Sunday, September 30, 2012

Doris and Lin - gift from Doris - work by Janina

I am so thrilled to post this --- This is my birthday gift from Doris --- a most incredible, AWESOME work by our mutual friend, Janina!

Janina is a most admired and wonderful friend of ours -- please see the other glorious portraits she has done as well as her magnificent work:



Birthday Gift from Janina

Birthday Gift from Janina by linfrye
Birthday Gift from Janina, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

Imagine my surprise not only from Doris - but a separate, stupendous work and gift from Janina.


Please enjoy Janina's work here:

Again - a million thank you's!

Rose Hip Tangles - Happy Birthday to Me!

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Fall begins a season of celebrations - harvests, brlliant colors, Halloween, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary -- and today, my birthday!

To celebrate I painted some bright red rose hips - a reminder of the season and the colors I love, the hips-- the fruit of a season's work and the promise of more to come! Sort of like birthdays, I think!

Thank you all for your constant support and encouragment - but more, your friendships and kind words. You cannot know how much you mean to me!

Have a slice of celebratory cake today -- on me!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rain Coming

Rain Coming by linfrye
Rain Coming, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

For our 20th anniversary, my husband and I went to Topsail beach on the North Carolina coast and spent a few days at a marvelous bed and breakfast overlooking the marsh. I LOVE the quiet of the marsh, that peaceful green, the lapping of water, the sound of sea birds .... and our breakfasts were absolutely out of this world gourmet!!!!

During the first couple of days there, the weather wasn't very cooperative, and we had rain ... but we found plenty to do. I sat on our private balcony and painted the view just as the rainclouds gathered over the marshes .....

It was a restful vacation - apparently both of us needed our batteries recharged ... and love our walks along the beach and marsh, visits to museums, and a few small towns that were utterly charming.

We've rain in the forecast for the weekend, and we could use some - but oh how the days have been simply beautiful with Carolina blue skies, sunshine and delightful temperatures. Fall at it's best!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace by linfrye
Queen Anne's Lace, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

140 Arches CP

BRRR ..... the mornings these days are downright nippy and both mornings and evenings require a light jacket. Yet by noon, temps have risen to the mid 70s and low 80s - but somehow the sun is not quite as hot as it was a month ago - even at these temperatures.

In drives around the countryside, more and more fields have turned to bright yellow - golden rod and tickseeds have taken over. Dogwoods are almost entirely crimson and tulip tree and sycamore leaves dot the ground. These longer, cooler nights have certain been working their magic on bringing color to the landscape!

I spot a few remaining Queen Anne's Lace - but most of these are now brown and heavy with seed. I've been seed-collecting these past weeks, and it's time now to begin my annual 'seed-strewing. Blanket flower, purple cone flower, Queen Anne's Lace, poppy seeds - all will be randomly mixed and scattered over bare and new ground for next year's blooming. Because our fall weather is still considerably warm, many of the biennial seeds - like purple cone flower and Queen Anne's Lace - will germinate and grow a basal rosette before first frost, die back a bit, and then resume growth in the spring and flower. By planting these seeds in the fall, at least in my mild-winter climate, I can 'fool' these plants into blooming their first spring.

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

The leaves are turning, the skies clearing and the temperatures are moving back to reasonable temperatures. Pumpkins and gourds are appearing everywhere I look ... and now, more than ever, is the season for berries.

I find berries on the hollies, on the dogwood, on the winterberry shrub, viburnum, elderberry, and wrapped in casings like this physallis ... and I love to see each of them.

Somehow apples taste better in the fall than any other time, and I look forward to their sweet crunch. And now, with cooler evenings, a hot cup of tea really makes everything cozy.

Here's to fall and harvests and apple and pumpkin pies! To oranges and golds and crimson! Let the color kaleidescope begin!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another Sunflower Triad - Happy Anniversary

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

Happy Anniversary to us! We are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary today ....!

Sunflowers for the sunshine of our lives and the cheeful happiness of 20 years with my sweetie!

Here's to 20 more!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Foggy Morning Sunrise - THANK YOU Maurizio

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

There are so many signs announcing fall's approach - those later sunrises and earlier sunsets, cooler mornings, the mist and fog that greet me upon awakening, bluer, less hazy skies, bits of yellow and red in the trees and shrubs, golden wildflowers blanketing the roadsides.

