Monday, April 30, 2012

Flowered Window In Civita, Tuscany

1/4 Sheet
Arches 140#CP

Before my mom got sick (she's doing so much better now!!) I was scheduled to take another International watercolor class and trip with Karlyn Holman. When mom got so very sick, though, we were uncertain that an overseas travel would be wise not knowing if mom would get better. Judging the circumstances on the side of caution, I canceled the trip and rescheduled for 2013. This was the week I would have gone.

Feeling relieved that Mom is doing well but still missing Italy (which I do quite frequently), I took a mental trip down memory land and revisted some of the photos I took during my 2009 trip with Karlyn to Tuscany. I once again fell in love with this flowered window in Civita, and decided to paint it. You can see the original photo I uploaded here: .

I attempted to keep a simple, loose style for this painting...

And yes, I am always dreaming of Italy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quiet Marsh - Thank you Fran!

Quiet Marsh - Thank you Fran! by linfrye
Quiet Marsh - Thank you Fran!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 13"
Arches 140#CP

It's been an exceptionally busy time for me and this whirlwind I am on has another ten days or so before I "think" I can land!

The Art and Food Festival last night was a FABULOUS event!!! The delicious food was served by 15 different area restaurants and caterers, delightful music was provided, and a dazzling display of artwork was shown for show and for sale. While I didn't win any ribbons, I was humbled and delighted to enjoy a bevy of compliments about my artwork, answer questions about my upcoming art classes, and I even made a sale! And more - I've been invited to exhibit at several new venues! A really wonderful day I'm ever grateful for.

But oh how this incredible busyness has left me mighty tired. And so, especially at times like these, I turn to things that comfort and restore me --- and one such 'place' is the marsh. My dear friend, Fran, has graciously allowed me to paint HER marsh and I thank her for her permission as well as the sense of quiet and peace her image inspired! Thank you on all counts, Fran!! Please stop by her flickr stream for YOUR dose of JOY!

I hope to catch up with family and friends for the remainder of this weekend - and thank each of you for your continued support and encouragement!

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Belles at the Ball - Bill's Challenge

1/2 sheet
Arches 140#CP

The blossoms of spring , at least in our part of North Carolina, have passed quickly since the surge in hot weather about three weeks ago. Since then, the progression of blossoms have been steady, along with the emerald dressing of the trees. Now as I ride the country roads, I marvel at how FEW trees are left without at least a scattering of chartreuse. Our weather has played a game of 'truth or dare' with us --- a few days of high temperatures (in the 80s) followed by 'frost warnings' and temps in the 30s and 40sF1 Mercy!

So when Bill posted a spring challenge I was more than ready to return to those fresh, exciting blossoms that herald another turn of the earth toward the sun.

I painted my interpretation of Bill's photograph over the weekend as I rested from the plant sale. The temperature this weekend was in the low 40s accompanied by rain, grey skies, and snow in our mountains! So I really enjoyed this 'virtual' return to spring.

We've another busy week ahead - more workshops, letters to write, new problems to solve, and would you believe, more plants to begin as we grow them to fill the rest of our newly designed garden beds.

We've begun an Art Guild in my hometown that worked with our local banks and restaurants to place members' artwork. I am so pleased to say that ten of my pieces are now housed at a popular bank and will be there for four months. After that, I'll have a restaurant as a venue, followed by another. What a gift! Potential customers are to contact us, so I've my fingers crossed for some sales. And a big thanks to the founders of the Art Guild and their efforts!

This Friday Charles and I will attend an 'Art and Food Festival' in the town where I work. I'll have two paintings on display and the hall will be filled with luscious samples prepared by chefs from local restaurants ... yum. Another venue for artwork ...

Temperatures are supposed to rise a bit before another bout of rain followed by a dip in temperatures and another rise.

What a see-saw ride .. I feel like I'm six all over again! LOL

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Daylily - Thank You, Tom!

Daylily - Thank You, Tom! by linfrye
Daylily - Thank You, Tom!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

When I left for work last week, I knew it would be a busy one as we prepared for the plant sale. But I thought that should I have a chance to paint, I wanted to add a few new colors that were not on my palette. So I went through my paint things and found several bright blues, greens and oranges.

