Tag Archives: garden

A Group of Paintings

Here’s the last group of paintings I have to post at the moment – I’m all caught up with my paintings and now you are too!

I have a variety of themes there. A couple of these, “Round Hill” and “Over the Edge” , are from my walks/runs in Lorimer Park, on the rail trail or in the trail through the woods. There are so many views in this park that I’ve watched through the seasons, enjoying the changes. Since I painted these pieces earlier this year, in late summer/early fall, things look greener and more lush than they do now in December.

“Just A Garden But That’s Enough” was painted in late summer as well, and it depicts our flower garden in the back yard. This year my husband took charge of it since I was not well enough to do so, and he did such a great job – the sunflowers and zinnias grew like never before, and their brilliant colors – well, I just can’t say how they lifted my mood every time I looked at them. I did this painting outdoors, plein air!

“House in the Park” is also from Lorimer Park, but I’ve taken a lot of imaginative license with it. The inspiration for the piece is the ranger’s house and the workshop, both set right next to the trail. I didn’t worry about siting the buildings in the painting in any coherent manner, just fit them into the space. And I gave the whole scene a new color scheme. I was influenced, I think, by a wonderful garden of flowers planted along the beginning of the trail by the head ranger’s wife – right in front of these buildings. I have talked to her several times as she worked in the garden. I do love seeing the plants as they go through the seasons.

The last one, “Don’t Open The Basement Door”, is straight from my imagination. I’ve been doing a lot of mental clean-out this year, and I have learned that in some cases, once things are organized and stored away, it’s better to shut the door on them. And maybe it’s better not to rummage around in the basement too much, unless you have to. That’s what this painting is telling me, or I’m telling the world, I think.

Anyway, thanks for looking and reading, as always.

A Lady of Substance

Here is a stick lady I made a while back. She’s about a foot tall, which is much bigger than the ones I have made in the past. The urge to create a larger version just overtook me and here is the result – a substantial lady.

I put her in the mail to a friend. Just seemed like the thing to do.

Want to see some other stick ladies? I have made quite a population.

Here she is, standing among some greenery in my front yard.

Here she is, standing among some greenery in my front yard.

Neighborhood Under Construction

I’ve been making these small clay houses for a while. I do a few every so often. They are two or three inches high.

I use mid-fire clays, choosing different colors as the mood strikes me. I construct the house and then let it dry for a while, until it holds its shape but is still a little flexible.

I use underglazes to paint the houses. I try hard to coat them evenly, but if it doesn’t work out that way, I don’t worry. I also choose colors that will contrast with the underlying clay color.

Then I take my needle tool and incise the clay to outline the various features.

I like these little houses. I plan to make more and more of them. It’s the kind of object that you can play with – I have always loved houses and I can very easily fall into quite a daydream about these little residences and their occupants as I move them around.

One Foot Square #1

Some paintings I did recently.

They are 12″ x 12″ on 3/8″ board (the board comes with a gessoed surface that looks like canvas).

Among the Flowers

The rail trail at Lorimer Park is divided into two sections by a road. They’re about equal in length. On the “short side” are the grotto and entrances to the twisty trails in the woods.

On the “long side” you can see the creek below the trail more clearly and there’s a nice new pedestrian bridge constructed on the old train bridge over the water at the (current) end of the trail. And… there is the most wonderful garden alongside the beginning of the trail, the first 75 yards or so.

This garden has grown in length and complexity over the 5 years or so of this trail’s existence. I have wondered how it came to be and who maintains it. Last week my questions were answered – I met the lady who gardens here.

I stopped to tell her how much I looked forward to seeing the flowers and that I appreciated her work. We fell into conversation and I went away feeling happy to have met her.

I decided to set a figurine in the garden. She is somewhat hidden, but she’s easy to spot if you look into the flowers. If a passer-by on the trail saw her and took her, that would be fine. But I really am hoping that one day, as she is working in the flowers, the gardener will come upon her and take her home.

More Cards Inspired by Etegami

Here are some more postcards inspired by etegami, like the cats I did around the same time as these pieces. Here I took a word from the dictionary pages I used to cover the ad cards that form the background of the pictures. (That is, except for the picnic table – that’s a thought right out of my head, as I looked at my real-world picnic table in my back yard, all covered with leaves…).

It’s funny how a random word seems to fit the pictures I assign it to – I notice this again and again.

Paint Only

I’ve been doing some paintings that have been intended for several different purposes, and here is a selection.

Two of the pieces are “renovations” of existing paintings; I just felt the need to change them and so I did. As I’ve said before, it’s hard for me to stop making improvements – I tell people I only know when a painting is finished when someone buys it or I give it away – until then it might go through several remakings. In this group the representatives are “Ghost House” and “Just a Sliver of a Street”.

“Hidden Garden” is a new one. I set up out in my yard for a plein air session. I wanted to practice working from the scene because this weekend I will be exhibiting in a show in Easton, PA, and I’ve entered a plein air contest. I plan to paint and/or collage whatever I can see from my booth. I did this event a couple of years ago and actually ended up selling the piece I made. Plus I really enjoyed working to a deadline and with an audience.

So this painting was inspired by my garden. (No one said plein air work had to be realistic, did they?)

The three small ones I painted as a donation for the auction for the Allentown (PA) School District’s Academy of the Arts at William Allen High School.The 8″ x 8″ format was a requirement for the event; I enjoyed working with it.

Yard Art as a Second Life

I have all kinds of things scattered around my yard, set here and there among the bushes and flowers. Some are concrete/mosaic statues that I’ve made; some are carved concrete; and some are clay figures. Sometimes the items were made to go outside, and some just ended up there. I like to see a surprise in a garden and I enjoy placing them where the viewer just happens upon them while walking around.

Here are two pieces in my front yard. Both fall into the category of having been made for another purpose and now finding a second life outside.

One is a concrete stela, I think I could say – its face is half a plate I made that cracked in the kiln. Worked perfectly as the personality of this statue.

The other is a tiny clay woman figure, red clay and finished in iron oxide (I love that purple-y metallic color) standing in what was originally a separate clay piece not meant for anything in particular; I just liked making this shape. One day I set the figure into the “grotto” and they’ve been together ever since.

The Pictures Inspire the Words

Here is an altered art book I have just finished, called “Warm-Hearted Season”.

For information on how I go about creating a book like this, here is an earlier post I did on altered art books. Right now I have several other books on a table in my studio, work in process. They’re waiting for my time and attention. I have done the first round of art in each one, but they need refining and some additions. And then of course they will need some text.

Working on these books takes time. So, I don’t sell them anymore, just keep them or give them for gifts to the right person. I recently gave one to a mail art correspondent when I met her in person. She was a librarian, so it seemed extra fitting, and I knew the book would have a good home.

If you’re interesting in seeing a couple of other books, look under my category “Artist Books”. In each one you can read the whole book – I’ve posted all the pages. I have some more completed books that I can show you, as time goes along – and there are still those books waiting for me to finish them, their contents still unknown!

Contrast and Color

Another set of tiles from the most recent kiln firing. These are made in a light all-purpose clay, Laguna 60. The underglazes are Velvet Terra Cotta and Turquoise.