Archives for posts with tag: my stonington garden

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The holiday art and craft show season is upon us and I am getting ready for four of them. On December 7 and 8 I’ll be at Briggs Nursery in North Attleboro Massachusetts. If you haven’t been to this fabulous venue you should make a day of it. It’s that good!

After that, on Sunday, December 14, I’ll be at the indoor Providence Flea whose founders have just been recognized among he best entrepeneurs of the year!
Meanwhile, I’m working on pieces for two season-long shows in Rhode Island. One is at Chapel View, Rhode Islands’s newest high-end gallery. The Chapel View complex is adjacent to Garden City in Cranston.
The second, Peckham’s Greenhouse Local Handmade Holiday Show, begins November 18 and runs through Christmas at Peckhams’s Greenhouse in Little Cranston, Rhode Island. features the work of some 20 Rhode Island and New England artists and artisans.

Once the season is over, I’ll be free turn my attention to new work for May. Meanwhile, hope to keep in touch through this blog and through my Etsy shop. Happy Holidays everyone!!

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This week I’m feeling confident in my resining techniques and comfortable with my full-sized propane torch, so I’m trying my hand at some larger pieces. This one measures 6″ x 12″. If that doesn’t sound large, try a few steps of the resin dance yourself and you’ll see it my way. The working window is only about 20 minutes from the first pour to removal of the last bubble and I work with up to six pieces at a time. Still, I’m on the march and have larger panels waiting in the wings.

For the real plants in the foreground, I chose a mix of weeds and garden plants — wild grass seed heads, a piece of Japanese maple, and a little leaf of curly coleus.

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Resin is a wonderful way to preserve and enhance real botanicals, so I decided to try a few pieces on wood panel in order to provide the best possible surface for the ice-smooth resin coating. First, I painted my background on a 5″x 5″ panel. Then, I chose a plain mustard yellow for the 7/8″ sides of the cradle, and mounted my two sweet ivy leaves. Before coating the work with resin, I couldn’t resist adding a tiny ‘droplet’ of water on one of the leaves using more acrylic and a tiny signature brush.

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This is the second time I have added a touch of acrylic paint to my printed graphic in order to add depth and contour. Just the sky is left untouched. To bring it to life I added just the top of a pressed ginkgo leaf and a carnation petal as foreground and to lend perspective, I also added some fern ‘trees’ in graduated sizes.

With the start of the show season just weeks away (my first show will be Craftopia at Hope Artistes Village in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Sunday, April 27) Meanwhile, this one is the latest addition to my Etsy shop.

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For this series of three small pieces, I reversed and alternated pairs of undulating colors to provide interest and contrast for some lovely ferns and well-shaped small leaves. I keep searching for new ways to use color as well as color shading and juxtaposition to enhance my plants. Some experiments work and some don’t. These three survived the cut and landed in my Etsy shop. Weather permitting they’ll be with me in Providence on Saturday.

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I’ve been playing a lot with very organized foliage so thought it might be time for a return to a little craziness. This is also the first time I can remember mixing my Mexican Feathergrass with other plants. Some days you just have to go for it. I used a little simple origami to make trumpets out of rose petals and put them on dried twigs from a shrub that originally looked pretty much like this except without transplanted flowers. if you haven’t already noticed, there are no rules. See this and dozens more at my Etsy shop or, better still, see the work in person at The Art of Craft in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 11th (the day before Mother’s Day)

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.

I finally got a chance to create a graphic for the vibrant fern I found still growing in my Stonington Garden. I’ve lost count of the number of snowstorms we’ve had this year, but the fact that this was still plump and green in March — and with a double tip to boot — was quite a happy surprise. I kept it simple with a little miniature ivy ‘bow’ at the base and a faux mat fashioned with graphics alone. (The outer mat is real of course)

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