Archives for posts with tag: azalea

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As winter sets in, I’m going back and forth between creating new graphics for my sizeable harvest of ivy, ginkgo, and dozens of other plants, and using those same leaves as inspiration for a new series of acrylic paintings that mirrors my pressed botanical compositions. I love the freedom of choosing color schemes and degree of detail in the paintngs. I’ll bring about ten of them to the Velvet Mill in Stonington on December 28 and January 4th. Hope to see some familiar faces there. Others will pop up on Etsy soon or on request.

I create all of my graphic backgrounds with Microsoft Word. For me, at least, this is never as easy as I expect. It’s taken me a long time to master the intricacies of adding shapes, erasing lines, modifying color, superimposing images, embedding text, and — today’s lesson — modulating color. For this swirl of Azalea leaves, I wanted a background that started light and deepened as it descended the page. I started by trying to wing it.Highlight a few lines, Click on “format” click on “shading” select a color for a stripe. Click on the same color, then click on more colors, then click on “custom”, then move the arrow…and so on. It didn’t go smoothly. Then it occurred to me to look at the luminosity numbers next to the color scale gauge. Eureka. Check out my other backgrounds in my Etsy shop.

I have other ideas that seem like they will be easy to execute, like creating a color block “vase” with nothing but lines and shapes. We’ll see. It never turns out to be as easy as I expect when I envision it at 5:OO AM.

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I had, and still have a small cache of ready graphics just waiting to be paired with small pressed botanicals. Today, I sorted much of it out. I left the tiny ivy in its natural state and added some color to my azalia in order to compliment the backgrounds. Everything in the garden is starting to come to life so I guess I’m feeling pressure to finish the business of the last growing season.

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Sadly, our URI horticultural expert was overly optimistic in thinking our Andromeda might spring back upright after it was bent over by a blizzard so we’ve moved on to plan B which was a drastic pruning designed to lighten the plant by a ton or so. I have so many healthy branches I’m hoping neighbors will take cuttings to root or just to display. That will leave plenty for me to press.

IMG_0467_cropWell, OK, that’s not exactly how the riddle goes. Anyway, here is a blue companion to my earlier black grid with tinted Azalea. A red one is in the works. They’ll look great hung side-by-side. When I have all three ready, I’ll group them as a set in my Etsy shop.

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Let’s face it, most gardening is a war against chaos. Maybe that’s why I sometimes have fun creating virtual files as the support for my botanical art. For this one I created colorful compartments for Azaleas (on the left) which I enhanced with a touch of turquoise, ferns at the bottom with a ‘button’ of variegated Euonymus, Parlor Palm as the centerpiece and some inner leaves of Euonymus at the top. If only it would all line up so obediently in my garden.

Like most of what I post here, it will pop up matted and framed in my Etsy shop soon.

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A pair of pastel-dappled azalea leaves bring this message home.

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While I’m in the mood to organize I’ve lined up some of my winter azalea leaves. I love their little apostrophe shapes. For a little extra interest I’ve added just a touch of pastel color at the stem end of each leaf. While I’m busy de-constructing my plants, buds are forming and my azalea will be in full vibrant bloom in just a couple of months. I’m already working on a companion piece for this one which I’ll put in my shop as soon as it’s ready.

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With a fresh batch of dill ready it seemed like a good time to re-visit the world beneath the sea. Who are we to say we’ve seen it all? My fish are, once again azalea and euonymus — both so easy to work with. I wish I could say the same for the dill although I’m becoming an expert with tweezers and I find the non-business end of a paintbrush works as a great tamper without getting in trouble with the adhesive. This one will join two others in my shop. See them framed there. Actually, until the frame goes on you never know — something new could pop up.

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The day before yesterday, I promised an update on this image when I decided what plant to use for the ‘bottom feeders’ in my second underwater fantasy in what is so far a series of 2. I needed something small enough to display as a ‘school’ within the composition but different in some way from my pastel-tinted azalea. Ultimately, I settled on Eunonynus.IMG_0307_crop

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After playing with wave and color effects, I was reminded of the sea so I checked my inventory of dried plants and selected dill as the main plant. To this I added a few curving fern leaflets and a ‘school’ of azalea leaves. My husband was reminded of winter instead because he thought the ‘bubbles’ looked like snow. That’s the beauty of fantasy. Everyone creates his or her own.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll pay more attention to my husband’s herb garden next season.