Monday, July 29, 2013

Pen and Wash Hibiscus

Pen and Wash Hibiscus by linfrye ..
Pen and Wash Hibiscus, a photo by linfrye .. on Flickr.

5" x 7"
Pen and Wash

Summer days lately have been filled with tons of activities from gardening to exercising to trips and grandchildren - all delightful and fun, but resulting in limited time at the art table.

I've been using this spirit of summer to return to some quick pen and washes - enjoying the freedom I feel working on small, informal pieces that can later serve as inspiration for larger works.

These hibiscus were inspired by those in my garden ...

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sunset on the Lake - Brusho

10 x 14"
Arches 140 Rough
Brusho, Winsor Newton, Pastel

The heat wave we've been suffering under has finally cooled to 85-88F ... (after 95F with equal humidity, mid 80sF actually feels cool). We've had a week with only intermittent showers and the feeling of 'summer' has finally settled.

With the return of sunshine, blueberries and figs are finally ripening and tomatoes and other summer veggies are being harvested in earnest.

I painted this view from memory using Brusho paints in liquid form... I love their vibrancy, and instead of the 3-4 layers of paint needed to enrich the values, I needed only one of the Brusho. Doing so made the painting go faster as well as kept 'mud' out of the complementary colors. The 'other' side of Brusho, though, is that once it's down, it doesn't lighten as traditional watercolors ... and so I found I had to use a bit of pastel to get in a few more lighter values. A lot of fun and again a good learning experiment.

Hope your week is terrific!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Coneflower Garden

Coneflower Garden by linfrye ..
Coneflower Garden, a photo by linfrye .. on Flickr.

7" x 10" Splash and Splatter
WN Artist Quality Paints
Canson WC Journal Paper

The sun has finally come out and we can see blue skies once again. I don't remember such a rain-filled spring and summer!

Despite all the grey skies, my coneflowers are as happy as ever - bopping about in the breezes, being visited by butterflies and other pollinators, and lending the morning such an intoxicatingly sweet scent ...

These biennials seem to find a comfy home throughout my property. They once were contained in a small 'herb-sized' hexagonal bed and now have 'moved' to the front beds, side beds, and here and there, even the back beds! Not that I mind at all, as I find them eminently cheerful.

Each fall, I take their dried brown seeds and scatter them about, helping the flowers in their movement across my property. In our warm fall weather, the seeds sprout and leaves form a basal rosette which later dies back in the winter. In the spring, the biennial plant grows another set of leaves and flowers. By planting these seeds in the fall, they are tricked into flower production in one year instead of waiting the two years to flower.

With the blue skies and sun, our temps are rising again -- mid 90s for the rest of the week. But I'll gladly take a bit more heat to see that sun again!

Hope your week is going well!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

White Barn in the Blue Flowers - Brusho

10" x 14"
Arches 140#CP
Brusho Watercolors

I have to admit to the fun I'm having experimenting with Brusho powdered pigments. There's a marvelous spontaneity and vibrancy to these paints that, try as I might, I just cannot replicate with traditional tube watercolors. I do enjoy tube paints as much as Brusho ... the effects and application methods are somewhat different though, and I suppose that is the charm and challenge of having alternatives in one's paint box.

My garden continues to delight with it its red, pink, yellow and orange flowers and as I prepare for teaching flower-painting classes next month, my art table is filled with photographs and flower paintings. After all that color, though, the calm effect of blue really struck me in Dianne's beautiful capture: . I was immediate mesmerized by the sense of quiet and coolness in this image and it inspired me to combine my experiments with Brusho for a landscape painting. This is the result. The Brusho in my interpretation of Dianne's image lends the scene a more sunshiney, warm brightness,but the blues, at least to me, tend to calm that down a bit and quiet some of the 'heat'...

Thank you so much, Dianne for permission to use your wonderful photograph and more, thank you for the inspiration it provided. Please stop by Dianne's flickr stream for more incredible creations .

I hope you're having a terrific summer. The weather in my part of North Carolina, like in some many other parts of the world, seems to be a mix of cooler temperatures and a lot of rain. Here it is July and we've only had a handful of 90F temperatures (thank heavens!!) - instead of the dozens we typically experience. We've had rain and heavy storms four to seven times a week so our soil, parched and droughted over the last five years, now has an excess of water, and some areas are experienced flooding and downed trees. It definitely is a 'different' kind of summer ....

Monday, July 08, 2013

Field of Cosmos - Brusho

Field of Cosmos  - Brusho by linfrye ..
Field of Cosmos - Brusho, a photo by linfrye .. on Flickr.

Arches 140#CP
Brusho WC Paints
Winsor Newton Artist Quality Paints

Summer is zooming by as days are filled with gardening, grands, classes, gatherings, chores and the like. The languid summers I remember as a youth seem so very long ago, and while I thoroughly enjoy an 'active life' ... those days of napping by the poolside, leisure reading, sun bathing, and quietude seem only dreamlike now.

Still, there are moments when that peaceful stillness descends ... typically early in the morning, just before or just after the sun rises, the dew moist on the grass, the birds just beginning their morning songs, in the garden I gather berries, figs, produce. The air is fragrant and cool, and the day before me holds its promise .... How I love those moments ...

And I love too those fragments 'in the sun' too ... coming across a sun-lit field of flowers ... the the light glinting off he grasses and flowers bobbing in the breeze. Those too are magic summer memories. I tried to capture that feeling here in this field of zinnias painted with Brusho watercolor powders. I wanted a vibrant feeling filled with all the light and glow of a summer afternoon.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the Brusho - its unpredictability and spontaneous results. Lots of fun .. especially on summer days - their vivid colors mirroring the light-filled season.

Have a great week.

Friday, July 05, 2013


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

My 'wild' flower garden is exploding with purple coneflowers and Queen Anne's lace -- so I really love how the sweet blues of delphinium dot my garden and surprise me with a bit of cool color. Here and there I find white delphiniums too - and take their seedheads and spread them to the other side of the beds.

Since returning home, I've been plowing my way through this area of the property to wrestle it under a bit of control. Like most parts of the south, we too have had an incredibly rainy spring, and now with the summer heat and abundant moisture, you can only image the happy dance of the weeds!! Plowing my way through the thick undergrowth and finding these hidden sweeties has been a nice 'reward' for all the hard work.

Hope your July 4th was wonderful!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Italian Farmstead

Italian Farmstead by linfrye ..
Italian Farmstead, a photo by linfrye .. on Flickr.

Arches 140#CP

Funny thing about landscapes -- we like what we like -- no matter where in the world we go. Visiting Germany and Italy, I still found that my heart skipped a beat with each RURAL landscape - despite the incredible beauty of the architecture ... I guess you can take the girl out of the 'country,' but can't take the 'country' out of the girl! LOL

Here is a painting of an Italian farmstead using traditional watercolor paints and techniques. This view appealed to me because of all the greenery and of course, the field of poppies! LOL

Have a great week!