Oh the tree color! After a quick trip to visit family - and yes, more plane delays - 12 hours to ARRIVE to see my family -- one glorious fall day -- followed by rain and SNOW!!! -- we were able to return home to autumnal bliss with trees and landscapes a kaleidescope of golds, magentas, reds, oranges, yellows --- and the fields - that autumn ochre that sets off such vivid colors!
It was such a joy to finally visit with my family after such a fiasco in August. And our start to New York this time with three hour delays at our local airport and even more delays in New York - all seemed to be a repeat of the summer trip attempt. But we prevailed -- and our time together, though short, was incredibly wonderful. But travel lately just isn't the pleasure it used to be - nor the luxury. I suppose the next time we take off for a family visit, we'll steel ourselves for a long, challenging trip - and hope to be pleasantly surprised if and when it turns out to be as easy as it was returning home! LOL
Today is halloween - time for little goblins to play 'trick or treat,' visit their neighbors and collect treats of candy and the like. Living in such a rural community as we do, we have very few little visitors ... but I see them at the shopping centers, church parties, day care parties and the like... all dressed in costumes to frighten or delight.
It's a catch-up day for me - a bit of work from home, repacking for a busy week ahead preparing for the orchard planting and the cisterns that are en route, and a few more workshops...
We're expecting a bit of rain and cooler temps ...and with halloween ... the beginning of holiday preparations as well.
Have a marvelously SPOOOOKKKKYYYY DAY!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
This fall view is a bit lighter in real life than on my screen this morning - but the bright colors are definitely what I see around me. Fall color - is just about at its peak in piedmont North Carolina.
Our trip yesterday went beautifully well - a gloriously warm day, beautiful colors, historic buildings, jaw-dropping, unique trees to marvel and purchase, a terrific lunch --- really a nice way to end the tour season just as our temps change to winter-chilly and rain.
I'll be off line for several days...and will catch up as I can ...
Hope your weekend is filled with sun and color!!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
9" x 12"
I FINALLY got a chance to paint my OWN challenge! LOL (http://www.flickr.com/groups/watercolouristpwl/discuss/72157627675865521/). These hibiscus were spotted on a recent visit to Montrose Gardens. My own hibiscus are long gone, but several weeks ago, these pretties were gracing the incredible historic garden in HIllsborough, NC - along with salvias, caster beans, lycoris, helianthus and rudbeckias. The gardens today are wearing their fall wardrobe - and while the blossoms have faded, leaves and berries have taken center stage ....
We're off on another tour - one of the last for our season .... and probably one of the last warm days. Winter is nipping at our mornings, warning us of its coming arrival....
Hope your day is grand!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
9" x 12"
The winds seem to intensify this time of year, taking the colorful leaves on a final, rolicking adventure. As we walk, they fall around us, reminding me of large, bright snowflakes. They collect at our feet, on the shrubs, along the roadsides. On the paths, feet crumble these drying bits of autumn, and over time, the nutrients locked within their mighty cells, will go to feed the next generation of foliage. Amazing!
We continue our preparations for the orchard and celebration as well as a few remaining workshops. Right now, we're collecting berries, nuts, cones for our wreath making class in December. Tomorrow we venture through nature as we visit a state park to view the historic buildings and a nursery that has amassed a collection of unique trees. The weather should cooperate, and the travel to these sites a beautiful kaleidoscope of fall hues.
Hope your day is filled with autumn magic!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
9" x 12"
Walking through Granville Athletic Park the other day, our timing was perfect to capture the last yellow/pink rays of the sun as it settled between the boughs of the pines and illuminated the path we followed. A few 'spot lights' of sun remained, while the woodlands around us faded into the dark of slumber ....
It's almost 7 am, and all around me this morning, is still that slumbering dark. Not even a hint of sunrise as of yet ...instead, the scent of coffee welcomes my early morning activities and greets me -- as I anticipate the light ...
Hope sunshine fills your days and delights your Sunday ...
Friday, October 21, 2011
9" x 12"
The fields are still a bit yellow, though the cold nights have begun turning their golds to brown. Still, coming home yesterday - the brilliant colors, again due to the cold nights and recent rains, have intensified -- and the reds of the maples, and even some of the oaks - are taking their place among the golds and oranges. Here and there, a sugar maple will blaze against the turquoise - Carolina blue sky- in a fire-bright orange - and just about stop me in my travels!