During several evenings this week, I went through some of my flickr favorites and found a most glorious work by my friend, Tom (Foto Bloke)00 and with the new colors in my hand and inspired by Tom's magnificent work, I painted my interpretation of the daylily! My heartfelt thanks to Tom for granting me permission to use his photograph as a reference! Please stop by his flickr stream for some awesome work!

The idea of a frame came not only from Tom's work, but also from Karlyn Holman ( a fabulous artist whose workshops I have been privileged to attend. I even spent ten days in Italy with her art group -- outstanding!

The plant sale went exceptionally well. The weather was superb -- in the 80s, sunshiney and warm! The music was sensational, the vendors offered some incredible wares, our volunteers did a superb job of public relations and helped all the customers, and the grounds looked out of this world. My assistant and horticulture students raised some beautiful as well as utilitarian plants --- and our greensmen donated trees and shrubs that customers went crazy for. We were blessed with decent sales and a fun, fun time! Everyone is pretty tired -- getting ready for weeks and months planting, growing, planning -- and it has paid off in public relations, a bit more money to continue our landscaping projects, and new folks to enjoy the gardens and our workshops.

Today will be a day of rest for all the hard work, and a day of gratitude for so many blessings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


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

10" x 13"
Arches 140#CP

We're in countdown time for the plant sale on Saturday. The greenhouse is brimming with color and scent, and all the tables are filled!

We're still pricing new materials, bumping up plants too large for their containers, making signs, creating pots of mixed flowers, and putting finishing touches on the grounds.

I'm still out of the office more than in front of the computer these days, and that will be the case until next week.

We've had record high temperatures again - and we are in desperate need of rain. I was putting more flowers and vegetables in a mixed planter outside yesterday. I gave the new plants a heavy watering -- in 3 hours, the entire planter was bone dry .... sigh ...

Hope your day is wonderful!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fields of Bluebells - Thank YOU, Andew!

10" x 13"
Arches 140#CP

I am utterly enthralled with fields of bluebells --- the photos posted by my friend, Andrew ( put me to dreaming of those amazing pink, blue, lavender fields. This painting, done while traveling around North Carolina in my husband's truck yesterday, is my more etheral interpretation of Andrew's incredible photo. My sincerest thanks to Andrew for inspiring this work -- and for showing me a view of bluebells I have never seen -- but can only imagine. Please stop by Andrew's photostream for some incredible photography!!!

Bluebells in Andrew's England, and yellow fields here in my region of North Carolina. The mustard fields are just beginning to bloom. I LOVE fields of wildflowers and grasses -- whether blue or yellow, white, pink or green --- fields are incredibly filled with all kinds of life - insects, birds, flowers, weeds, seeds - they're like seas of landed vegetation .... the wind making waves through the grasses and blossoms.... trees making shadows and sunshiney areas ... all of it -- magic ...and the stuff of dreams.

The next several weeks for me will be incredibly busy and my time on flickr will be limited. Our largest fund-raiser, The Arboretum's plant sale, will be on Saturday -- and so my work week will be filled with all sorts of craziness! LOL The following weekend will be an exhibit of artwork (mine included), and the weekend after that I'll be visiting my mom and away from home. Whew ....

Today is also my youngest son's birthday -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!!!!

And so for today, the sun is shining, the temperatures are warm, and the garden is calling .... it's a day of dreaming ....

Bluebells and fields of yellow ....

Gardens of vegetables and wildflowers ....

Sunshine and soft breezes ....

Hope your day is wonderful!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Marsh- Thank you Sharon!

Marsh- Thank you Sharon! by linfrye
Marsh- Thank you Sharon!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 13"
Arches 140#CP

Though the blossoms and chartreuse greens in the landscape say 'spring' -- our sudden plunge into into freezing temperatures suggest that we're back to fall ...! With a sweatshirt back on and a chill in the air, I was inspired by Sharon's wonderful capture of a fall river walk and she graciously permitted me to use her photo as a reference for this painting!


I love Sharon's work -- from flowers to landscapes - each image is so beautiful and inspirating!!! Take a look yourself!

I spent the last few days preparing for the plant sale, repotting plants, cleaning bits of the greenhouse, making signs, and all the minute details that go into a 'sale-a-bration' fundraiser. I'll be as busy next week as well - so my computer time has been shortened indeed.

