Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dame's Rocket

I finally got out to paint today. Actually I just walked down the pathway from my home & studio and found this wonderful patch of Hesperis matronalis, commonly mistaken for phlox. It is not a phlox. It has 4 petals. Phlox has 5. It is all over the rural northeastern US right now and it is commonly called Dame's Rocket.

I amused my husband by loading my easel, pastels, sketching chair & a few dog biscuits in the wheelbarrow and disappearing into the green jungle at the bottom of the garden.

This 12 x 9 pastel was done on Belgian Mist Wallis paper with very soft pastels - Senneliers, mostly. The dog biscuits were used for holding Rosalita's interest while I asked her to "down-stay." She's a good little blue heeler, but she does love to chase other mammals; not conducive to concentrating on a painting.

I collected & scattered seed for these flowers decades ago. Now they are sprinkled cheerily around the borders of my woods. Every June I proudly enjoy the lovely shades of orchid-pink-white that I have encouraged. Imagine my surprise when my google search turned up a caution not to let this invasive species run rampant. !!! That's just what I want. The authority said no known ill effects, but nevertheless it is an invasive species. There are thugs and there are really bad criminals in the plant world, too. Garlic mustard & poison ivy being Charles Manson; Dame's Rocket being your teenager arrested for shoplifting. There will be no paintings of garlic mustard that's an invasive species! And one I am waging war on here daily...and losing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Art of Rejection

This painting is named for Pierre Bonnard & his wife Marta. The French Impressionist, Bonnard, inspired it. His paintings are rich and lively with color, patterns & pets. They often have a gauzy or whimsical bent. One of his favorite themes was a set table and the family life surrounding it. So I thought it a fine subject for one of my entries into FOCUS, a regional show. The juror thought otherwise, apparently. The Red Shirt is included in the show until June 5 at The Butternut Gallery in Montrose.
Pierre and Marta -18 x 24 image size- for sale this summer at the studio.

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