blobs of pigment to create exactly the right mixture to capture the brilliant colors at the gardens.

 

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Perhaps my favourite orange flowers were the little balls on this aptly named “Orange Ball Tree” (did you spot the bee? they were everywhere today, which was GREAT to see)

It’s funny how, when you start looking for something, it starts showing up every time you turn around. We went to the tea shop in the gardens and what’s lying on the tea plate?

 

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Things were getting more orange by the minute… I took a series of photos of stuff on the tea table. Perhaps there may be a still life in my future? 

Even after we arrived home, the orange kept appearing!

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I thought this might make an interesting subject for a drawing with everything except the orange being done in either pencil or pen and wash…

Here’s a painting I found where the oranges look very yellow (though, that might be in the reproduction…)

 

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The Orange Market by Maurice Prendergast (1898-ish)

How about this one by Andy Warhol?

 

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Five Deaths Eleven Times in Orange by Andy Warhol, 1963

 

 

I must say I’m kind of excited about the possibilities when it comes to colour… Stay tuned!

 

 

Carousel Ponies, Frogs and Nosebleeds (17/365)

 

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Dad and Frog (or, toad?)

 

After leaving the hospital for what has become our daily morning visit to ER to deal with ongoing nosebleed management issues, Dad and I headed for Butchart Gardens to gather some raw material for drawing and painting.

 

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I couldn’t make out the signature, but this drawing is stuck to a cabinet in the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Room at the local hospital emergency room… It’s the chair in which Dad has spent a fair bit of time over the past several days… 

 

It has been YEARS since I was last at the gardens and I have to say, they really are quite something, especially given the place is also a story of reclamation and rehabilitation. Once an ugly quarry that supplied limestone for Robert Butchart’s cement plant, the gardens were the dreamchild of Butchart’s wife, Jennie who wanted to pretty things up a bit once industry was done with stripping what it needed from the land. What a beautification project!

These days, almost a million visitors a year stroll around the gardens, snapping photos.

As one would expect, there are gazillions of flowers, shrubs, and trees, but there are also fountains, statues, and a carousel. I have always loved carousels and am always a bit disappointed when I’m near one without a child to coerce into riding with me!

A carousel horse statue prances near the carousel, an escapee from the endless drudgery of up and down and round and round. I took several photos, thinking I might be able to draw it later.

 

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Statue of a carousel pony dancing at Butchart’s

Dad gave me a brush pen with a reservoir for use with watercolours and once I got home  I pulled out the watercolour pencils I brought with me and started to experiment.

 

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New toy, must play…

 

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Unhappy with the pole, which looks awful, but I’m thinking that if I mess around with that it will get much worse… As it is, you can tell it’s a carousel pony, so I’m happy to leave it at that!

Of course I’m not the only person to be captivated by carousel ponies…

 

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Carnival the Carousel by Georges Lemmen, early 1890s

 

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Many carousel ponies (and other creatures) are works of art themselves… I’d kind of like one in my living room, to be honest. Maybe even a row of them for people to sit on at the kitchen island… We would need a bigger kitchen island, of course… Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

That’s it for now… I’m struggling (really struggling) to draw or paint a flower that looks even remotely floral, so you don’t get to see any of that stuff yet. I’m feeling a bit heartened, though, that with practice comes progress, so I’ll keep trucking on and see what happens next…

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11 – a Pop of Color (Photo 101)

A splash of colour...

A splash of colour…

In a brash move (in the spirit of yesterday’s post), I am posting this assignment out of order!  The challenge was to choose one bold colour possibly set off against a neutral background. Though the composition is more cluttered than I think was intended, the colour is so intense I’m posting anyway. This is an azalea variety which has an intense scent to match its brilliant display. It always starts to flower right around my birthday at the beginning of May and, for me, is a sure sign that hot summer weather is just around the corner.

As for those missing posts? I’m working on them… Maybe I’ll get around to posting and maybe I won’t. That’s just the way it is when you are dealing with a rebel blogger…

Y is for Yellow…

… gold, yellow, amber, orange – such a warm display from our cheery tulips, as happy to see the sun as we are.

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