my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

the beach

The place where sea
meets shore,
ocean plays land
like a bow and violin,
sawing back and forth.
The tune that it makes
is hushed
over and over
by the waves
and the sand.  

No more dreaming about the beach- I'm here!  Our family likes to go to Cape May, NJ, a great family beach and epicenter for Victorian resort houses and hotels... an awesome place to sketch when I'm not in the water!   

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

harewood house

We didn't visit an art gallery on our trip to England in May.  But we visited Harewood House, a huge confectionary cake of a house set down among an array of gardens, lakes, fields.  Overhead red kites wheel and soar.  Like our bald eagle these hawks have come back from the brink and are now an ordinary sight in the UK.  But they are extraordinary!  Beautiful birds with forked tails.  

Inside each room is like a canvas with every element tuned to each other.  Robert Adam designed rugs that echo the color and pattern of the molded ceilings.  Silk wallpaper and furniture by Chippendale was commissioned for each room to complement the floor and ceiling.  Enormous gilt mirrors were also designed by Chippendale.  And the chandeliers!  The yellow drawing room was for me the most beautiful room so I asked permission to sit and sketch.  I was even allowed to use watercolor.   The volunteer docent chatted with me while I worked, so I learned all kinds of things.  Between the fireplace and the table is a discreet little device used for calling the lady in waiting.  The ceramic dish in my sketch was smuggled out of France during the French Revolution and was supposedly originally designed to serve a sauce to go with a fish dish that celebrated a victory at Marne.  The sauce was the ancestor of our mayonnaise.  I had to draw the dish. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

sketching Fredericksburg

I'm taking a break from the studio for a few weeks this summer and hitting the streets of Fredericksburg!  My goal is to sketch as many buildings as I can and experiment with technique and tools along the way.  Here are some recent ones:

This is Sunken Well Tavern, a Fredericksburg institution.  It has delicious food.   I sat in the shade across the street to sketch.  I used a micron pen and watercolor.  I also used an ink brush pen for the really dark areas.  
I used a micron pen and the ink brush pen which has water soluble ink- handy for washing over with water to get the gray tones.  

This is Caroline Street.

Monday, July 6, 2015

six weeks later

So much changes in the garden in six weeks!  The salvia may night has been cut back and is reblooming but in a flea bitten sort of way.  The penstemon quietly shrinks back to a ground cover after I shear the spent blossoms.  The rose after it's spring bloom loses nearly all it's leaves to mildew.  But now as the day lilies finish the phlox, black eyed susans, annuals and grasses take center stage.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

its July now...

Summer for me is marked by the wheel of perennial flowers in my garden.  We are precisely at the point where there are only three days of day lily blooms left and the black eyed susans are just  beginning to uncurl their first gold petals.  I noticed this year that it's not until the end of June when the locusts  really tune up that monotonous drone that I always associate with lying outside trying to get a tan as a teenage.  It's a really hot and boring thing to do anywhere but the beach.  And not very smart!  In the backyard the tomatoes are still green and the sunflowers are blooming.  Some time ago I wrote a poem for the passage of summer that comes just before this.  

Ode to June, the most beautiful month,

full of roses, beginnings, soft breezes, swinging in hammocks.
Those cottony, white clouds shot through with blue heaven are June,
singing soundlessly above us, June, June, June,
crickets, screen doors, porch lights, lilacs, moonlight, blue sky,
cows moving slowly through waist high grass.
We’re on the upswing now in balmy, breezy, blowy June,
June bug June, lilac June, rose petals and showers June.

My garden- this is actually late May