Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall November Colors

Fall Mini Journal Spread Here are the first two pages of an 8 page mini journal dedicated to the Low Country's November Fall Colors. Please click on the image for a larger view.

We don't see the over all color noted in the North East or the Appalachian Mountains but, the Low Country doesn't lack for wonderful patches of striking pigments. To me, Sweet Gum trees are the most colorful. Sumac's are a deep crimson, Swamp Maples - a combo of yellows and reds, and then there's the Ash that takes your breath away with it's brilliant yellow orange leaves when surrounded by greens of pines and live and water oaks.

I can't wait to paint all the other beauties and share them with you :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bald Cypress - Fall Colors Journal

bald cypress Last Saturday, I took time out to capture the Bald Cypress in our back yard. These wonderfully lacy trees are a favorite of mine. In the fall, their green leaves turn russet closest to the trunks while the ends of the branches struggle to remain green.

I used both Derwent watercolor and metallic pencils along with brown Micron pens. The yellow metallic #86 was the perfect color for the yellow green leaves. Other metallic colors used: copper #86 and antique gold #33. Watercolor pencils used: Copper Beach #61, Golden Brown #59, Deep Vermilion #14, Orange Chroma #10, Grass Green #10 and Prussian Blue #35. And a titch of General's Sketch & wash pencil on the trunk.

I'm taking Cathy (Kate) Johnson's 'Keeping an Artist's Journal' online course and have decided to make a small journal containing November's Low Country Colors. I'm using a piece of Arches HP watercolor paper sized to 11 x 17 inches. I folded it in half, lengthwise, then in half width wise and then into quarters. Then I hand tore 3/4 of the lengthwise fold. journal paper This is what it looks like once folded together journal folded

Arches HP paper cracks when it's folded. This is another reason why I chose to hand tear the paper. Now all sides of the book have an uneven edge. I will probably use some embroidery floss to stitch together the center fold.

Here is the mock-up I made using 11 x 17 copy paper. Dudley had to check it out :) Mock Journal A

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just For The Fun Of It....... Basenji Song

Here is a 35 second video of our singing pups.  Enjoy!  We sure do :)

Dudley starts singing in the background - he didn't want to be filmed..... Grizz took over from her extra comfy bed. She can really get into it :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swamp-Lily, A Last Hurrah


Last week my friend, Kate, called to say she saw a flower off in the woods and thought it was something special. It sure was! A Swamp-Lily! Also known as String-Lily, Crinum americanum L.

A few days later, I was able to go take a look at it. The weather was threatening but, I did manage to make an ink sketch of it in my journal.  Then it started to sprinkle so I took a photograph, and off the the shelter of my car I went!  I painted the ink drawing from my reference photo.

I was a bit dismayed, as I didn't leave much room for the flower names......... ah well.

I call this 'A Last Hurrah' as the lily's bloom time is from June to October.  I saw quite a few plants around the area, but all had long since bloomed.  It's in the amaryllis family. A real beauty and uncommon in SC, though it can be found in the southern coastal area of the state.  That's us :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Time Out at Palmetto Bluff

Palmetto Bluff 11.06.2009
Rob and I took a much needed break today at the ever so lovely Palmetto Bluff. This is a view from the lawn in front of the Inn at Palmetto Bluff minus their dock on the May River and a few shore line trees. I love the freedom of not having to record everything I see :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fire on the Mountain - Mystery Solved!



Behind my booth at the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival I discovered a plant I'd not seen before.  I was struck by Nature's red brushstrokes within the green leaves.  So much of the plant reminded me of a poinsettia but then not.

I posted this initial sketch on Flickr and asked if anyone had any idea what  this plant was called.  Several flickr friends said poinsettia.

I search all my books, but to no avail. I wanted to know this poinsettia like plant's latin name.

John Nelson of the University of South Carolina's Department of Biological Sciences came to the rescue.  I sent him my initial sketch and a couple of photographs I took.

Here's what he said: This plant is "fire on the mountain" or "painted leaf", Euphorbia cyathophora. It is indeed related to the poinsettias of commerce. This species is introduced, and is a bit weedy, but I don't think it is really invasive--

I so love it when a mystery can be solved! Thank you, John!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hunter's Moon


I was hoping for a clear sky this evening, but not. The Hunter's Moon did peak out at one point, but not enough to light up my view of the Okatie River.  Still, a beauty of an evening :)

My favorite star gazing web site says:
The Hunter's Moon highlights the sky tonight. In most years the Harvest Moon comes in September, with the Hunter's Moon in October. But this year October's full Moon was closer to the fall equinox, so both the Harvest and Hunter's moons were pushed back a month.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Canada Geese II

Canada Geese II Rob and I went to Beaufort yesterday. Pat Conroy was having a book signing at the Beaufort Book Store. Afterwards, we journeyed over to the Cross Creek shopping plaza for an ice cream at Brewsters. The plaza has a small pond where we saw Canada Geese a few weeks ago. I needed a CG fix and was hoping they would be there. Success!!

We put our chairs in the shade of a live oak and ate our ice cream while we watched a flock of 50 -75 geese swim, preen and sleep.

The geese were about 100 feet away. A Mom and her 2 children came walking by with a bag from the nearby sub shop. They pulled out part of a left over roll, broke it into pieces and started throwing them toward the geese. WOW!!! We were surrounded! And, there I was, ice cream melting all over the place so I couldn't take advantage of the action.

Luckily, a few geese hung around after the feeding frenzy so I could get some quick poses down. I sketched in my small moleskine using a Micron pen and watercolor pencils.

Swamp or Narrowleaf Sunflower

SwampSunflower
Last week, I finally found a semi-quiet road where I could pull over to stop and quickly pick a stem of these sunflowers. The top flowers started to wilt the next day! Guess they don't like tap water!

I used Derwent pastel pencils that I've had for years but never realized they are water soluble!!!!! I like the painterly effect. I did the calligraphic type with traditional watercolors using a rigger brush. The rest of the body copy was written with a Micron 005 pen.