Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tea and Lilacs

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Lilac bushes seem old-fashioned. They are often seen in the yards of older homes in town and around the countryside. I've heard that during the western expansion, young pioneer women would take a lilac start from their mother's bush before they left on their journey. Once they reached their destination, the lilac starts were carefully planted next to the house as a remembrance of the family left behind.

My great-grandmother came west on a wagon train when she was a tiny baby. I wonder if her mother had a lilac start with her on that trip.

How bittersweet it must have been for those young women. Every time I see a lilac bush, I think of that story and feel a twinge of sadness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sun Worshipers

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This is a painting I've reworked. I changed the background from high key to low key to see if it would make a difference. I realize that paintings I'm attracted to are generally low key.

Monday, April 21, 2014

French Press

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Strong coffee is one of my guilty pleasures. I believe I could even forego chocolate for a cup of good, strong Northwest coffee with cream!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oriental Lily

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Our local market had these Oriental Lilies on sale for Easter. The fragrance from the flowers was so powerful that it hit customers as they walked into the store. We had no intention of buying flowers yesterday, but the fragrance was very alluring and we couldn't resist. When I mentioned it to the check-out clerk, she said, "Yeah, a lot of customers are complaining of headaches from the smell!

 I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hendrick's Park

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Today was a perfect day for plein air painting. This is the rhododendron garden at Hendrick's Park. The month of May is usually peak season, but there was an amazing display of blooms today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garden Frog

This pottery frog sits on our patio. He's probably contemplating the bees. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuliip Time

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This is a do-over of a previous painting. Right now I'm feeling very conflicted and unsettled with my seems like the more I paint, the worse things get. I can't seem to figure it out. So frustrating.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring's Gift

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Spring has arrived and so have our bees. We installed them in the hive on Saturday. So far, so good. Today I'll be checking to see if the queen has settled in. She arrived in a little cage that is about the size of a finger. We plugged her cage's opening with a gummy bear and then placed the caged queen into the hive. It takes the bees about three days to eat through the gummy bear. This three-day captivity of the queen allows some time for the bees to become acquainted with her and accept her as the queen - otherwise they would kill her! Hopefully all is well today and she is free to begin her work.

Bees are absolutely amazing - I'm so happy to have them in our yard!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Braeburn Apples

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The ubiquitous bowl of apples! Apples are so satisfying to paint - they offer a chance to splash lots of red on the canvas.

I'm continuing to use the fracturing technique. I like the faceted look that it gives. I'd like to try it with some plein aire painting. My new plein aire easel and palette are supposed to come today, so I'll be painting outside soon.

Not tomorrow, though! Tomorrow our bees are scheduled to arrive. We placed a bee hive in our backyard and ordered 3,000 10,000 bees for the hive. I'm really eager to have those little guys buzzing around our garden.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ghost Reflections

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This wine is pinot noir blanc, from Ghost Hill Cellers. Ghost Hill Cellers is located in Yamhill-Carlton - Oregon's wine country. The grapes were grown on Savannah Ridge Estate and bottled by Trappist Abbey Wines.  If you ever have an opportunity to visit Oregon, I recommend a tour through the wine country - it's so incredibly beautiful.

We especially like pinot noir blanc - a white wine made from red pinot noir grapes.

The wine in this bottle will be used to toast my husband's retirement at the end of May.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blue Pot with Gerberas

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These Gerbera daisies are a recent purchase for our garden. I wanted to paint them before they were planted, so put them in this pot and brought them indoors. Poor things...they looked so healthy when they were outside, but started to wilt after being inside during the painting session. I finished the painting as quickly as possible and put them back outside. I hope they are ok!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Brown Betty

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I've painted this little teapot many times - it's a favorite. I'm a bit weary of doing still lifes, though, and am ready to try my hand at some plein aire painting. Now that the weather is getting warmer and drier, it will be possible to head outdoors. I've just purchased a new plein aire palette and easel. As soon as it arrives, I'll be all set to go!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blue Vase with Bouquet

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Still experimenting with fracturing and color.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yellow Pot

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The plant in this pot is called "Kalanchoe." It's a succulent and has vibrant red flowers with waxy dark green leaves. It looked so cheery in this yellow pot that I couldn't resist it. My house is beginning to look like a flower shop!

The painting is another attempt at fracturing - the technique developed by Julie Ford Oliver. It's so much fun (and just a little bit scary)!