Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morning Autumn Sunlight - THANK YOU - Xandra!

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

That autumnal light - so clear, clean, brilliant - marvelous on its own. But when that same light filters through morning haze and fog -- the effects are so sublime and filled with mystery that I am jaw-dropped in awe. I've been able to capture a bit of that light in some of my recent photographs, and I gravitate toward these incredible images and morning moments.

It was just such a photograph that stopped me in my tracks and made me sigh with joy ... . Not only was that special 'light and fog' all part of the image - but she also captured that incredible, dreamlike color that we have yet to see in my part of North Carolina. Xandra so generously permitted me to use her wonderful image as a reference to paint. What inspiration!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, Xandra. (Please stop by Xandra's photostream for more incredible images!!)

I'll be attending a workshop by Jean Haines this weekend, so I'll be off-line for a while -- what a privilege!!!! Can't wait!

The leaves here are falling fast, and with the potential of Hurricane Sandy to pay us a visit this weekend, that wind and rain will rip even more leaves from the trees -- all before they have had a chance to really reach their typical peak of gold, orange and scarlet.

With such dangerous weather as a potential event for us and the Eastern seaboard of North Carolina, we are keeping our eyes peeled to the forecast and prayers for everyone's safety.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Golden Splender - THANK YOU, Denis!

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

In the piedmont of North Carolina this year, the fall color is slow to arrive, but here and there, we are seeing a bit more of the reds and golds and oranges that we would have typically seen last month. The early yellows, however, are now turning dark gamboge - and in most hickories - more a burnt umber. Yet many more of our early yellow 'turners' ... have already lost over one-third to two-thirds of their leaves, especially the sycamore and tulip trees.

And so, I was inspired, once more, by one of Denis Collette's glorious capture: His wonderful golden beauty reignited that 'I must paint more fall view' feeling that sends me straight to my painting table and has me joyously absorbed in the process of light, water, paint, color, and values. THANK YOU so much, Denis, for permission to use your incredible image -- but more -- for the inspiration!!! (BTW, I used a vertical format for my version in lieu of Denis' horizontal capture.) Please take a few moments to enjoy Denis' wonderful flickr stream -- and see for yourself just how AWESOME it is!

It's been a busy time here and our fabulous 70sF sunshiney weather has continued. On Friday, my dear daughter and her two girls came up to spend the night with us as we both attended my daughter-in-law's baby shower. What fun it was!! And I SO LOVED seeing my daughter and playing with Taylor and Riley!! They are growing by leaps and bounds -- and my gracious, their conversations - at ages 6 and 3 -- are so grown up! And holy moly, they NEVER keep still!!! How I wish for an iota of their energy!! LOL (BTW, my son's and dil's baby, a boy, is due mid-December.)

I spent Sunday with my son, his wife, her parents, and Emily and Nick enjoying the last day of the NC State Fair. My granddaughter 'encouraged' me to take one of those swirly rides with her - - which didn't look too wild. But by the time my stomach found its proper place and my hands stopped shaking, she, her brother and my son were having a good laugh at my 'wobbly state.' LOL Then to make matters even more topsy turvey, my son fooled me into taking yet another stomach-wrenching ride ....By the time I finally gathered myself -- I had to laugh -- though it took me a good long while to walk steadily .. and no, I never DID open my eyes on either of those rides and my knuckles were indeed WHITE ... geez ... the things we do for the folks we love!! LOL Anway, I won't be suckered into THAT experience again! LOL

We're to continue this marvelous weather for the rest of the week -- can't wait to get back out in it and walk on those crunchy leaves! Have a great week!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Dogwood

My Dogwood by linfrye
My Dogwood, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140 CP

I've begun to see a FEW trees in red glory this autumn, but for the most part, I think the ribbon for foliage color - at least in piedmont NC - has to go to the dogwoods. Despite several years of drought, unseasonably warm summers and short winters, the 'red ribbon' belongs to those persistent and delicate trees that, despite the quickly falling leaves from their taller neighbors, are still a brightly shining scarlet. Second runner-up this year are the sumacs - their bright reds competing neck-and-neck with the dogwoods.

But when the sun's just right, the hickories can look almost golden. Without that magical light enhancement, however, the hickories are a far dull yellow. Sycamore and tulips have lost most of their leaves, and the late-color-changing oaks are a dull brown rather than a vibrant sepia. In my neck of the woods, this isn't a 'fall showing' to write home about.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that there still might be a bit more color change the first few weeks of November. I remember some years when our color peak came with Thanksgiving. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm pinning ribbons on the dogwoods!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Berries and Leaves

Fall Berries and Leaves by linfrye
Fall Berries and Leaves, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Mercy, those Mondays that start with no Internet service, rain, sick children, and cancelled appointments really set a tone don't they?!!! URGH!! But for now, my service has been restored, and I'm hurrying to post this before the rain causes another Internet failure ...

