There is a sweet free collar pattern download by Hetterson at Frolic! blog today! Hannah of Hetterson and Chelsea (of Frolic!) have been collaborating on a series of free patterns, along with other creative ladies who contribute to the styling, direction, and photography. Doing the illustrations for this pattern may have been my favorite, (I also illustrated two others) simply because I enjoyed painting the tiny flower print in the Liberty fabric. Visit Frolic! to get your free download and see the credit list and links.
In my paintings and drawings I often work from observation and incorporate imagery within a nonrepresentational framework. Last fall I began a large scale botanical watercolor painting, which is still in progress, a piece I return to from time to time. While I have been drawing plants and flowers in my work many years, in recent months I have been working on a series of individual botanical pieces. Selecting plants that pop up in our garden or yard, this spring I have painted henbit, wild strawberry, a violet, different garden seedlings, kale and cabbage, and the dandelion and carrot shown in process above. Carrot has drawn elements, writing, and color dabs surrounding the main image. Yet, I wanted Dandelion to be an austere image, it seemed stronger on its own. To me these pieces signify emerging from hardship rich in hope and a deepened perspective, and the perseverance to begin again.
At the beginning of this year Susan invited me to be contribute art to 10, Artstream's ten year anniversary exhibition, that opens tomorrow, May 4. With the idea of "ten" in mind, I decided to have (only!) five prints professionally made of Dandelion and Carrot, as an Artstream exclusive. I worked with a local artist and printer here in town on these, and am very happy with the quality. When I was looking at the prints and the originals side by side I was amazed how the fine detail represented so clearly in the print. The color remains as rich and true to the originals as well. These prints truly look like the original watercolor paintings! And of course they are archival quality, signed, titled, dated, and numbered by me.
10 opens concurrently with Sea to Sea, New paintings by Rachel Blumberg & Amy Ruppel, and features the work of about sixteen of Artstream's gallery artists. All the work will also be available in Artstream's online shop by tomorrow at 5 pm est. Congrats to Susan and Rainer on the first ten years of hopefully many more!
Last week the children at the Lawrence Arts Center arts-based preschool (where I teach) had their annual exhibition. Each child chooses a piece they have made in class to display. We help them mat the work onto a colored piece of paper they pick out. I always like helping them do this, it's a lot more fun than matting my own work! The children also get to watercolor their own invitations to give to their families, inviting them to our receptions. Our class held a reception last Tuesday, complete with child-made refreshments: a vanilla cookie, spread lavishly with brightly colored frosting and topped with a teddy bear shaped cracker. And the table was decorated with a runner the children painted. There's a number of details that go into this event, but the children (aged 3,4, and 5) are pretty excited to see the gallery filled with their art. It's cute to watch their faces as they go find their work, and the work of their friends. Each year when we teachers hang this show on the night of the LAC art auction, it always seems we were just there doing the same thing the year before. And now there is only one month left of school! Anyway, it's really a fun show every year and seriously, who wouldn't feel uplifted upon viewing it?
It's spring and that means a new season begins at tend. Did you know tend is already two years old? This begins the third season! So to freshen things up a little I made a new banner for the site. I started by looking at photographs of veggies, fruits, rabbits, chicks and bees, some that I felt represented each of the ladies at tend. Then I made line drawings in pencil, then ink, and added watercolor. I combined them all into one drawing and scanned it so I could move them around on the computer to make the banner image. It was so fun! I'm happy with it.
Shari wrote the first post today sharing ways to preserve garlic, something I've never tried but am curious about. Also, please welcome Abby of Infusion Fibers to tend! She will be a wonderful asset to the team. Since I will not be posting there any more, I was happy to be able to make artwork for them. Thank you Amy, Shari, Abby, Natalie, and Julia for all you share with the gardening community!
A new season in the garden has begun. Weeks ago M started seeds for a number of spring crops including bok choy, broccoli, lettuce, celery, cabbage, watercress, kale, and so on. He's been working hard in the garden during the longer evenings to work the soil and plant. Sugar snaps have been sowed in the ground and spinach plants that over-wintered are looking healthy and tasting sweet. He has also planted more onion starts as well as new fruit trees; two peach, one apricot, one pear, and a plum. A few days ago, on a less than springy afternoon, the first daffodils showed their sunny faces. I brought in three to brighten the kitchen. Also, we broadcast some poppy seeds, in a patch among other poppy varieties that sowed from the fall. Craving color, I planted some midnight blue pansies in planters for the front porch. Inside, a few of our cactuses are blooming, including the golden star. Inspired as always by nature, I have been working on several botanical pieces, a peek of one you see above in progress. I always have loved drawing from life. Soon, I'll share more of these pieces, and what I have planned for them.
Now as I type this, snowflakes are falling outside.