Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow to Come ? - Memories of Last Year's Snow

1/4 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

No, no snow here, just the cold and damp following our heavy rains yesterday. Instead of white, our world is grey and only those long-clinging leaves on the oaks and beech trees give our evergreen woodlands a bit of autumnal memory.

Snow fell in our mountains, and according to 'weather signs' - like the inside of persimmons seeds, we're to have a snowy winter. I like snow -- of course - when I don't have to shovel it, when the power holds, when I don't have to go out in it. So in the warmth of my office and no snow in the forecast, I can DREAM of snow, remember it from last year, and anticipate its falling this winter.

It's been a busy, productive week - designing portions of the ethnobotanic garden, preparing a wreath as a sample for our class, year-end reports and the like. Tonight, we hold our soap crafting class - and if it goes like those in the past, it will be a late, late night --- but a lot of good, clean fun! LOL

Temps will remain cold today but the sun should be up soon ...

Hope your day is bright!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunflowers for a Rainy Day

Sunflowers for a Rainy Day by linfrye
Sunflowers for a Rainy Day, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

The weather has turned cooler with rain, rain, rain and more rain - and this early in the morning (6:00 am EST) the dark is so DARK that the roads, especially with the precipitation, were difficult to navigate. I thought we might all be enjoy a bit of sunshine this morning in the form of some splash and splatter sunflowers.

I enjoy doing these types of paintings --- the freedom of splashing paint, the finding of form, the negative painting. It must be like the work of sculptors, in a way, the carving out of a 'thing' from the surrounding 'confusion.' Very meditative.

While we're having rain in our part of North Carolina, our mountains - four hours west of me - are having snow. Snowfall seems a bit late to the ski industry there, so we're hoping this snowfall will bring kick off the season for them.

Hope your day is sunny and bright!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Riverside Trees - Luminescence - THANK YOU Denis Collette!

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Frosty, gray mornings greet me this time of the year - and early mornings smell like winter on the wind. My friends to the north already have experienced snowfall - and it is especially around the holidays, that I begin my annual 'pining' for snow.

I have to make do with the frost - and your inspirational images - right now! I owe a special thanks to my friend, Denis Collette for allowing me to paint from his image of luminescence ( THANK YOU, Denis! I have been admiring this capture since LAST November - and tried and tried to paint it without any success. Finally, my muse decided to be kind, and sat on my shoulder as I rendered this interpretation of winter trees, riverside. I LOVE Denis' work- there's a fabulous sparkle and light to them that is such a challenge in watercolor. Still, I hope I was able to capture a bit of the 'magic' I see in his incredible photography!

Though rain is in the forecast, snow is the furthest thing from reality for us. Temps reached 70F yesterday, and our visit to the JC Raulston Arboretum found roses, flowering maples, camellias and more still blooming like colorful candy!

And yet,

THIS morning, the sun waits behind pink/gray clouds and the woodland trees are somber in melancholy - and I wait
for the snows
to come.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Frosty Grasses - THANK YOU Nancy Rose!

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

The mornings have really become schizophrenic these days. Upon awakening some mornings, the air is so warm that I'm reluctant to put on long sleeves and a sweater. Others, like this painting inspired by Nancy Rose's marvelous photograph ( make me want to crawl back into bed and turn on the electric blanket! Frost covers the ground - making our sienna fields look as though we've had an early snow. There's a decided CRUNCH to the icy frostiness on those days - but acting as changeable as the wind, mornings that begin with a CRUNCH often end with soft winds and air conditioning ... and temperatures in the 60sF! Mercy!

Still, this game of see-saw will soon end. The trees have shed their cloaks and only those hardy evergreens and the persistent leaf clinging by a few oaks and beeches remain. In our area of North Carolina, pine trees dominate the landscape as do magnolia, red cedar and wax myrtle - so one can easily overlook all the bareness above those treelines. Still, the somber grey of tree bark and the olive evergreens will be our landscape palette for the next several months. Already, I am missing fall.