On a good note, as I look out my window, the muted tones are 'beginning' to turn a bit more golden ... and I've my fingers crossed for red leaves soon ...

I'd like to thank everyone for posting their fall colors -- you cannot know how cheered they've made me -- BLESS YOU!

These berries and leaves are done from imagination - and are closest to those of Virginia Creeper. I am really a fan of fall - berries, harvests, festivals, colors - and so I'm working my way through enjoying autumn by painting it as frequently as I can.

I hope you have a great week!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blackberry Brambles

Blackberry Brambles by linfrye
Blackberry Brambles, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

The sun has finally come out, the weather has warmed, and my quick trip to the beach with some girlfriends was incredible!!! Laughter, friendship, talking, good food, sinful fudge, a bit of wine, an AWESOME morning sunrise and walk on the beach, a handful of tumbled stones - a marvelous restoration of mind, body and spirit! Fantastic!

I came home to find a bit more color in the landscape, but have to admit that I saw more crimson maples SOUTH of us than here in the NC piedmont. Sigh ... so I decided to make my own fall splashes in tones of red/pink and purple that reminded me of the blackberry juice, jam and syrup that Doris made while I was visiting. The cool morning on the beach also reminded me of the cool mornings in Germany when we would go outside to pick those plump, sweet, juicy blackberries from Dori's vines!! YUM!!!

Our blackberries didn't fair as well this year, as the lack of rain and water kept those that the birds didn't beat me to far too dry and tart. I suppose one of the benefits of art is that we can CREATE our own visions of nature if 'nature herself' doesn't provide them! LOL

The NC State Fair opened today and I'm anxious to visit while the weather is still in the low to mid-70s. This warmer weather will bring more folks to the fair and crowds to the exhibits I like to see -- but I suppose that's part of the state fair experience. As is the food ....! I'm ready for some sweet, steamed corn on the cob, candy apples, hot sausages, and all those other state-fair indulgencies that contribute to the experience (and a bit of weight gain!! LOL).

Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!!! Get outdoors while you can before the weather turns toward winter!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Flowered Window in Civita - Redeaux

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Sometimes I just really fall in love with a view or scene and can't part with the painting. This painting of Civita combined various methods that I tried and loved and the view itself never fails to bring me back to that magical visit to Italy. So after my first painting of this window sold, I absolutely HAD to paint one for myself while the techniques were still fresh in my mind. This one hangs on my living room wall. There are a few subtle differences between the two paintings, however, but the emotional connection I feel to this particular window, hits me time and time again.

Do you ever do that? Return to a view to paint it again and again? So often when I am looking for 'inspiration' for another painting, I'll go through my image files and find that I am drawn again and again to the SAME photo or simliar types of photos that I've painted before. Though I often try new techniques or approaches or colors or composition, it's those same scenes that appeal to me time and time again.

The weather here has been influenced by a cold front that has brought us rain and gloomy clouds. I'm hoping that once this passes, the cold -- no warmer than high 50sF -- will inspire the trees to become more fallish in their coloring!!

Hope you have a grand week!

Friday, October 05, 2012


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

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Though yellows predominate the fall landscape thusfar, here and there I am seeing wonderful spots of red - and our native winged sumac is one of these.

Winged sumac, Rhus copallinum, is one of those small trees or shrubs (growing no more than 20 feet) found along our roadsides. It's easy to recognize because of the distinctive 'leaf bits' or wings on the stem between each leaflet. (I did not paint this feature into my sketch -- as I was focused entirely on color and a bit of abstraction.) Usually, the leaves are a wonderful glossy green, but in the fall, those divided leaves are fabulously changed to a bright orange-red ... and really 'spark' up our landscape.

The fruits (called drupes) are red to russet to cinnamon colored when ripe. The tiny hairs on each round fruit contain malic acid which makes a tart lemonade tasting drink. Many of the wildfood gatherers sell 'sumac-ade' ... made from the fruits of this plant. Native Americans used the roots of winged sumac to treat dysentery and made a dye from the berries. The berries are consumed by many varieties of birds.

For all the wonders of this plant, my favorite is the fall color. And especially now, while I"m impatiently waiting for the oranges and red to finally paint our trees, I am enjoying the winged sumac even more.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fall Lake View - THANK YOU - TOM!

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Fall seems to be taking its sweet time turning our trees anything more than yellow. Here and there I find a full gold - in the sycamores and tulip trees - both of which are losing their leaves rather quickly.

I can only spot a dogwood or two and some winged sumacs that are red .. but nothing as exuberantly orange as the image posted by my friend, Tom, who graciously allowed me to use the inspiration of his photo to paint this fall view. Please see Tom's work here to enjoy even more glorious works! Thank you so much, Tom!!!

Our temps have risen again and the rain comes and goes -- nights and morning are chilly - and I suppose I am anxious to see more colors in the landscape. I am so enjoying the marvelous fall colors that my flickr friends are posting, and I thank Tom once again for sharing his fall with all of us.

Hope you have a great week!