Thursday, August 31, 2006


Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Tropical Storm Ernesto is making its way into South and North Carolina and is due to pass through my city in a few hours.

After a brutally hot week, dry and dustry, we are getting much needed rain ... and the winds are rising. I wanted to sketch something rain related for today's sketch.

This tree frog (from a photo reference) met my needs perfectly. It's the first frog I've ever drawn!! Isn't he cute!

Pair of Pears

Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Ever have one of those days when you just CAN"T wrap your mind around work? Yesterday was one of those days ... I hobbled through the day getting a few things accomplished, but my heart was somewhere else .. and even I didn't know where!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

EDM 82 Art Space

EDM 82 art space away

Don't we always gather in the kitchen?

I work out of town four out of five days and stay at a lovely bed and breakfast. While there, my artwork is done sitting at this cozy nook in the kitchen while the B&B owner works on various chores. I usually have her company while I sketch and I have the best lighting in the house!

Watering Can

watering can

This summer has been so incredibly hot that I have spent more hours watering with hose and watering can than I can remember doing any previous season.

I saw this photo and knew a sketch of it belonged in my journal to represent my summer activity.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Window Box

window box
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
There is something so cozy, warm and inviting about a window box filled with flowers!

I cam across a photo of this box and just HAD to sketch it!

Done with pencil, watercolor (Winsor-Newton) in Raffine spiral sketchbook.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


oleander 3T


This morning was one of those 'good' sketching days ... images seem to float FROM my pen to paper without my constant correcting. I composed and sketched this oleander from a photo reference. I too have trouble getting shadowless scans, so I'm sorry the pencil image isn't better. I used a light touch with watercolors to give it a bit of pink!

BTW, as I reviewed my sketchbooks from spring through summer, I am amazed by how much PINK I seem to be sketching!

Stairs and Landscaping


The home of my sister's friend who hosted her birthday party was incredibly landscaped! I took photos to use as teaching tools for my students, but I had to sketch these steps! The scan is a bit 'greener' than it is watercolored ... but I just fell in love with the play of foliage against stone!



I was reviewing some of my old sketchbooks this morning and came across this tree I sketched several months ago. Mercy, I thought, I really like it! Isn't it funny that we can be so dissatisfied with some of our work one day, then fall in love with it days later!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fall is coming


I can tell fall is fast approaching -- our ornamental grasses are blooming like crazy!

I love their ability to thrive with little maintenance, their delicate leaves that with each breeze sway and dance, and the fluffy blooms - a delight in variety of form and color.

This miscanthus blossom is a gold/buff/tan and will be a food source this winter for many birds.

BTW, the bluebirds fledged this morning -- and I missed it! DARN!

Nick - Another try

I'm getting a bit closer to achieving a likeness for Nick. When I sketch him, I convince myself of its likeness. Later, when I turn the pge and come upon my work, I cringe --- these faces are such a challenge!

Friday, August 25, 2006

EDM 81 Street Lamps

street lights 2

When I told my husband that the EDM challenge this week was street lamps, he reminded me that we had seen so many really pretty onces while in Sicily last year. We went through our photos and I sketched these ... all of them from Sicily.

I tried to remove the shadow and darken the pencil ... this is the best I could do with the scan.

Butterfly Morning

butterfly day

I awake and head outside, anxious to check the flowers. Mother and father bluebird are still feeding their third clutch of young. The herb bed is abloom: agastache, garlic chives, basil (cinnamon and Genovese) and even more flowers on the strawberry fields globe amaranth.

I notice movement -- tens of butterflies all flitting from flower to flower!! Tiger and spicebush swallowtails, monarchs and frittilaries!! They alight on the agastache more than any other flower, though the white blossoms of the garlic chives are a close second!

I go back into the house for my camera to try to capture the dreamlike scene before me! It's like my own butterfly house! I knew their larvae were busy eating my spicebushes to shreds -- and this is the reward! Flying flowers!

My digital camera is just too slow to catch them -- but I settle on a few photos to use for sketches. I outline this butterfly scene from a photo and then use the herbs themselves to sketch and paint from ...

The scent of basil and agastache kept me company as I paint and as the day heated ...

Trumpet Vine

trumpet vine light
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
I began this sketch between meetings yesterday and while waiting for my dinner function, began painting it while sitting in my car. I finished the watercoloring this morning after a really good night's sleep. Some weeks are just longer than others!

Done with graphite, watercolor (Winsor-Newton) in Raffine spiral sketchbook from a photo reference.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by linfrye.
I sketched this from a photo reference yesterday. I had to do it twice -- the first time I really liked the way the flowers and ridge turned out, but I wrecked the water.

This time, I paintd the water first and am quite pleased with THAT, but not as crazy about the vegetation. I used less pencil sketching this second attempt and got a bit 'lost' without more reference points.

I worked thru some of my mistakes and am fairly pleased with the results. I'm still working on the water challenge for Kate's alumni group...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rebecca's Flowers

Originally uploaded by linfrye.
I got out of work early yesterday and even sat down to a real dinner! Afterwards I decided to paint from 'life' instead of the photos I've been using when I'm at a loss for time.

Rebecca had this wonderful bouquet on her desk and so I used it as a model. The white pitcher wa filled with pink crape myrtle blossoms, artemisia and summer clematis. The scan doesn't down the shadows on the base of the pitcher ... but they're there!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Morning Glory

morning glory

It's beginning to be prime morning glory time in North Carolina. Days are shortening and I find their vines wrapped around summer-weary foliage.

I found this image and loved the rich color and unusual angle.

Mornings were our wedding flower and always remind me of September -- coming fast!