I LOVE this time of year ...the harvests, the colors, the crispness, the scent of woodsmoke and the taste of apples ....
Enjoy the day ...! This glorious season won't last long enough ...
Thursday, October 20, 2011
9" x 12"
I've never had the pleasure to actually find porcelain berries - or grow them - but I'm fascinated by their colors - blue, pink, yellow -- unusual berry color - and in the fall! This was painted from a photo reference - but oh I wish I could see these!
The temps have turned today - mid 40s to begin the day - and only rising to the low 60s! Our volunteers will be here in an hour and we'll be harvesting some of the cole crops that we've planted for the hungry, and weed and clean up in preparation for the orchard planting in a couple of weeks.
Thank you all for your most kind comments .... your generous words keep me painting and improving ... blessings!
Hope your day is warm and wonderful!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Although I have accentuated the colors of this painting a bit, the view is from one of the farmlands near my home. We're in our second season of hay harvest, and already I am watching the hay cut, rolled and moved under barn eaves. The feel of this hay season is different than the spring cutting - fall hay fields are more muted in color - the yellows more golden than lemon, the shadows more brown, and the surrounding trees of the farms - less green and more orange and brown ... LOVE each of these seasons!
Our trip today was canceled due to rain and tour guide illness -- so we'll reschedule when the weather and our guide are both better.
The trip yesterday was incredible! Lots of history, wonderful plants, awesome stories - and our lunch, catered by a winery, was followed by a taste tasting and mini-tour of the winery -- not on the schedule -- but a delicious surprise!
Hope your day is filled with color!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
9" x 12"
The mini bouquet I purchased at the farmer's market last week still looks as fresh and autumnal as the day I brought it home! Those reds, oranges, browns and golds echo the tree color swiftly capturing more and more of the landscape. I kept the vase soft and hazy to keep the accent on the flowers.
I'll be gone most of the week with trips and tours - it's another busy one!
Hope your week is delightful!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
9" x 12"
This painting was inspired by a glorious photo by Reina - reintjedevos (www.flickr.com/photos/40610636@N03/). THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! Please stop by to see her incredible photographs! An absolute delight!
I've given this painting a bit of an 'orangey fall' look ... much like I'm seeing in the countryside of North Carolina. (It's a bit lighter in tone in the original.)
So many of Reina's photographs remind me of North Carolina and the landscapes I love .... and to think that she lives almost across the globe!
I do believe that the things we write about, the stories we listen to, the paintings we choose to spend time creating, all give a hint about the people we are ...and it's amazing to me the common threads we all share...and the beauty so many of us appreciate in unique ways.
We've been blessed with incredible weather this weekend - cool mornings and warm afternoons. Our walk yesterday was a dazzle of falling leaves and colorful countrysides ...and the yearning for foods of fall -- apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squashes. I've become a bit like the proverbial ant of Aesops Fable - it's time for laying in stores for the winter. No time for grasshopper singing - and the Farmer's Market seemed to echo that same - 'get ready' atmosphere. The mood, like the currently opened North Carolina State Fair, was festive - and so colorful! Pumpkins, squash, cole crops of varying greens, beets, carrots, peppers - a riot of fall on tables, stands and shopping bags!
At home, my garden is still sporting bright petunias, roses, salvias, zinnias and more -- but those TALLLLLL swamp sunflowers (added this year in the drought!!) - stand 6' tall and are a blaze of yellow!
Don't you just LOVE this time of year?!
Friday, October 14, 2011
9" x 12"
The culmination of a plant's lifecycle is the return to the fruit/seed stage of its life - coming full circle from seed, to plant, to flower, to seed again. Fall seems to be the berry-ist time of the year as trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals give the next generation of plant material the virtual 'push out of the nest.' From the fruits that are eaten and the seeds deposited by the consumer, to the wind-borne traveling seeds, to those buried for consumption and later forgotten, nature is preparing for next year's crop ...
Berries of all shapes, sizes, colors make this season even brighter ....Grapes, hawthorne, holly and dozens of others are all a fall delight ... and I love them all!
