Akron estate

Akron estate

Akron estate

As you might have guessed by my absence, blackberry season has started. Along with the continual garden weeding, I have been spending a lot of time outside.

In any case, I have been undecided for a while on what to do next.  There have been plenty of distractions lately, but I did need to pick something.  I went through my photos and nothing quite jumped out at me.  I did want another architectural so I looked again and chose this one.   At first I wanted to crop to the entryway area, but I couldn’t find a good view, no matter what I tried.  So instead I am drawing the whole thing.  I still kept it small – about  10″x6″.   I will probably color it with the watercolors just for practice.  It will be interesting to see how such a large house turns out in such a small drawing.

Yippee!!

The studio

The studio

I had a great surprise in the mail on Friday. Remember I had entered 2 paintings in a gallery show a few weeks ago? Well, according to their show prospectus, notifications would be sent out the end of this week. Lo and behold, I got the letter that both were accepted a week early.  Now I have to mat and frame them up.  Not a huge deal because I can cut the mats myself, but they want them framed under plexiglass and I don’t know where I will get that.  The good thing is I have over a month to figure it out.  I plan to hand deliver the two and make a day of it to take some more small town architectural photos.  It has been a long time since I did that – well before I got my digital camera in 2005.  That should prove fun too.

Nashville Watercolor

Nashville Watercolor

I think of the two, I like the artist’s studio better.  The works will be for sale with a commission to the gallery, but what the heck.  I think the exposure will be good and if I can get some additional architectural commissions out of it, so much the better.   Selling them would be a bonus.

All better now and able to finish with the watercolor

Key West color

Key West color

Last Sunday, after a long day of trying to relieve my finger pain from the bee sting, I found what might have been a stinger when I took out my contacts.  Once I took it out, the pain rapidly subsided and by morning all was fine.  I just wish I had found it earlier.  I can’t really see close up with the contacts in and nothing very well past three inches beyond my nose with them out.  But all’s well now and it’s back to the drafting table.

I wanted to make this little cottage a peachy color with green shutters, unlike the bland white siding and black shutters in the photo.  I am not quite sure I got the peachy color quite right, but overall I am pleased with it.  It looks quite nice, nestled in the trees.  It would make a great hideaway for someone, don’t you think.   I’ll let it sit for a day or two, then make a few final adjustments.  I think mostly it will involve some deepening if color and the shadows.

Bees, bandaides, and the Key West House

It’s been a tough day for my hands.  The ceramic soap dish in my bathroom broke and I sliced my left thumb pad first thing this morning.  Then I went out to pick raspberries for probably the last time this summer and managed to get stung on my right pinkie by a ground bee just before I was finished.  Man, did that ever hurt.  I got back to the house and put a baking soda paste on it which helped for about half an hour.  Then it started throbbing badly again so I tried a baking soda/vinegar soak for a while.  A little bit of relief.  Then it started to hurt again and swell up as well and move some into my ring finger.  I haven’t had something hurt like that in ages.  On to some benadryl spray, ibuprofen, and icing it.  The off and on icing has helped the most, but 6 hours later I can still feel it.  It is still swollen a little and stiff.  I guess I will be continuing the icing the rest of the day.  Durn ground bees.  I think this is the first time I have ever been stung in all the years of berry picking.  All of the weeding hasn’t helped the nerves in my hands either.

Key West cottage

Key West cottage

I did manage to finish the inking on this little house today even though my little finger is swollen and achy. At least there wasn’t much left to do.  It’s amazing how much I use all of the fingers on my hand.  I could barely draw the straight lines for the siding because I was holding my pinkie out and not bending it. The siding looks a bit wonky to me but it will have to do. Watercolor will be up in the next couple of days.  The house is just a blah sort of green with black shutters and white trim.  I am going to look at my other photos and make it more colorful.  It may be a small house, but it can have big Key West colors.  Now back to icing my finger.

Key West cottage

I’ve been a bit lax on posting the last 2 weeks, but I have a good excuse. It is black raspberry season!! If you have been looking at my blog for the last few years, you know that studio time lessens somewhat when the berries come in.  Nothing gets between me and my berries.  I have picked about three gallons so far, and if you know how small black raspberries are, you know that is a lot of picking.  Almost done though.  Next up will be the blackberries, but not for a few weeks.

Key West cottage

Key West cottage

I enjoyed doing the two little art studios last month and thought I’d like to do something else in the same vein.  I found a small Key West cottage in my pictures and thought it would be a good choice. I penciled it up today.  I plan to do it in the pen and ink and the watercolors.  It has been fun playing with the watercolors on a small scale.

If I disappear again for a short period near the end of the month, just think about me, out in the fields picking blackberries.  I am hoping for 3-5 gallons worth.  All of the berries seem to have liked our long cold weather and are producing well.

Hydrangea linocut

Hydrangea spike

Hydrangea spike

I have two beautiful hydrangea paniculata trees (pinky winky variety if you can believe it)  flanking my front door. I had never heard of them before the landscaper put them in, but now I think they are quite lovely. They flower late summer with a large spike at the end of a branch. Unlike the blue and pink hydrangeas that we are most are familiar with, the spike doesn’t fully flower out – I would say less than 10%. There are lots of seedy looking buds that never open. The ones that do are a soft pink and beige color. I clipped off a dozen branches last fall to dry and decided to use them as a linocut inspiration.

 

Colored hydrangea linocut

Colored hydrangea linocut

I like the linocut itself, but I am not sure I like the green ink.  I wanted to use something other than the black, but I am feeling rather so-so about this color.  Unfortunately, my inking palette is rather limited in this regard.

The studios – finished

Studio 1

Studio 1

I worked on the studios the last couple of days, deepening the colors and adding a little bit of ink. I don’t know if you can see any difference, but I think they are improved.  I think I like Studio 1 the best.  There is an art gallery show fairly close to me and I am debating putting it and something else in.  The cost is relatively low and I don’t have to mail it.

Studio 2

Studio 2

Next up is a hydrangea linocut.  I have a two hydrangea trees in front of my house and they have the most unusual flower spike.  Only a few of the buds actually flower.  I dried several branches last fall and they are quite lovely.

 

 

 

 

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