It was just such a morning image that seemed to capture that 'early fall feeling' - posted by my dear friend, Maurizio:

whose work never fails to inspire me. My thanks to him for allowing me to use his photo as this painting's inspiration! Please stop by his flickr stream to enjoy even more incredible works!

Our temperatures continue to offer cool mornings and warmer afternoons, and today and tomorrow, a bit of needed rain. I spent a good amount of time over the weekend closing some of the vegetable beds and collecting flower seeds. I'll do some seed scattering later this month to prepare for next season. Each morning I walk I notice more and more leaf color changes...and it's a pleasure to be outdoors!

Hope your week is wonderful!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU!

Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU! by linfrye
Hibiscus - and a Thank YOU!, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

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

I painted this while visiting Doris...both of us drawing inspiration from her beautiful garden and the hibiscus blooming there. I tried for something a bit looser, a bit more splashy, and a bit less 'controlled.' It was so much fun working through experiments with a fellow artist! See Doris' hibiscus here:

I also wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your incredible support -- and for your vote of confidence for the competition.

I was notified that I won 'The People's Choice' Award for 'The Long Barn" posted yesterday. I was joined at the artist reception by my dear husband and many of my wonderful friends who worked with me at the Arboretum, a fellow artist from Oxford, several friends from different Art Councils, and many talented artists.

From the bottom of my heart - a humble thank you to all of them .. and to you .. for encouraging and supporting me in my watercolor journey. A million blessings.

The weather these days could not be more idyllic - cool, foggy mornings followed by warm, not too hot, days, clear blue skies, fluffy clouds, and the trees and shrubs just losing their color. Here and there I am spotting yellow and even bits of red .. and it won't be long before the color-kaleiscope is it's full glory.

Let's get outside and enjoy this wonderful weather while we have it! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Long Barn - Oxford, NC

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

12" x 28" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

This 'long barn' is located less than a mile from my home. I pass it daily -- and wanted to paint it for a long time. It took learning to use my 'stitch assistant' on my camera in order to capture it all ....
I painted this last month - just before I left to see Doris. With the trips I took in August and all the paintings we did together, I haven't had time to post it! LOL

Those haybales are still there and another haying season is getting underway. The farmer who owns this barn also rolls those hay bales that I LOVE to paint. I truly believe he rolls the prettiest bales around!

I entered this painting into a local competition - and the reception to announce the winners will be tomorrow night. We framed this long and narrow, and while I don't expect to win, it'll be fun to see all the entries and to have my work displayed at the Clayton Center for the month.

Here's the information; come join us if you can!

The announcement will come at a meet-the-artists reception honoring all those who entered. Two $750 awards will be presented. They are the Margaret Ritchie Award of Excellence for fine arts and the Award of Excellence for photography. In addition, three $100 Judges' Choice awards will be presented. Lastly, people attending the reception will be invited to vote for their favorite work in the show, and this winner will receive the People's Choice award of $25. Forty entries have been received already, and 23 are from Clayton artists. Clayton Visual Arts, which stages the $1,825 competition, expects to receive 50 or more entries. Media include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, colored pencil, mixed media, and photography.

A meet-the-artists reception to honor all artists who entered the Art Faire competition will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Clayton Center, 111 E. 2nd St., Clayton. Light refreshments will be served--cookies, finger sandwiches, fruit, cheese, nuts, wine and punch. It is free and open to everyone. Children are invited, too. Dress is casual.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Grapes

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

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Oh the glorious cooler weather that was promised --- really did come today!!! When I went for my morning walk at 7:30 am, I needed long sleeves and slacks!! WOW!! And later, even when the sun burned off the fog, temps just managed to reach 80F!!! Absolutely wonderful -- temperatures, skies, breezes -- our first fall morning!

So fitting then, to post this painting. I worked on this when I was visiting Doris, modifying a technique learned from Karlyn Holman ... such fun!

Here in piedmont NC, hidden under 'just turning color' leaves, grapes are ripe. I pick some each morning that I walk, their sweet/tart taste thirst quenching and marvelous. The road crews went through the area cutting back tree limbs to prepare for hurricane season, so many of the grape vines that were laden with fruit have, unfortunately, been cut -- but here and there I can find a handful to enjoy and encourage me to 'keep walking!' lol

Here's to fall temperatures and weeks of wonderful blue skies, puffy clouds and leaves on their way to brilliant!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Fall Leaves

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

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

We've one more hot and humid day to endure before the temperatures are supposed to change dramatically and those of us in the piedmont of North Carolina will have a cool spell that will herald the beginning of fall. I hope so. After enjoying temps in the 80s with Doris, coming back to 95F and equally high humidity definitely saps one's spirit as well as body!