The cool weather is returning, but before the rains distribute seeds around the landscape, I hope to find more inspirational 'berry' materials to celebrate the season! Hope you do too!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
It's always a joy to return to the Eno River and walk its many trails and listen to the gurgle of water as it makes its way to the sea. But we won't get there for another two weeks when I lead a trip to that historic park. This view was painted from a photograph I took earlier this year and I adjusted the colors to reflect those of the changing colors I see today. Our yellows are still a bit muted, but more of the reds are showing, and the brilliant oranges of our sugar maples have a few more weeks before they show themselves!
Yesterday was a less frantic day as part of the time, we were the ones listening to lectures, and the afternoon was spent giving them ... a nice balance ...
Despite the rainy week we've had, we'll attempt to put some fall flower color in our sign garden as we prepare for the orchard planting celebration early next month.
The warmth has returned, and already we're in the 70s! But the cool will be back this weekend, and with it, the feeling and coloration of fall.
Have a great one!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
9" x 12"
It seems nine forevers since I painted a sunrise or sunset ...There's a bit more pink in this than shows on the scan and the sky is a light, multihued blue -- but alas, scanners and cameras - at least in my hands - just can't capture the subtleties ...
Our garden tour yesterday was rescheduled until next week, and that means three days of tours ... another week being out of the office ...With winter coming on, though, our trips will slow down and we'll be holding more classes ... then we'll rev up again in the spring. We certainly have seen some enviable gardens this year!
I'll be off line again today with lectures and classes and hope to catch up as I can ...
Rain is pounding my roof as I type and it's darker than dark out my window...We've got a garden to plant tomorrow in fall pansies -maybe by then the soil won't be too soggy ...
Have a great day!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A quick watercolor for these busy times ... I painted this a while back as I began playing with abstracts and wet into wet ...
I awoke to rain this morning - and we've a rescheduled trip to the gardens ... I'm still waiting for dawn to break to make a final decision about attempting the trip - but my inclination is to reschedule once again. There is so much history packed into each of those garden rooms, that I really want folks to hear the stories attached to each garden element as well as well as to experience the beauty of those gardens - without the distraction of wet grasses, umbrellas and rain ... we'll see.
Meantime, we're working on the preparations for the orchard planting and naturally, there are meetings upon meetings. I'll be offline for most of the week - but hope to catch up as I can ..
Hope your day is terrific!
Monday, October 10, 2011
9" x 12"
The delicate blossoms of the spiderwort, Tradescantia, called for a soft, less defined painting treatment. Their delicate hues, tiny flowers, and soft blue-purple are in bloom now, and these were captured at Montrose Gardens last week.
These are common perennials here, and are not quite as upright as I've painted. These tiny flowers were being used as a border in the historic gardens we visited, but they also can be found growing wild.
It's the start of another busy week - classes and trips again - with rain in the forecast. Though we've finally caught up from our water deficient, the air feels so dry, that we are welcoming the showers.
More and more trees are turning golden and red. Our walk in the park yesterday seemed to show even more color that the day before ... Leaf fall has amplified, and I enjoy hearing their crunch underfoot as we walk.
Hope your week is terrific!
Sunday, October 09, 2011
A friend and I were discussing how words and paintings inspire us in all sorts of ways - music too - and so many images posted on Flickr never fail to inspire and uplift me - and Ian Dalton's work (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ians_paintings/6057167856/in/photostream) is one of those inspiring sites that I often turn to for just such musing. THANK YOU, Ian, for the inspiration - yet again!
It's SOOOO GOOOD to get my computer back from the shop - and to know that it is free of all the snags that seemed to give me trouble the last few weeks. C and I spent the day yesterday running errands - a trip to the Farmer's Market - always a festive event, groceries, eye doctor, this store and that, a walk around the neighborhood - all filled with the cool fall weather, sunshine, relaxation, and the landscape in golden, bright, delicious tones. Absolutely DELIGHTFUL!
I've begun seeing more and more reds in the trees and shrubs --- and with the rain coming and more cold nights, it will be a fast few weeks and our peek color should be dazzling!
The balers are in the fields, and I hope to capture a few photographs of my favorite hay bales and barns ...what can I say ... I love 'em! LOL
HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!