Thank you once more, Nancy for your inspiration!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! by linfrye
Happy Thanksgiving!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

1/8 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Dawn is just breaking this chill Thanksgiving morning. With the leaves off the trees, I can now folllow the path the sun takes around the rim of my property - lighting first the eastern trees by the garage - moving westward around the back of the house - and if I linger too long at my computer - right into the window of my office.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving - a most appropriate time to stop and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. A traditional celebration centers on roast turkey, sweet potatoes, greens, cranberries, pumpkin pie - so many of these foods that our first peoples - Native Americans - gave to the world.

It is also a day to enjoy the deserved rest following the seasons of growth, maintenance, harvest, preserving - a bit of celebration for the work of the year and the larders we filled.

It is a time of family and friendship - a time to enjoy the blessings of relationships, the kindnesses and the giving.

It is a particularly difficult day for those alone, for those who are hungry, cold, sad....and so for those with plenty to be grateful for - may hearts be a bit more open to share and to help....

We give thanks for so much ...

I give thanks as well -- for you --- for your kindnesses, encouragement, comments, awards - friendships. So often we cannot know the ripple effect of a simple smile, a 'GREAT JOB', a friendly note. These bits of ourselves, given so freely and generously may encourage a struggling soul overcome a hard time, get past an illness, a sadness, a bit of trouble. And we share that with our words, with our art.

And so on this day of giving thanks, I thank each of you - for carrying me through a journey we share, an expressive art we love, and a place that brought us together.

Happy have filled my 'cupboard' with so many blessings ....
May we open the doors ...
And share with those who may be in need ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Walk - THANK YOU - Fossibear!

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

A quiet pause in the day
Save the scuffles
of leaves under
our feet ....

My sincere appreciaton to Fossibear for allowing me to paint from his incredible work ....!Please stop by to visit his wonderful flickr stream (!

Our walk through the park this weekend graced us with a quiteness that we haven't experienced there in a long while. There were no ball games, no soccer games, not too many other walkers... just that rare autumnal hush that seems to quiet time and surround us with a long sigh. Only our feet making their way through leaf litter made any sound ....

Back to work and though a short week for the Thanksgiving holidays, it's been busy with meetings, budgets, planning meetings, and more changes. Somehow the immersion back to the workweek makes a week of art seem ages ago! LOL

We're in for some rain today and tomorrow, but the temperatures have -- including the flowering shrubs -- confused. Last week, we needed winter jackets and mittens; this week, our students are in shorts and flip flops ... and instead of readying for the winter, so many plants are putting out another flush of growth.

I'm having some computer issues at work, making comments and viewing difficult. I hope these will be remedied soon.

Hope your day is wonderful!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Waters - Fransen - "A Walk in the Woods"

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Getting the colors right on my screen for this painting has been a real challenge ... the wonderful reds and yellows in the painting itself seem to make the scanner go crazy!! (Maybe it too loves autumn!! LOL) Nonetheless, my thanks to Fran for the inspiration and the autumn view ( -- her photograph that literally had me YEARNING to join her for a walk in these woodlands! Blessings and thanks once more, Fran!!!

Our workshop has been a blend of demonstrations and painting with critiques interesting way of learning. Each of us choose our own images and we were encouraged to have Freeman critique and assist. I've had a good amount of time to paint, which has been a blessing in itself...and I've throughly enjoyed the week. Like most things, I truly hate to see it end!

The rain is behind us, but oh my, my woodlands no longer look like this painting. Bare trees are ever more visible, and the leaf litter at my feet is inches high. Temps are supposed to climb a bit this weekend -- another tease of fall ...but the loss of color in the landscape is more prediction of winter.

Hope your day is great!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sunset - Moment of Magnificence - Thank You Fran!

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

A Moment of Magnificence - inspired by Fran's fabulous photograph ( ... please stop by her flickr stream to see some wonderful, wonderful photos! THANK YOU Fran for the inspiration!!

My watercolor classes are going well - it's always interesting to see how different folks approach a painting ...! I LOVE Freeman's work ( - he makes it look so simple! LOL We've painted snow (will post soon), and yesterday we watched him paint a waterfall ...last, he'll demonstrate painting fall scenes. We paint today and I have a photo of mine that I'd like to attempt -- fingers crossed.