Today our volunteers return and despite the last few cool days, our kale, chard, lettuce are ready for harvest for the hungry. We'll also work a bit outdoors to tidy up the grounds -- so again, a busy day.

Hope your day is great ... Stay warm ....!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Barns - Oxford, NC

The Barns - Oxford, NC by linfrye
The Barns - Oxford, NC, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Half Sheet
Arches 140#CP

There's an abandoned homesite about 2 miles from my home where the majority of the brush has been cleared to reveal a series of old barns and out buildings. I love these old buildings and the stories they contain within their weathered wood.

These days, the grasses are high and cover fallen limbs and rocks, boards and a bit of trash .... but I overlooked all of that to give these structures a bit more 'life' -- I've 'renewed' them more than the 'falling-downness' of their reality .... brightened the grasses with the spring season. In real life, the barns are far more 'broken' ... but when I see them -- I see them this way --- a bit more salvagable, a bit more hopeful.

We've returned to the cooler temps of March -- and February, believe it or not, was warmer than these April days with evening and early morning temperatures in the 30sF! We're expecting to return to our unseasonably warm temperatures next week, but this cooler plunge has injured many of the young plants we dared to put in the ground.

I suppose that should work well for our plant sale next week when folks may come to replace plants they may have lost this week .. we'll see. I'll be super busy for the next week or so ---

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 08, 2012


HAPPY EASTER!!!! by linfrye
HAPPY EASTER!!!!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" X 12"
Arches 140#CP


Begun as a wildflower from Persia, the tulip, cultivated for centuries by the Turks, is said to derive its name from the Turkish word for turban. According to a Persian legend, the tulip arose from the drops of blood that was shed by a lover and thus became a symbol of avowed love. How fitting for today's joyous holiday that celebrates a most selfless love of our God for us!

The composition of this work was inspired by my friend Sharon (Dubonnet) and the colors inspired by my recent trip to Duke Gardens. Thank YOU, Sharon, for the inspiration!!! Please stop by her flickr stream for some INCREDIBLE captures of luscioius flowers and much more!

Today is also a celebration of new life --- and we learned that we are to be grandparents once again! My son, Mike and his wife, Brittney, are expecting a child!

What an exciting time! Spring -- new life -- renewal - love --


Friday, April 06, 2012

Flowered Doorway

Flowered Doorway by linfrye
Flowered Doorway, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Despite our return dip into cooler temps this week, the shrubs, vines, trees and flowers are enlivening the landscapes with scent and color. I've always been impressed with 'pretty' doorways, especially those I've seen overseas. Living in the countryside though, homes are often set so far from the road that most folks choose to landscape their mailboxe areas instead since these are set on the road for all to notice. Still, I LOVE to see doorways that are covered in flowers and seem to welcome a visitor or stop a passerby.

Doors, portals really, are rich in symbolism. They're a message of hope, an invitation, opportunity, a passage from one state/area/world to another. Doors can be symbols of closure OR liberation. Why not make the most of these entries to the homes we occupy and love! I fell in love with this particular doorway especially because of the roses arching over the walled front. Roses themselves are symbols of love - and to see them over a door of a home, enriches this dwelling even more.

We're in for a rainy day today followed by a holiday weekend of warming temps and sunshine. Hope your Easter weekend is filled with peace and joy!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


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

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

As early as spring is this year, our cosmos are not in bloom --- but the riot of color, the way they bob around in the wind, and the softness of their colors certainly appealed to me this week ... and so I painted these for the carefree attitude these flowers seem to have.

Thank each of you for your condolences for the loss of my friend. The funeral was yesterday and a sad event ... but moving forward ... for the family especially ... will be the greater challenge and prayers continue on their behalf.

Our plant sale is a mere 3 weeks away and the intensity of the preparations have increased even more making time for painting, relaxing and commenting even shorter. But as quickly as time is flying this year, the sale will be here and past before we know it, and life should return to a less frenetic pace -- (we hope!!). LOL

The weather continues to be warm and mild and already the vegetables we planted over the last few weeks are about ready to harvest -- lettuces, radishes, chard, kale. Amazing!

Hope you have a calm and joyous week!