This painting was done while visiting Doris - both of us enjoying the sunshine and glorious temperatures. We focused on fall leaves, but wanted to keep a 'soft' approach as opposed to fall's typically brilliant colors. I concentrated more autumnal colors in the background so that the lighter leaves would 'play' against the more traditional fall hues.

The week was busy hanging different shows, beginning to teach a few watercolor classes, and making a bit of headway with my runaway garden. I have about 1/3 of the front area cut back and seeds collected, and I'm just waiting for the 'cool-down' to tackle the rest.

I've also been collecting the last of the tomatoes and the last of the figs -- and I'm delighted that there's some of both left to harvest. I've also found a few ripened grapes along the woodland edges -- yummy -- little orbs or deliciously unexpected treats.

We're off to the farmer's market to see what good things we can carry home for weekend meals. Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Circles -- After Karlyn Holman

12" x 16" Watercolor

While visiting Doris, we experimented with many of Karlyn Holman's techniques and ideas (see I've painted many of these types of abstracts before, so it was exciting to share some ideas with Doris.

I wanted to create something with circles -- but after I got through painting all the circles, I felt a bit 'dizzy' .. lol ... so decided to try a 'design within a design' to break up the shapes.

Not only was visiting Doris an incredible, joyous experience, but sharing all that artistic energy really got our creative juices flowing!! Triple treat!!

The weather in Germany was incredibly glorious - cool to me after suffering 90+F temps for months, so I was feeling a bit 'fallish' for this painting.Temps here in North Carolina have been hot, humid and generally stickily unpleasant, but we're supposed to have a cool down next week -- maybe I can feel a bit more fallish again once I stop perspiring! LOL

Have a great day!

Monday, September 03, 2012


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

10" x 14" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

During my stay with Doris, we had to make a quick trip to Cologne ... such a beautiful city! On the way back, Doris found a small, picturesque village - Linz - where we would stop, explore and sketch.

Oh did I fall in love with this place!! Flowers everywhere - a central town sqare so pedestrian friendly - with fountains, shops, restaurants, cobblestones -- all the things of dreams! We even saw a 'band' with figures that would play music - faces and arms and eyebrows moving with expressions that had me laughing out loud.

We sat on one of the benches to sketch these two BEAUTIFUL buildings ... and then later in the week decided to turn them into paintings.

I modified my attempt quite a bit, moving the pink building out of the street and trying to give this a feel of a vignette. It was a challenge for me to paint with all the lines and wooden designs .. but I sure loved painting the flowers!!! LOL But I did learn a lot ...

We celebrate our Labor Day holiday today so it'll be more of a day to relax than 'labor' ... though I have begun tackling the garden. I've already collected a five pound bucket of purple cone flower seeds and that was only from from one bed!

I deliver paintings this week to two different exhibits so we spent most of yesterday matting and framing. I'm grateful for all the painting Doris and I did -- sure helped with some new additions to the exhibits as well as marvelous memories.

Hope you have a great holiday!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Montrose Gardens

Montrose Gardens by linfrye
Montrose Gardens, a photo by linfrye on Flickr.

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

Returning home after a long, long, long airplane ride and a midnight delivery of suitcases and meeting the intense heat, humidity and dense air of North Carolina, drain me even more than the jet-lag I'm feeling this morning. My body (and I have to admit, soul) are still in a wee town outside of Wetzlar, enjoying Dori's company, fresh brotchen, the cool air, the castles, painting hours, chatter, shared ideas and inspirations .... and though I'm grateful to be home and to return to my beloved family, I think I'm a bit homesick for a place I've just begun to know.

So with a mound of catching up to do, three exhibits to get ready for, a garden that has really misbehaved in my absence, children and loved ones to catch up with, I return to the more relaxed atmosphere of a garden I love here in NC - Montrose. I painted this several weeks ago while visiting my mom ... from a photo I took earlier in the spring. I hope to visit the gardens this fall to capture some of those flowering beautings.

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend. I'll be laboring to catch up!!! LOL