A Bowl of Cherries


cherries and blue pattern

I had a bit of quiet time yesterday, so I began sketching this still life from a photo reference in between my end of workday, a class I substituted for, and bedtime. I was able to watercolor everything but the background.

Today, I scanned the incompleted painting and worked with PhotoShop Elements to try alternative backgrounds. My expertise with PhotoShop is limited, but I wanted to try something less stark than a simple color background, so I tried various settings. I like this one best, I think, though I have a few others on my Flickr site.

Which do YOU like best?

Correction - Cosmos - not coreopsis!

THANKS so much, Penny -- you're right -- they ARE Cosmos -- my mistake! Though there are pink coreopsis, I believe they are cosmos instead.

Thanks for the correction!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Coreopsis and Batchelor Buttons

coreopsis and batchelor buttons
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
This field of pink coreopsis and batchelor buttons (from a photo reference) was so cheerful, I had to sketch it!

I tried to keep the colors light enough and loose enough, yet show the various values.

A background of green leaves can be a challenge!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hoffman Nursery

Originally uploaded by linfrye.
Today -- a better sketch and watercolor day -- though still not my best work. Nonetheless, this sketch helps restores a bit of my lost confidence! It's a scene I photographed during Friday's trip to Hoffman Nursery's Ornamental Grass Arboretum. The wooden boardwalk skirts one of his irrigation ponds and goes through shady trees and ornamental grasses. BTW, those are NOT spiders on the bank! They're small ornamental, arching plants whose name I don't remember!

Hitting the Wall

emily at 10 wrong

emily tunnel 2

mini petunia

I hit my wall yesterday. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how many attemts, NOTHING I sketched or painted came out decently! I was so frustrated! So even though I'm horribly disappointed with my work, I decided to post it to encourage others (and myself) that some days are just DIFFICULT! LOL

Friday, August 18, 2006


Originally uploaded by linfrye.
I found this landscape and used the photo as a reference to continue my 'water' studies. The water got a bit too dark, so I added the same hue to the sky to balance the color somewhat.

Today, I brought a group of students and community members to two nurseries -- one featured the most unusual tree specimens (mostly grafts and weeping trees) and an ornamental grass arboretum. The arboretum also featured a pond and so I'll be continuing my 'water' practice by using some of those photos.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Willow and Water

willow and water
Originally uploaded by linfrye.
It's been several days in a row that required my getting up for the day before 4:30 am ... so I'm a tad on the tired side. Still, I managed to sketched this willow and water from a photo reference ... the peaceful scene was very relaxing while I waited for my husband ...

Done with pencil and watercolor on Raffine All Media spiral sketchbook.

The Monarch

Originally uploaded by linfrye.
While my husband was having surgery this morning (he's fine!!), I sketched this monarch from a photo I took at the NY Botanical Garden Children's area. I loved how all the plants in this particular display attracted butterflies in all their varying stages. The model was made of metal and glass and was truly a work of art (though not done by Chihuly!) ... and the plants were so large they almost covered the butterfly!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another Chilhuly

chihuly 3
I truly think my favorite pieces of the Chihuly exhibit were the blue bird-looking pieces and these floating colorful 'kisses.'

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sketches from Chihuly

chihuly 2

chihuly 1

I hope to sketch more from the photos I took at the Chihuly Exhibit. Here are two -- one done at my sister's; the other today while over the eastern seaboard enroute from NY to NC. I also am continuing to sketch water for this month's challenge from Kate's alumni group.

EDM 80 What Makes Me Happy

edm terra cotta pots
This sketch serves a dual purpose -- a view of one garden corner at the NY Botanical Garden and the EDM Challenge of 'what makes me happy.'

I ADORE plants and am very enamored with terra cotta pots. I snapped a photo of this corner at the NYBG and managed to get it sketched between party and packing. I think the scan doesn't look as well as the sketch, but it has both elements -- plants and pot!

En Route to the New York Botanical Garden


After the glorious party for my sister, we spent the next day at the New York Botanical Garden visiting the splendid grounds and the Chihuly Glass Exhibit. I hope to do more sketches of the exhibit and grounds based on my own photographs.

Here is my sketchy sketch from the back of the car enroute to the Bronx!

At my Sister Pat

pat dining room


We were on the go from my arrival in New York until and after my sister Mary Ellen's birthday party! These two sketches are my sister's dining room side table and a bowl of pineapple sketched from the TONS of fruit she had for mom and I to snack on!

Sketching from Photos

red admiral

During the flight from NC to New York I was able to sketch this from a photo and watercolor it using my waterbrush. I believe it's a Red Admiral on Lantana.

Back in NC

airport 2

airport 1

I'm finally back in North Carolina and have a chance to post some of my sketches from my visit to New York.

Here are a few very sketchy sketches done while I waiting at the airport for my flight.

Monday, August 14, 2006


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What a time at the party!! Food, people, temperatures, family, surprises!! It couldn't have been more perfect!

Yesterday, the weather and fun continued as we went into the Bronx to visit the New York Botanical Garden and the Chihuly glass exhibit!

To say the gardens were beautiful would be an understatement! To say the glass exhibits weren't exquisite would be another underestimation! To say that yesterday was as wonderful and full and joy-filled as Mary Ellen's surprise party would be exactly right!

I don't know how two days could have been any better! Here are a few of the photos! BTW, in the family photo, people are from left to right: Mom, Mary Ellen, Pat, me (the runt!) LOL

To see more Chihuly, go to:

Sunday, August 13, 2006


WAS A PHENOMENAL SURPRISE AND SUCCESS!! The weather -- in the 70s, the people, incredibly fun, food -- over-the-top, and the surprise---TOTAL!!! This party was one of the most tear-inspiring, all-out 'gotcha' surprises -- and Mary Ellen loved it!!!