Archives for posts with tag: botanical

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While I plan to continue designing lots of fun graphic images for my pressed botanicals in 2014, I am also enjoying working with watercolors. This simple background of water drops on a pink and coral wash provides the support for one of my favorite plants for pressing – Mexican feathergrass. I have a second one in the wings and some thoughts of painting insects to hover above the a feathergrass meadow. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I popped this one into my Etsy shop this morning. Happy New Year to all my friends and followers.

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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.

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With nearly 30 original pieces now on display at the Yellow House in Stonington Borough, the pressure is on to make some work for my next commitment in Providence on November 17. The first ginko of the year is ready to go with lots more in the wings so I worked on this combination in muted tones and added just a bit of pastel to highlight the lovely natural ribbing in the ginko leaf.

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I love what these undulating lines do to the look of the foliage I use. In previous versions of this basic design I’ve used feathery ferns and, in one case nothing but very tiny individual fronds. While this piece uses some ordinary ferns to balance the composition, the real stars of the show are the bold Sensitive Fern at the bottom center and individual leaf clusters from my Fringed Bleeding Heart.

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Even though I created it, this hill of little ferns and strange trees makes me want to see what’s on the other side. I’m busy replenishing my Etsy inventory after last Saturday’s trip to the Artisan’s Market at Lippett Park in Providence. Will miss next week’s market and return on June 29th.

My stock of interesting pressed foliage is growing so fast it’s hard to know what to play with next.

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This week I’m getting ready to show lots of my botanicals at the Providence Artisan’s Market which forms part of the larger Providence Farmer’s Market at Lippitt Park. If you haven’t been and live within driving distance, give it a try. It’s one of the best anywhere short of Union Square in Manhattan. I’ll have about 40 pieces on display including this simple arrangement of Fern, Fringed Bleeding Heart, Yellow Archangel, Maple, and a trio of Sweet Woodruff ‘stars’. I used just a blush of color in the background and divided the image with a crossed ribbon graphic.

While I pass the week making more botanicals and waiting for the weather to heat up I’ll tuck this into my Etsy shop.

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I loved making this vase which could have come straight out of a coloring book. It is simply constructed as a word document using overlapping ovals, squares and triangles with wide black borders. To erase the parts of the borders that needed to be invisible, I used more borderless circles and squares. In all, the simple little vase is probably constructed of about 10 or 12 superimposed shapes.

I filled my vase with dill and made the flower with dried petals from my Andromeda that I treated with floral preservative then dusted with shavings from blue pastel chalk. I think I’ll make another one in just black and white so the foliage will pop even more.

To see the whole collection, go to my Etsy shop.

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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Last season, my botanical art was strictly about pressed foliage. Going forward, I plan to continue to exand my exploration of the design possibilities my shade garden plants present. Lately, though, I succumbed to the temptation to begin incorporating some flowers as well. I think it all started when I became impassioned about saving my blizzard-damaged Andromeda. Following the advice of a master gardener, we waited until Spring to see if our listing tree would upright itself naturally. That didn’t happen, so we’ve moved to plan B — removing about 1/3 of the plant to lighten the load and make it possible for us to force the tree into an upright position. In the midst of all of this our Andromeda went on as if nothing had happened. By the time we pruned, we were removing brances laden with snowy clusters in full bloom as well as some still in bud stages. I chose a sampling to process in order to make my latest pressed botanical.

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.