A few spring flowers

It was a busy week outside. I dodged 2″ of welcome rain over 3 days, getting several hours of weeding in and most of a day planting 150 vinca plugs on a hillside. In trying to avoid getting a farmer’s tan from all of the work in the sun, I managed to get sunburned. Not too bad, but not what I really wanted. Anyway, the vinca got planted and more weeds got pulled.  I hope I can get caught up with the yard work sometime in June, but who knows.  Spring has raced by already and July will be upon us before we know it.  (And berry season as well.  Yum.)

Daisy inked

Daisy inked

For some studio time, I decided to pick a few of the spring/summer flowers to paint.  The Chinese irises are out and the wildflowers have started to bloom in profusion.  The daisies in the yard and the fields tend to get mowed down, but the ones at the edge of the woods flourish nicely. They make wonderful bouquets and are a long lasting subject for a still life.  I drew this up yesterday and inked it up today.  I liked the combination of the white flowers and the deep purple irises.  I am in the middle of painting it now.  It is in keeping with smaller projects I want to stick to until July.  I like it, except for the daisy farthest to the right.  That one should probably be facing more to the side.  We’ll see what the painting part does with it.  I will probably end up defining the the daisies with more ink, but I didn’t want to overdo the initial phase.

Daisies in ink

You know, sometimes when I put something in a safe place, the only thing it is safe from is me. I had been looking at my reference photos for my next project and found one with some bamboo in it. I though that it might make a nice linocut, but when I looked for my last linoleum block, it was nowhere to be found.  Sigh.  Off to order some more.


I had bought a small bouquet of daisy-like flowers at the grocery store for $5.00 and decided to base a quick painting on them.  I made it in the proper ratio for the print company, but  just a little bit smaller than the recent architecturals.  I penciled it up quickly yesterday and without too much thought, inked it up today.  I changed the placement of  a few lines and increased the number of leaves, but it basically is the same as I drew it.  I have found that usually my first instincts for a drawing are the best, provided that I make no major error.  I have a tendency to over think these things, especially with something that has an abstract quality to it like this.

With any luck even with the holiday, I will have it finished over the weekend and ready to post.  I am taking inspiration from the little black-eyed Susan painting I did earlier in the year.  I would have submitted that one but alas it was too small for their specs.  I hope this one turns out as well.

Tags or ACEO – What should I do?

First of all, let me wish everyone a happy first day of spring.  I can’t think back to when I have been so glad to see the back end of winter arrive.  Whew, but I can’t wait for my daffodils to flower.  And I already have buds on a few.

Now onto the tag project – or is it ACEO?  I can’t decide.  I went back after the big sheet of watercolor paper had dried and fortunately it was flat again.  I stared at it a long time trying to decide what to do.  I decided to be bold for a change.  What the heck – it was only a sheet of watercolor paper and I had plenty.  I would try to add some more washes and some heavier color. 

Cut watercolor sheet

I lightly put on a clean water wash over the previous day’s work, being careful not to brush down hard where I had color layed.  I saw a very little bit of movement from the older wash but not enough to be concerned about.  Then I layed in some more washes and drops of color.  When I felt that I had covered with enough colors, I let it alone to dry. 

I came back the next day and stared at it again for a while.  Should I add more or start to cut it up?  I opted not overdo it – always a hard decision on where to stop.  Overnight, laying in bed, I had the thought that rather than cutting up the paper in business card size for gift tags, perhaps I should make them the little bit larger ACEO size and expand my options.  So I plotted out a few areas that I thought would make a pretty background and then started cutting.  This was actually easier to do mentally and emotionally than the last time I cut up what I had done.  I was glad, as it turned out, that I decided to make them bigger.  I think that it took better advantage of the colors.  Odd how just a half-inch size change could make such a difference but I think it did.  Here above are some of the pieces.  I think they are pretty nice on their own and haven’t decided what to do with them.

I like them all well enough that I don’t know whether or not I want to punch a hole in them for use as gift tags.  Perhaps I could get some ACEO card holders and punch the hole in them instead.  That way they could be used as a gift tag with a little bit of writing on the back and kept as a keepsake. I’ve not bought any holders yet so I don’t know what is possible.  I guess that I will be working that out over the next few days.  It’s nice to feel satisfied with something I have done for a change and to be looking at options instead of the circular file.

Inked over cards I


Inked over cards II