Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ripening Berries

 I saw these while eating lunch and resting from a morning walking through a breathtaking botanical garden. I sipped my iced tea and happily flipped though the photos I had gathered over the course of the morning. Savoring the quiet and happily reflecting on all the paintings I wanted to get to I gazed around me at the plants that were offering their shade to my table. A ray of sun perfectly caught these berries casting their shadows on the shiny leaves below them. I jumped up to capture their image and didn't think of sitting down again until dusk.
 After establishing my tonal sketch in Burnt Sienna I began by laying in the background.
 I moved to observing the leaves and establishing their patterns of warm and cool, light and shadow.
 Finally I focused on the stars of the show, the berries. I loved the variety of color, the sweet little buttons at their base, their luster and the way they hung in differing ways from the branch.
The last step was to bring up the highlights, focus on the smaller details and make sure I had captured their powerful promise of the next generation of plants.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I encountered this towering succulent on a hike in the high California desert. Looking up into it's muscular arms, with the brilliant desert sky behind I experienced a sensation of smallness than modern, plugged-in types, and women who reached nearly 6 feet in their early teens rarely feel. It was delightful.

I painted this big, like it felt - 20x24.