Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yellow and Orange Cone Flowers

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Though I only have a few orange and yellow coneflowers among all those pinks, whites and even reds, I love their brightness and reminder of sunshine.

The intense heat has returned along with the humidity, and it seems our chances for more rain are slim. Still, with Indepence Day on Monday and the college closed on Fridays, everyone is looking forward to a long weekend -- me too! LOL

Our votes are accumulating -- please continue to support the hungry in this way! Thank YOU!


Volunteers arrive shortly and we've a good harvest to do - tomatoes are ready!

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Pondside by linfrye
Pondside, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

6" x 6"
Arches 140#CP

I painted this small version of a pond last week when longing for a cool break from the heat and having little time for painting. I'd like to paint this again in a larger format at some point - but for now, I"m considering this an exercise in methods ....

It's so funny how our moods and time allowances play into our artwork .... I suppose like anything else, we are all affected by events and emotions at the time we pick up our brushes. I'm finding these days that after a long day at work and after the high heat and humidity of the day, my energy stores are about depleted, and my paintings that night aren't as relaxed and energetic as they are when done over the weekend when leisure time is more available. Do you find that too?

At any rate, work nights will have to be practice for the most part - something to keep the brushes wet and the ideas flowing .....

How about you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blue Hydrangeas

Blue Hydrangea copy by linfrye
Blue Hydrangea copy, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Though a lighter blue than the photo I posed as a challenge (, my painting here is an effort to show that wonderful light that seems to bounce off these blue hydrangea. There is something so cooling about blue in a garden, especially when temps reach high in the 90s as they tend to do in our region. I also love the challenge of these complex flowers -- the effort of keeping them simple and yet defined.

Back to work and quite a bit of catch up after a few days away. We had some rain last night -- yahoo --! But we hope to have a bit more today. Our plants and streams really need it!

Have a terrific day -- and keep voting, please!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peach Roses

Peach Roses by linfrye
Peach Roses, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

It's a day of rest today as I catch up on sleep, email, painting, chores. It seems the last several months have been an intense bevy of activity -- and I am apppreciating a much needed day of rest -- or at least - less frenzy! LOL

Thank you for all your kind wishes for my son and daughter-in-law!!

These bright flowers are based on a photo reference from Wet Canvas .... I love their peach hues and the vivid colors .... the work in natural light is less intense than this looks on my computer screen.

We're hoping for a bit of rain today ... and sending prayers to our mid-country states facing a terrible flood. Gracious, the weather continues to confound ...

Have a great day and week!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brittney and Mike

Brittney and Mike by linfrye
Brittney and Mike, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick

Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick by linfrye
Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Cutting the Cake

Cutting the Cake by linfrye
Cutting the Cake, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The First Kiss as Husband and Wife

Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick

Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick by linfrye
Brittney, Mike, Emily, Nick, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Emily and Nick

Emily and Nick by linfrye
Emily and Nick, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Mike, Brittney, Me, Charles

Mike, Brittney, Me, Charles by linfrye
Mike, Brittney, Me, Charles, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Vows

The Vows by linfrye
The Vows, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Vows

The Vows by linfrye
The Vows, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Vows

The Vows by linfrye
The Vows, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Vows

The Vows by linfrye
The Vows, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Vows

The Vows by linfrye
The Vows, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Extended Family

The Extended Family by linfrye
The Extended Family, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Mike and his Dad's Family

Mike and his Dad's Family by linfrye
Mike and his Dad's Family, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Extended Family

The Extended Family by linfrye
The Extended Family, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

My daughter and granddaughters

The Millers

The Millers by linfrye
The Millers, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Brittney and her Mom Paulette

Brittney and her Mom Paulette by linfrye
Brittney and her Mom Paulette, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Brittney and Danny Ray and Paulette

Brittney and Dad

Brittney and Dad by linfrye
Brittney and Dad, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Nick and Emily - Ringbearer and Flower Girl

Best Wishes Daddy!

Best Wishes Daddy! by linfrye
Best Wishes Daddy!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rose of Sharon - Blessings for Mike and Brittney

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon, blooms now in a wonderful pink at the Arboretum.

