Some mini-paintings

After the commissioned architecturals, I was ready for something different.  I follow another instagram acrylic artist and have been been inspired by her work to try a few mini-paintings for myself.  The pumpkin one is a 4″X4″ and the others are 3″X3″.  After doing these, surprisingly, I found the littler ones almost too small for me.

Decorative pumpkin






Watercolor fruit

Fruit medley watercolor

I bought some fruit for my weekend guests and after everyone was gone, I thought it might be fun to have a red fruit medley watercolor.  I had a late season pomegranate, some fresh strawberries and a package of red raspberries, which I thought would make a lovely painting.  And while they are all reds, when put together, it is quite apparent that they are different shades and hues.  This is really only the base but I had to stop as the board was getting saturated and the colors flowing together more than I wanted.  I am leaving it overnight to completely dry.  Even when I use a hair dryer on the lowest setting sometimes it won’t be as dry as I want and I don’t really think cooking the paint is a good idea. 

It is still rather undefined and I will only be able to judge it when I put in more detail and shadows.  So far I like the mix of the reds.  The raspberries and the pomegranate are closer to being true reds with a little blue thrown in (mauve?) while the strawberries have more of an orange cast.  It will be fun experimenting with layering the colors on tomorrow.  And then I get to eat the still life!

Berries, bucks and me

When I pick berries it is not in the carefully laid out rows of a commercial operation. It is out on the edges of our fields and rife with the potential for difficulty and excitement.  There are wild rose bushes to grab skin, hair and clothes and while the blackberry bushes are not quite as lethal, they are not much better.  Then there are the chiggers.  For anyone who does not know, these little mites will drive you to distraction with a red bump and serious itching that lasts for days.  I’ve never seen a snake, but I’m sure I came close a time or two and didn’t know it.

The rapidly approaching blackberry season and the appearance of the first fawn in the yard put me in mind of an adventure my Great Pyrenees mix and I shared some years ago at our last home.  Like here, it had large fields surrounded by black raspberry and blackberry bushes where I was able to pick gallons and gallons of freshly ripened fruit.   She loved to accompany me on my meanderings around the fields, relaxing in the shade when I found a patch to pick.  We  were lazily moving  down the edge of the woods to a little outcrop that was mostly berry bushes and a few smaller scrubby trees.   We had been out about an hour, me juggling three buckets half filled with fruit and her following. 

Suddenly, directly in front of me, a large buck with a huge rack leapt out of the underbrush.  Leaves, branches and who knows what else went flying though the air in all directions as he crashed out of his supposedly hidden bedding spot.  We must have jumped about three feet into the air.  Brandy was so surprised she didn’t make a sound – not even a woof.  We looked on in startled silence as the huge buck bounded away, his sleep rudely disturbed and with vines and underbrush hanging from his large rack.  It was quite a sight.   Brandy looked back at me as if to say What Just Happened?  All I could say was Wow!  After we caught our breaths and our hearts started to beat again, we continued on with the picking, once again treated to the wonders of nature all around us.

Resting does

I’m taking a short break from the art experiments right now for a very good reason.  I just started on a commission home portrait of a cute town home that will take me into the weekend or thereabouts.  I’ll post it when I’m done.

Petunias and raspberries revisited

This was one of those weeks where the studio work came last, or as was the case, not at all.  Between the berry picking, a trip to the timber frame job site, and work on a new set of architectural plans on the computer, I don’t think I spent an hour in the studio. 


On the good side, I did pick about a gallon of raspberries.  Not as much as I hoped, but the rain delayed me a few days and the birds took advantage.  I’m slightly aggravated over it because I probably would have gotten close to another gallon.  Sometimes there’s just nothing that can be done, so I’m just going to be grateful for the 2 gallons I did get.  Maybe there will be one more day left but  I don’t expect to get much more than 1/2 gallon and I don’t know how good they will be. At the end of the season they can be smaller and less juicy.  Here you can see my picking set up.  I have a small bowl that I take into the bushes to pick and two larger ones to pour into so they don’t crush.  I never like to keep too much in the picking bowl in case I should trip or get startled by the fauna and spill my hard won gains.  It has happened, though not too often.  I’m pretty serious about the berries I’ve already gotten and I’ll go over before they will.  The large white bowl allows me to put the berries in the shade and then find them again later.  This has been an issue occasionally when I wandered too far from where I left the bowls and then I have to frantically search for the stash.  The white does stand out.  I also have to be careful with the metal bowl because it can get too warm from the sun and actually heat up the berries.  This is about 1/2 gallons worth.  On a really good picking day, I’ll come back with all 3 bowls full and I can freeze over a gallon, while leaving plenty to eat fresh.

More petunias

Also. the petunias are continuing to spread nicely.  Because I am sure that they are hybridized, I am getting colors that I never bought, like the light pink.  I think that those came from the striped ones last year because up close you can see a faint stripe of darker color.  In the background  you can see my tomato plants too.  One of these years I will have a real garden instead a few plants in the flower beds.  This has to do for now and I did just pick my first tomato yesterday.