The weather's turned cold ... and we've had some good rain. With each bluster of the wind, more and more leaves fall ... and I am startled each time I look up to see so many branches losing their cloak of color ....

I can hardly believe that the holidays are upon us .. and with each advertisement, I'm beginning to panic to get some holiday shopping done.

And yet,
And yet,

I want to linger - longer still - in the remaining colors of fall ....

I so LOVE this season!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunup on the Lake - Carpe Diem - Nancy Rose

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

A special thank you to my dear friend Nancy Rose, whose incredible photography inspired this painting. Please check out her photostream ! Most amazing work!

This image of Nancy's so reminds me of North Carolina - though she lives miles and miles north of me. There's a wonderful bond among flicker-ites I think - when they share places of home or of things they love. There's a kind of resonance that speaks louder than words that melts the miles and makes the world a bit smaller. Thank you, Nancy, for this part of your world that can now be so much a part of mine.

The workshop went well yesterday - we had a demonstration and -- homework! This part of the week we're focused on snow -- and though we get only a few days of it during the year, it's such a special time for us when the while fluff doth fall. So today we return with our value sketches and we'll paint. It's a small group of ten women - most of us know a few of the others, so already there's some instant camaraderie. Some are beginning their painting journey, others are looking to try something different, still others are there to learn how to make improvements to their work. It's a good group.

Temperatures are in the 60s and 70sF again - seems so fickle and a bit of a challenge to imagine bare trees and blankets of white. I've pulled out some of my photographs from last winter and know in my soul that those cold, icy days aren't too far away.

Still, lingering on the porch in only a sweater was an absolute delight -- one more day without bundling up and having the heater run.

Hope you have a day of sunshine and creativity. And thank you for your most kind comments and invitations. They are most sincerely appreciated!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Purple Pansies

Purple Pansies by linfrye
Purple Pansies, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" X 12"
Arches 140#CP

Despite the cold and frosty nights, these purple pansies are still peeking out from the leaf litter and adding a violet element to all the fall golds and reds. What I love most about pansies is not only their bright colors, but mercy, are they ever hardy! I planted these in early summer - and they've survived drought, torando, hurricane, hard, pounding rain, and now the first bit of frost. They won't last much longer -- but their seeds will be strewn wily nily around the property, and I'll probably find some of these purple pretties in the lawn, across to the vegetable beds, and hopefully, in other spots in my 'wild' flower garden. Whatever, it will be a marvelous surprise!

Today I begin my weeklong classes with Freeman Beard ( I'm looking forward to this week of art immersion as well as looking at landscapes with a 'new' eye. It should be fun -

Temps this week are on the rise again, teasing us once more with the last sighs of fall. Leaves are drying now, so when the wind blows, there's a wonderful rustling melody to the ear. Underfoot, the drying leaves have a definite CRUNCH, and in the mornings, wood smoke evokes feelings of warmth and coziness.

There is so much sensuosity to this season ... tart apples, brilliant leaves, wood smoke, crunching foliage, the nip of frost ....

And always, the fleeting nature of it all ...

Catch it while we can!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Church in the Mountains

Church in the Mountains  by linfrye
Church in the Mountains , a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

This painting was done for a workshop I'll be taking next week with Freeman Beard ( I"m looking forward to the workshop and working with landscapes for an entire week! After the last busy four months and the busy weeks that will follow, this weeklong respite and focus on art will be, I hope, most restorative for me and reenergize my creative side.

This painting is from a photo Freeman took while in Asheville, NC. His image was from the summer, and I wanted to focus a bit on the colorful season of fall.

As I look out my window this morning, those magnificent vertical boles of woodland trees are becoming more and more evident. Their splendid gowns of burgundy and gold now lie at their feet as if the trees were too tired to hang their dresses after the fun of the autumn ball.

When I fed the kitties this morning, there was ice in their bowl, and in my garden frost rimes the verbena. There are a few roses still struggling through the growing cold, and next week, our temps will tease us with yet again with warm breath....but the earth has made its annual turn, and autumn will soon slumber for another year.

In the stores, we are reminded that Christmas is less than 8 weeks away ...and like the roses, I am reluctant to see the end of autumn's splendor. I suppose that is the melancholy of fall - its short-lived, vibrant celebration of spring and summer's work, and the magnificent display of its harvest joy.