It is an especially appropriate dedication for my son and his bride on their wedding day. The flower has a plethera of symbolism - one from the song of Soloman: "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." (Solomon 2:1), that has been interpreted to mean the love of God, the love of husband and wife. In other symbolism, this flower also means fertility, abiding love, and the symbol of the perfect bride.

Today of all days, may the blessings of such richness be upon my son and new daughter-in-law as they take the vows of love and marriage. May their union and lives be filled with joy, happiness and the blessings of a lifetime.


Friday, June 24, 2011

More Purple Vetch

More Purple Vetch by linfrye
More Purple Vetch, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Another visit to the park and the purple vetch that scrambles over the neighboring grasses and blackberry vines. I love to see these colors against all that green!!

Festivities for the wedding begin today. The weather is hot and still no rain - so at least the outdoor events will be sunshiney!

Hope your weekend is terrific!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Passion Flower - A surprise from my garden

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata, occurs naturally in our region. I remember picking DOZENS of these when I lived in South Carolina -- their flowers symbolic of Christ's passion - the ten petals representing the ten apostles excluding St. Peter and Judas, the anthers representing the wounds of Christ, the three stigma (part of the female reproductive system)representing the nails used on His hands and feet, the purple filaments - the crown of thorns, the vine itself - the whip used during his flagellation, and the colors representing purity and the heavens.

Native Americans used these plants extensively as a food item. Once the flowers are pollinated, they form a greenish oval shaped 'ball' that turns yellow when ripe. Similiar to the pomagranate, when 'popped' open, the fruit contains dozens of lemony-tart seeds that can be eaten or rendered into a wonderful drink and jam.

These pretty vines appeared years ago in the back of my property only to disappear the following year. This summer, almost eight years later, they've surprised me again by 'popping up' in my 'wild' front garden. The bees seem to LOVE the blossoms, and already there are several fruits ripening. I hope to gather enough to make some special jam later this year. Meanwhile, they're quite vigorous and have already climbed a few shrubs and crawled their way to the walk.

It's preparation time for my son's wedding this weekend. We've got family coming in so I'll be somewhat scarce.

The heat continues....

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barn and Flowers

Barn and Flowers by linfrye
Barn and Flowers, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

My practice work for the week - I'm still playing with landscape approaches and ideas. I love the flowers in this and that old barn - so reminescent of the barns I try to capture in my own county. To me, this view represents summer at its best - tawny fields, wild grasses and lots of flowers ...

HOT HOT HOT here! Today will reach a heat index of 105F!! We have a wildfire burning on the coast making our air not only stifflingly hot, but so filled with smoke, it's difficult to breathe. The thunderstorm last night helped clear the air a bit, but it left its humidity - make being out of doors mighty unpleasant.

In other parts of our country, floods are threatening so many states .. prayers and thoughts for folks facing another type of weather challenge ...

At the rate we're going, I suspect it'll be a long, hot, difficult summer...

I suspect it'll be a long, hot, difficult summer at the rate we're going.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Morning Sunrise Before the Rain

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

This is a painting from my archives ... Folks have asked me if I have an endless 'archive' ... but I assure you, I don't! LOL What a have are a handful of those paintings that I have a love/hate relationship with -- there are days I'll look at something I've painted and decide I should toss it, but I'm not quite 'sure' ... so I hold onto it -- and then there are other days the same painting looks better .... this is one of those.

I remember this particular morning - looking out at my woodlands with streaks of brilliant colors surrounded by the purply dark trees as the sun made its way east - glowing the sky --- then as quickly fading to storm-metal gray ...

Our own thunder storm woke me last night - finally giving us a bit of welcome rain ... yahoo!

The weekend with the grands was fabulous - but oh, we are no longer young. My son and his finance had their 'batchelor/ette' celebrations this weekend too - and when they came to pick up Emily and Nick and our dinner and dishes were completed, we were all ready for a long night's slumber! LOL

Much yet to do before the wedding next weekend. More company and deadlines ....

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dancing Daylily - Happy Father's Day

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

To all the fathers, uncles, brothers, men as well as the women who also have those roles -- a most HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO YOU!!! Today we celebrate those in our lives who are dads, brothers, pals who give our lives the richness that makes living such a joy. Though my own dad is no longer living, the influence he played in my life was immense, just as the fathers and men in my children's lives and my grandchildren's lives, have shaped and inspired them. We are grateful ... ever grateful.

