A shabby chic vignette of flowers on top of flowers. Five pretty roses in a blue can rest atop layers of vintage floral fabric. Sweet and feminine.
A little 6×6” loose study of hydrangeas in varied colors, country simple in an old teal blue can.
Snapdragons are a real favorite of mine and they can be pretty hardy bloomers. It was in December after a mild autumn that I felt especially lucky to still have some flowering in the bed out front. But snow was coming and this would be the last of them. Time to snip them and bring them inside where they would add cheer to the coming winter weather. These snapdragons were a little straggly looking at the end of a long growing season, but still with enough pizzazz to paint in a shiny copper pot, with an apple and a few grapes for company.
The Monday paint group decided to have a “Teacup Week” during one of our Covid lockdown zoom sessions. Most everyone has a teacup or two around. For me it was one of my great-grandmother Maxwell’s Haviland Limoges Porcelain Rose teacups from the 1800s. I love that they have hand-painted roses both inside and out! How many Maxwells and their guests have sipped tea and coffee from these lovely delicate teacups down through the years, I can’t begin to say. But they’re all in perfect condition, well loved and cared for through the generations. Makes me want to paint a pretty dining table scene with more of these pretty pieces. It’s on the list!
An old photo, a favorite bracelet, the little hand-carved jewelry box Dad made for his bride, these were some of my Mom’s favorite things, now favorite remembrances of mine.
On Mondays I paint with a wonderful group of women in the basement of a small historic church. There are rooms painted in fun, bright colors for the Sunday School children, making this very old basement a decidedly cheery place to paint! Still lifes are set up with various treasures brought in by members of the group, so you never know what will inspire you until you get there. If none of the traditional still lifes grab me, I sometimes make off with a vase of something or other and head for the deep window wells of a corner room. This orange room was the perfect backdrop for a sprig of orange Chinese Lanterns.
Lots of fall color in these gourds and some nice warty skins to usher in the autumn season and witchy Halloween. Nothing edible about this particular fall harvest but it sure is fun to see and paint all the bumps, warts and wrinkles in bright yellow, green and orange gourds.
March of 2020 was a very different sort of month than any of us had lived through before. Covid-19 was upon us. It started like any other March but ended with life turned upside down, businesses closed and people afraid to venture out of their homes. A very dark time of more questions than answers. Mother Nature didn’t seem to notice though. Robins returned and spring flowers popped out like they’ve done for thousands of years. In my own neighborhood there is a Star Magnolia tree that can never wait to bloom. It will burst forth in exuberant display long before it’s safe to do so. Often it pays dearly for taking such a risk. Freezing temperatures cut short the fragile blossoms.
When I photographed a few stems for a still life painting, the white drapery came out nearly black in the background in contrast to the bright sunlight streaming in the window. It seemed a fitting scene for those dark times. Hopefulness amidst dark shadows. The gamble of emerging too soon into deadly danger. The determined persistence underlying fragile life. For me this Star Magnolia painting will ever remain a remembrance of those challenging times.