Still, like all creatures and Nature herself, winter is the time for rest, recuperation, the rebuilding of energy for another year. It too has its beauty ...but I have never been easy with goodbyes ....not even to seasons.

Today I hope to return to the art table and hopefully I'll find my muse patiently waiting for me. The busyness of the last months has made painting - and getting into that glorious 'flow' of the process - mighty challenging. Perhaps today, she'll whisper in my ear, and sit on my shoulder, and linger a while ...

Hope she joins you too! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seasonal Grapes

Seasonal Grapes by linfrye
Seasonal Grapes, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Tis the season for these luscious orbs -- and after last night's class on fruit trees and berries -- I'm ready to plant even more! Here in North Carolina, muscadine grapes grow naturally - and many varieties are not only coming to market for the table, but even more are being grown for our expanding wine industry.

This morning our volunteers will harvest the cole crops we planted eight weeks ago -- brussel sprouts, lettuce, cabbage, turnips, carrots, mustards, collards ...we've been using 'floating row' covers - soft, woven netting that covers the plants - keeping out insects and also keeping the plants a bit warmer than the surrounding air. This method has worked well for us to help avoid insecticide use and also extended the season.

The last bit of warm days this week tease us like a lingering caress ...morning's chill reminds me that the sharp pangs of winter are on their way. Winds are rising and the beautiful kaleidescopic colors are quickly undressing the trees and returning to them in the form of next year's nutrition.

Let's savor this last bit of fall won't be around for long.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Rico Montenegro, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and Me

What a glorious, spectacular, incredible day yesterday! Seventy-eight people showed up for the celebration, and more than half remained to plant our 43 fruit trees!

The day was warm, sunshiney, and filled with fall color all adding to the celebration! The media was there, dignitaries, and volunteers, all enjoying the day and the time outdoors.

The project was an award from Dreyer's (Edy's Fruit Bars) and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. We were one of 20 projects awarded fruit tree orchards this year. Folks from the granting agencies worked with us to secure the trees, our staff and students worked to prepare the grounds, and everyone from hortictulure students from JCC and another college, to Plant a Row for the Hungry volunteers, staff and friends all dug, planted, mulched and installed irrigation to the trees. At the end of the day, Rico gave us a fruit tree lecture - and tonight, we will learn more about those trees and berries that grow well in North Carolina.

Of course, we all were refreshed with Edy's fruit bars -- perfect for the 75 degree weather -- and fresh apples!

It's been a busy,busy time -- but in a few years, those trees will bear the fruits that will go to the hungry in our community - and extend this amazing gift.

Students, Plant a Row Volunteers, Staff

Irrigation Installation

Irrigation Installation by linfrye
Irrigation Installation, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Adding the Bubbler for Irrigation

MORE TREES to install!

MORE TREES to install! by linfrye
MORE TREES to install!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Plant A Row Volunteers

Plant A Row Volunteers by linfrye
Plant A Row Volunteers, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

The Ceremonial Tree Planting

The Ceremonial Tree Planting by linfrye
The Ceremonial Tree Planting, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

rom Left to right:
David Johnson, JCC President
Denise Holder, VP, SGA Association
Rico Montenegro, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
Michael Cross, VP, Administrative Services
Jordan Astoske, Arboretum Gardener
Butch Culbreth, PAR Volunteer
Minda Daughtry, Arboretum Assistant
Lin Frye -- ME
Hank Daniels, JCC Board of Trustee
Lynn Auston, JCC Board of Trustee Chair

Planting the first tree - our native persimmon, Diospyros virginiana

More Planting

More Planting by linfrye
More Planting, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.


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

Planting, Planting, Planting!