The daylilies have made their annual blooming - and the array of colors, types and sizes are dazzling! In my own garden, I have bright yellows, pinks, oranges and burgundies - and the Arboretum boasts even more varieties! The roadside are in full daylily bloom as well - despite the lack of rain ....

Last year, I showed our volunteers how these flowers can be cooked and enjoyed ... we stuffed them with a variety of cheeses, dipped the bundles in egg whites and breadcrumbs, and fried them --- YUM!!! Each color had a subtle, different taste -- In Asia, one can find these flowers in the market - canned for easy preparation.

My attempt here was to create something a bit unusual for this famililar flower - so I played with contrasts to give the orange/yellow blossom a boost.

The grands are here and we have been running - quite literally. I forget just how much energy a 7 and 6 year old have ... sure wish they'd learn to bottle that stuff! LOL

Have a great day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot Papaya Coneflower

Hot Papaya Coneflower by linfrye
Hot Papaya Coneflower, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

I am growing more and more fascinated with all the new varieties of cone flowers. I purchased this one last year - hot papaya, and it has successfully returned for another performance this year.

The bright red with yellow-center flowers have an almost chrysanthemumlike mop 'head', an 'anemone' nose, and cone flower petals. I haven't noticed if the 'nose' forms the same kind of prickly cone as the pink echinaceas, so I'm keeping a firm eye on these to see what happens over time. Right now, they're most striking against the white yarrow that has suddenly appeared in the bed with them. The hot papaya leaves are similiar to the pink coneflowers - and I haven't observed any crossing between these and the pinks that are growing alongside.

But oh, they are mighty bright amongst that sea of pink and white coneflowers!

We've our fingers crossed for some of those 'scattered' showers. It's been so dry! And the Japanese beetles have made their appearance as well and they've begun nibbling at the petals of those coneflowers.

It's summer indeed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Village on the Hill after Ann Blockley

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Working again with Ann Blockley's new book and ideas, I've begun trying to incorporate what I'm learning about experimental methods and abstract ideas into my own work and style.

I began this small painting with the idea of using contrasts - blue, purple, yellow and orange. I wet the paper, and began to add color, letting the paint drip and move on its own. I didn't have any particular reference material - simply ideas in my mind, paint and water ...

Off to the office for a quick harvesting of vegetables with our volunteers - rain in the forecast and we've all got our fingers crossed for a good soaking!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chilopsis 2011- Dessert Willow

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

In several spots of the Arboretum, we have planted this unusual tree, native to the southwestern US. We have two variations - one with pink flowers; the other with white. It's blooming now and has successfully weathered our dry, hot, humid summers.

The flowers resemble those of the catalpa tree which occurs naturally in North Carolina, while the leaves resemble those of a willow. The flowers are pollinated mostly by large bees.

We don't see this small tree planted very often in our area, but perhaps once folks see how lovely it is, there'll be more planted in our landscapes.

Our farm trip yesterday was FABULOUS!!! The weather, though warm, wasn't oppressively hot. Each farm was different not only in the things that were grown or raised there, but in philosophy, style and approach to keeping the land as a 'farm.' We walked among the rows of corn and listened to the thrumming of an emu at one farm, walked the lavender labryinth and had a wonderful lunch of lavender chicken salad and lavender lemonade at another, picked blueberries and blackberries at a different farm, and after a long day, enjoy and see huge turkeys, silken chickens, farm activities for children's trips, enjoyed home made ice cream at the last farm. WONDERFUL TIME!

Today is a day of catch up ...

Hope you have a great one!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rubeckia - Cherokee Sunset

Rubeckia - Cherokee Sunset by linfrye
Rubeckia - Cherokee Sunset, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

These brown/red/tinged with yellow rudbeckias were planted last year, and now I find them dotting my garden in places I couldn't imagine - but now love. These Cherokee Sunsets are far perkier than my painting shows... but I find that when I'm in the throes of a learning curve, I am more challenged to create in my traditional way ...especially after a long day at the office ...

We're off today with a group of guests to visit the various farms in our county ... I hope to catch up with everyone tomorrow!

Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Bluebell Woods Inspired by Ann Blockey

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

I have been an admirer of Ann Blockley's work ( for a number of years. Her new DVD and book "Experimental Flowers in Watercolor" is all about playing with paint, collage, textures, paper and the like to move outside the boundaries of traditional watercolor and moving toward the abstract.

