Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Memorial Day at the Garden
Usually, the rhododendrons reach their peak around Mother's Day, but this year everything is late. The rain has been hard on flowers and some were already fading, but there still were many spectacular displays.  I hadn't been to the gardens in years--or maybe decades. I remember keeping our (then) toddler from falling into the water after the ducks and I remember being there with my mother. Now, there are more trails, more bridges and walkways and more accessible gardens. It's still a very popular place for small children and grandparents... and there are still lots of geese and ducks.

                              The pink ones always seem to be my favorites. These were giants.

                                       I liked the explosive look of this bud and leaf cluster.

There are several species of ducks and geese at the garden, but these are the common ones. Love the fluffy little goslings.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden Party

On one of our few lovely spring days, fellow sketcher,  Heather,  had some of us to her garden for breakfast, garden viewing and sketching. Here are some records of the marvelous morning.

The breakfast!

The potted head (which in reality did not look as Easter Island as this), the stone bench, and the pond with  a lily, of course.

Some items from the potting table.

There was so much more to draw, but not enough time.  Is there ever enough time to draw a beautiful garden on a sunny day? 

Friday, May 20, 2011

After the Rapture

I saw on NPR that "kevinism" tweeted a Rapture prank:—" On Saturday, take some of your old clothes and shoes and leave sets of them arranged on sidewalks and lawns around town."
That's not what these are. They're just some sketches of outfits I saw yesterday in downtown Portland. The sun is out, the hoods are off, and Portlanders are getting comfortable.
In Paris, I didn't see women wearing tee-shirts, men wearing shorts, or anyone other than joggers and children wearing tennis shoes. Not so in Portland. Just so you don't think I'm a fashion-snob:  yesterday I was wearing jeans, a tee-shirt and clunky sandals, and no hood because it finally stopped raining!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nordstrom Gal Married to a Sears Guy

Once, I worked and wore teacher clothes. Next, came retirement and living life in yoga pants.
           Now, I wear something that doesn't show ink or paint stains. Priorities change.

Old and New Shopping Bags

And here's a little still life, drawn in the home of a very stylish sketching friend.
Peonies and Lamp

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the Lighter Side

Years ago, a roommate of mine put a stone egg in our refrigerator egg tray. I wasn't fooled, but I was amused. I kept it out of the refrigerator. Someone saw it and brought be another egg, this time a yellow alabaster one. One thing lead to another and over the years people kept giving me eggs. After a couple dozen, I made sure that I said, "I really don't have (read "want") and egg collection", but the eggs would occasionally  keep coming. For a few years, we'd deposit one near a rabbit garden sculpture in a neighbor's yard. Then their kids grew up and we stopped that. Now the remaining eggs just come out at Easter and I always tell visitors....

I could seque into talk about omelettes, but really, this next sketch had nothing to do with eggs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shoe Grid

Cute Shoes...Monday, I went out with friends and we went shoe shopping (or at least looking and trying them on). They were real  shoe connoisseurs compared to me  and I tried things that I normally wouldn't look at. Tuesday, I went shopping again and this time I found a fairly practical pair and bought them.

I remember as a kid, I usually had just a few pairs of shoes at a time: oxfords (groan), red ball Keds (fun), patent leather Mary Janes (for dress-up like recitals), and flipflops (called thongs, then). I loved trying on my mom's fancy high heels. Now, I just want something comfortable...and kinda cute.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring, Life, Rain

In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spread
Of life, Of life, Of life.

from 'In Time of Silver Rain'
by Langston Hughes

I don't know about on the plain, but here in Portland, we've had plenty of rain this spring, bringing an abundant growth  of grass, weeds, and flowers.  All are thriving.

It's often too wet to be out sketching for long, but I can always grab a handful of flowers and bring them  inside to sketch in comfort. Here are the latest:

This was sketched from inside looking out, waiting for the rain to stop so I could plant the runuculus and pansies.

One of my sketching friends, Linda D., made me this lovely little sketchbook filled with pages made form one large sheet of thick, watercolor paper. It looked spring-like, so it's full of spring sketches. (Well, no rain clouds.) And there's my new Lamy Pilot pen, which I love. Now what am I going to do with the dozens of other pens I've collected?

The first pages have blossoms from our pear trees.

Then I tried to draw some camelias we saw on a walk. This is a very tough flower for me and the results show. I lost interest.

Back inside, these are Ranunculus, Spanish Bluebells, Narcissus, Tulip, Grape Hyacinths, and Azaleas.

I decided to tackle some camelias again and since the petals don't seem very defined, I added ink and shadows and the result doesn't look anything like my usual light pallet.

And now, the lilacs are starting to bloom, so I stuck them in a cup I got at the Oregon Pottery show last weekend and tried to capture them.
I love how lilac buds explode out like fireworks.
Ah, Spring!