Planting, Planting, Planting! by linfrye
Planting, Planting, Planting!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Dreyer's - Edy's Fruit Bars

Dreyer's - Edy's Fruit Bars by linfrye
Dreyer's - Edy's Fruit Bars, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Attendees for Rico's Fruit Tree Lecture

Rico and students end the day

Rico and students end the day by linfrye
Rico and students end the day, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Golden Rain Tree Pods

Golden Rain Tree Pods  by linfrye
Golden Rain Tree Pods , a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

The Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) is a native of Asia, growing up to 30 feet and when mature, equally wide. With compound leaves that at this season are a marvelous gold, the tree has a 'lacy' appearance. One of the most striking things about the tree is its fall production of showy yellow flowers followed by these multi-hued, long clusters of seed pots. When I saw this tree last month at Montrose Gardens, the pods were this incredible pink/tan,blue/green/brown ... not as bright, perhaps, as this painting shows in the scan, but with all those colors that just took made me gasp! Over time, the papery pods turn brown and cover a three-compartment, bladder-like structure full of seeds.As the pod dries, the compartment splits and each rolls back to reveal the seeds inside. In warm climates, this abundant seed-maker can become quite invasive. where the shorter growing season prevents formation of seed. The tree is used as a marvelous ornamental landscape additon.

I'm finding it difficult to drive this week - the colors of the leaves seemed to be just at their peek, and I'm constantly staring at their display! My head keeps turning from one vista to another and I can't seem to take in enough of the magnificence of it all!

Our weekend has been mighty cold - but there's another warm front coming in for the next few days .... teasing us into thinking winter will be delayed..... (we DO know better! LOL).

BTW, did you remember to set your clocks back an hour last night to standard time?

Hope your day is filled with the colors of autumn!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Last of the Basil

Last of the Basil by linfrye
Last of the Basil, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Fall weather has claimed almost all my flowers - but a few, especially those closest to the house and somewhat protected by south facing walls - still rally on a bit longer. My cinnamon basil is chock-full of seeds arranged in spires of rich purple that stand tall against leaves turning a fading yellow with smudges of purple. Once basil has bloomed, the energy of the plant goes into producing and protecting the next generation, thus,the leaves haven't the same rich flavor as they did in the summer. Still, those seedheads make a wonderful dried arrangement - as well as stores for next year's crop.

I was honored to be interviewed by Leslie Panfil from Hubpages:

She also did an interview earlier with another flickr friend, Bev Morgan:

Take a look if you get a chance.

Our orchard planting is coming along. The holes have been dug, trees and irrigation supplies received, invitations sent .... Tuesday's the big day so our fingers are crossed for good weather.

Here in the US we change our clocks tonight - turning them back one hour to 'standard time' - which will give us more daylight in the morning hours (good especially for school children waiting on street corners for school buses) - but will mean early evening darkness - Hard to believe how swiftly time is flying...

Charles has a performance today at one of our local craft shows so I'll take some photos for his blog and see what's new at the show - especially with the holidays around the corner.

Hope your day is great!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Fall along the River - Nancy Rose

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

My heartfelt thanks to Nancy Rose whose magnificent images of fall inspired this painting. Please see Nancy's exquisite photos ( Thank you so much, Nancy!

Our colors are still mighty bright - and though our evening temperatures are in the 30s and 40sF - our days are incredible warm and can range from 50s to mid 70s! While it's wonderful to walk in warm temperatures, it sure makes clothes layering a major necessity! LOL

Orchard preparations continue, and now we wait for our trees to arrive. Today we work on tidying up the rest of the gardens, organize the day, and work on the kitchen garden.

The cisterns we've also won are due to arrive any day. We will be collecting over 5,000 gallons of water from our greenhouse roofs ... and this water will go right to the orchard.

Should be another wonderful sunny day before rain returns tomorrow ... Hope your day is great!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Flowers in Red - Ernesto

Flowers in Red - Ernesto by linfrye
Flowers in Red - Ernesto, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

A special thanks to my dear friend Ernesto for allowing me to use one of his incredible photographs for this work. Please check out his wonderfully inspiring photostream - .

The cold has arrived - and after our bout of rain yesterday, the leaves are falling fast from the trees. Walking from my house to the mailbox is like walking in colorful litter -- only a bit crunchier! LOL

It'll be a super busy week as we prepare our grounds and celebrations for orchard planting next week -- it's exciting to think that we'll soon have over 40 fruit trees in the ground - and after a few years - delicious fruit to share! Each time I eat an apple, I'll be dreaming of these trees!

Hope your day is magnificent!