This experimental work I've done was done from her new book ...What I loved most about this was the freedom of 'slinging' paint (so to speak) - watching the FLOW of paint, adding textures, and yet giving the work a mood, a feel, a sense -- in lieu of representing the actual -- Painting it was somewhat like meditation, and I suppose it's the imaginativeness of the painting that is appealing to me.

Above all - it was FUN!

We had another rain last night and I'm doing my happy rain dance in gratitude!

Hope you have a great day!

Me among my 'Tall' Flowers

Me among my 'Tall' Flowers by linfrye
Me among my 'Tall' Flowers, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

I was asked for a few more garden photos -- this is me among the rudbeckia - and no, I have never seen them grow so tall either! lol

Another look at the front of the 'wild' garden

This red verbena is about three years old -- it continues to grow into the garden as well as out along the walkway - but I just can't clip it back!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

White Petaled Cone Flowerr

White Petaled Cone Flowerr by linfrye
White Petaled Cone Flowerr, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

After the much welcomed storm and RAIN!!! last night, I stand by my front door and look out at the sea of 'wildness' before me - coneflowers, blanket flowers, coreopsis, delphinium, spider flowers, roses, salvias, red verbena, and some whose names I've forgotten, and gaze in sheer wonder and gratitude. Few of these plants were planned and planted by my hands - the others, simply strewn in the hope of survival ... and THIS year, the flowers, bees, butterflies- all seem to have come to some kind of jubilation ...

Trying to capture THAT still eludes me ... but I suppose there is a joy (as well as frustration) in attempting to ...
Still, the peacefulness, the beauty of the moment, are gifts beyond words, beyond the sketch, beyond the paintbrush - and mostly -- of the heart.

The Lavender Festival was a sheer joy yesterday! HOT HOT HOT -- but filled with people, flowers, the scent, taste and enjoyment of lavender! I not only had my chocolate lavender ice cream - but when we got home -- made some of our own! YUM!!! The lavender scones were out of this world, and I just had to indulge in a lavender cookbook - with recipes already marked for trying. Yep, bought MORE lavender too ...a wonderful day ... decent sales - new friends, renewing acquaintances I hadn't seen in a while, and reinvigorating my love of herbs.

Today, company for dinner, Charles' jam and even more company - whew, the weekend has flown by.

It's supposed to be cooler today - high 80s, which, after so many days of heat indices over 100, should feel down right balmy ....

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lavender Shrub

Lavender Shrub by linfrye
Lavender Shrub, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

For the lavender festival, I painted a close-up of a lavender shrub - for this painting I used references from my garden as well as photos I took from the festival several years ago.

We've packed the car and will be off soon -- It's supposed to be a beautifully warm day, and between the food, people, plants and flowers - should be a lot of fun!

Hope you enjoy your Saturday!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Lavender and Birdbath

Lavender and Birdbath by linfrye
Lavender and Birdbath, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

We are readying for the last outdoor festival of the summer -- the Lavender Festival at Sunshine Lavender Farms. Since the gardens at this farm emphasize lavender, I thought I'd do a few paintings of the farm. This was from a photo I took several years ago - that bright blue birdbath played a central role in this portion of the garden surrounding their home. I understand that more gardens have been added, and I can't wait to see what they are showing!

This festival, held annually, but by invitation only, features some of the BEST creations made with lavender -- and my mouth is drooling already for chocolate lavender ice cream!! There'll be plants for sale, music (Charles will get a chance to sing too!), plants, crafts, animals and more ....It's supposed to be quite hot, but I suppose that means we'll just 'HAVE' to sip on that luscious lavender lemonade ... ah ... the challenges!!! LOL

Hope you have a great day!


A Part of my Garden

A Part of my Garden by linfrye
A Part of my Garden, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Here I am standing amng the coneflowers looking out toward the side of my home home - the coneflowers in front are as high as my nose! LOL Quite truthfully, I didn't do anything special to this area of the garden except add mulch and a bit of fertilizer LAST year ... the seeds overwintered from where I strew them in the 'bare' patches ...