Saturday, October 08, 2011
The mornings begin mighty cold lately - mid 40s ... but by afternoon, we are in short sleeves and enjoying temps in the 70s -- and some days, near 80F! This makes for our trees to really take on colorful changes. Yesterday, I was busy snapping photos of the yellows, golds and bits of red that have finally appeared ..... Though we are far from color peak ... it's amazing how a week of cooler tempratures, and this week we'll have rain, the parade of hues will really be running fast!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO MY CANADIAN FRIENDS!!! I'll bet YOUR colors are glorious about this time of the season!
Glorious day yesterday! We took my ailing computer to the shop -- I get it back today; spent a few hours painting with my friend in the great outdoors, had a quiet, terrific dinner, and then returned to the park for a leisurely walk! MY KIND OF DAY! Relaxing, and filled with just enough diversity to make it fun!
We're off to the farmer's market and running errands - but what seems different this weekend, is that NONE of these things are obligatory -- so there's a feeling of relaxation and adventure -- again, both needed after such a strained few months!
Hope your day is terrific ..! And thank you for your kindest comments yesterday!
Friday, October 07, 2011
9" x 12"
Ah -- home ...! What an intense period of weeks it has been- ! Finally a weekend that promises to be a bit more relaxed and slower-paced ...!
The sun has not yet broken the horizon as I write - the house is quiet, my coffee hot and delicious, and with few obligations ahead of me, I feel an overwhelming sense of relaxation that I haven't been able to enjoy in quite a while ... thank heavens!
Though the nights have been cool, our temperatures during the day have been so incredibly pleasant - mid-70s!! Here and there, I'm beginning to find a few persimmons that are ripe enough to enjoy on our walks. My bright pink petunias are still in glorious bloom - and they made me grin when I got home last night to see such vivid brightness against a yellowing landscape.
The tomatoes have been hit by the cool temperatures and only the few ripening fruits remain in their cages. Mulch piles are begging to be spread -- and the rest of the gardens are scareaming for a clean up. But right now after so many frenetic weeks of activity, WE need a clean up - and so, despite the chores that cry for attention, this weekend will be one to rest!
Hope you enjoy your weekend too!
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
9" x 12"
We've been fortunate this fall to visit many different gardens as part of our lecture tour series, and we've seen such wonderful flowers, trees, vegetables. This painting was done from Old Salem Gardens and one of their historic, recreated gardens. The gourds were in the field, drying, and would have been used by earlier Moravians as dippers or bowls ...
My computer at home and internet connection crashed on Sunday and I spent 6 hours on the phone with IT to no resolution ... sigh. When I got to work, our own IT services were wobbly for some reason ... but thankfully, at least at work, service has been a bit better this morning. My dear C seems to have cobbled my computer back to an earlier 'set point' so I can now use the machine and Internet, but with all that was apparently wrong with it, I think she'll spend some time at the shop ....
Meantime, we'll be off campus again today on another garden outing and tomorrow busy with "Plant a Row' volunteers -- mercy -- and it's not even SPRING! LOL
The weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS! Cool in the morning - and this week, mid 70s and sunshiney! The leaves are turning more yellow and here and there a spot or two of red ... yep, season's turned!
Hope your day is great -- I'll try to catch up with everyone as I can ...
Monday, October 03, 2011
I'm still studying Papeix's work (http://sites.google.com/site/jcpapeix/) and attempting to blend the things I like about his wet in wet approach into my own ...
This painting is from a view of the fields I pass in rural Granville County. The trees haven't as yet turned as deep an orange - but with the cooler weather we are having this week, it won't be long. Already the cold nights have killed my tomato plants ---
Hard to believe it's already October .....
Have a great day!
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Saturday, October 01, 2011
9" x 12"
Thank each of you for your incredibly generous birthday wishes yesterday!
It was a fantastic birthday!
We ran errands in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. We went out to dinner -- and what a joy it was to sit at the table and converse with Nick and Emily -- like adult/children! When we got home, they each read me a story --- really a terrific way to spend a special day!
Today we're off to see Montrose Gardens again -- this time in the fall. The weather has certainly turned torward fall .. it's a cool 60 degrees -- so I'll be sporting a jacket! I can't wait to see what this season brings to one of my favorite places!
Again - thank you so very much!! I hope your day is filled with sunshine and all good things!