A close-up of a piece of my Garden

White cone flowers, blanket flowers, coreopsis, purple coneflowers ... all merely a bit of this run-away garden.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

More of my Purple Coneflowers - Butterflies and all

9" x 12" Arches 140#CP

My purple coneflowers are running riot over my garden! This year, there are even more white petaled ones than last year, and even the reds (tomoato soup) have reproduced! The butterflies are busy pollinating the flowers, which means even more echinacea next year! What surprises me most is how tall they are. They reach over my head (over 5'!!) - and I can get lost among them -- wow!!!

Our volunteers harvest for the hungry this morning -- so don't forget to vote!! THANKS SO MUCH!

Hope your day is great!


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Last Rays on the Hay

Last Rays on the Hay by linfrye
Last Rays on the Hay, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Last weekend while Charles and I were walking our park trail, we spotted more hay bales in an adjacent field across from the park. After the walk, we drove down the dirt road to snap some photos of the field, barns and the sun as it set over the bales of hay. I've painted a twilight scene of haybales ... and this time, I kept the painting LIGHT in tone and value to reflect more of the warmth (HEAT!!!) of the day and the 'just beginning' to lower sun. I was undecided as to add darker values to heighten the sun's rays ... but decided to keep it lighter and live with it for a while.

The high temps are unrelenting and we've begun our rain dance again. Fires are still burning in Arizona and prayers continue.

Stay cool today!


Tuesday, June 07, 2011


GARDENIA by linfrye
GARDENIA, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Each time I walk onto my front porch, the glorious scent of gardenias wafts my way. This fragrant shrub is in full bloom on the side of my home, and its perfume seems to wrap the front property in its sweet scent. Here too at the Arboretum, our gardenia are blooming ... and with the heat indices reaching the high 90s, no rain in sight, these silky, sweet white flowers seem to cool us off simply by their presence.

Our thoughts turn to the folks in Arizona and the horrific wildfires that are ranging there .... may it rain soon!


Monday, June 06, 2011

Splash and Splatter Fall Landscape

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

This is another from the archives ... something bright and vivid and a bit wild for a slow Monday morning... perhaps it'll help wake me up! LOL

Yesterday was a flurry of readying for company next week, a bit of garden chores and readying for another festival - there's been a mere smidge of time to paint and finish a work and next weekend is full as well. It seems the summer is flying by as quickly as the spring ...

We're expecting power outages at work today because of work being done throughout the town ... I expect all will be restored by tomorrow ...

Hope your day is terrific!


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Pale Poppies

Pale Poppies by linfrye
Pale Poppies, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

With the spring rains we've had, the gardens continue to bloom and I am jaw-dropped each time I walk through my own garden as well as those we visit through the Arboretum.

Our visit to Montrose Gardens several weeks ago still serves as inspiration for me. These pale, lavender poppies were such a sight at those Gardens - that I just HAD to paint them! These five were merely a small cluster of hundreds that were in only 'one' of the gardens - all filled with poppies!

My own garden is yielding surprise after surprise. I tossed out several packages of flower seeds last year, and this year, so many of those seeds are growing and I eagerly await their blooming to even identify some of them!

The festival yesterday was an absolute delight! Many, many people, decent sales, good music - including a spontaneous jam that Charles was able to join - a booking for another display - and so many new friends and wonderfully shared ideas. The weather was terrific - warm - but not as blistery as early last week, and the tent we had worked well to keep the heat off us as well as the paintings.

I have one more art festival next week and many items to replace before then - another busy Sunday.

Hope your Sunday is wonderful!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Cindy's Challenge - Bird's Nest

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

My thanks to Cindy who posed this marvelous challenge ( and awesome photographs !! Such fun, Cindy -- and a wonderful challenge for us!!!!! I can't wait to do this again! THANK YOU!!!

I've watched chickadees build a nest and hatch a clutch in my own bluebird box, and now the bluebirds have reclaimed their 'home' with a nest of eggs of their own. Seeing Cindy's wonderful photographs make me appreciate even more the incredible life that goes on in the small places we don't often notice or pay attention to ... THANK YOU again, Cin!

We're off early this morning to another art festival. I've not attended this one before, but there are over 25 artists displaying their art in an outdoor festival near my work place. I know two other folks also attending - so it should be fun.

The weather promises to be warm again - so plenty of water and sunscreen.

Hope you have a great day!