Thursday, September 18, 2014


Day 18
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

This time around with the 30 in 30 challenge I've been behind the eight ball every, single day!  Today is no exception as I'm just beginning today's painting.  I need to paint ahead, or break it up, or piecemeal it, or something!  Because my house needs cleaning and I have laundry to do!

First, a photo of the start of the purple iris.  Such a fun project for a cool and cloudy September day!  This subject was suggested to me by a friend who has a nostalgic tie to purple irises.  I love suggestions for drawing and painting because it gets me to try something new.

 So here are some photos beginning with the ink drawing . . .

to gradually adding color.

And, finally, the finished piece!

It's so interesting that so many flowers have symbolic meanings and many are used in weddings and other events because of their meanings!  I have read that the Purple Iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments - love that!

To purchase the ORIGINAL botanical, click below:

To purchase a print of the botanical (3 sizes available), click below:

This little adventure is going to count for about 3 days of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days.  I knew this when I saw my husband come in the door with 4 shirts, freshly cleaned and pressed, FROM THE CLEANERS!

 That is NOT supposed to happen - I'm retired!!!

It's time to do some laundry.  

Thanks for looking.  I'll be back on Monday!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Day 17
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

From a zinnia binge to a poppy binge . . . I wonder what will be next?  I still have more blue poppies to get out of my system before I'm done.  And I love those hairy buds!  It was especially fun to paint one with the tissuey blue petals just beginning to poke through.  

For this one I used a softer edge for the outside of the petals.  I think that this, along with the more brown-green of the stems and leaf, made this botanical illustration look more formal and elegant.

(Pictured in a suggested mat and frame)

This original watercolor/pen/ink is available below:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BLUE POPPIES AND PODS No. 3 - 8 x 10 inch original watercolor or print

It's a beautiful September day in Wisconsin and as I walk through my garden I see more seed pods than flowers.  The Cleome are hanging with thousands of seeds in their long, skinny pods.  Day Lillies and Snapdragons, only a few meager blooms here and there. But all are loaded with pods close to bursting with seeds so the cycle can continue.  The garden is getting ready to go to sleep.  

So, in order to keep the garden alive in the long winter months to come - some watercolors to remember those long, lazy summer days when the garden was full of blooms.  And what better to paint than some more beautiful blue poppies and pods in their last days of glory.

 My plan was to paint about 7 stems but when I reached 3, it seemed balanced and finished.

Then for my little experiment.  After the first few drops of color around the poppies there was no turning back.

But it worked and this style I've seen other artists use was really fun to do, leaving just a few edges of the poppies bumping out of the background.  I also really like the way the cool blue of the poppies is complemented by the contrast of a warm yellow-green the background provides.

("BLUE POPPIES AND PODS No. 3" in a suggested mat and frame.)

The original painting is available in my Etsy shop by clicking the listing below:

Prints of this painting are also available in three sizes.  Clicking the photo below will take you to my etsy shop, Gillyflower Cottage.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 15, 2014


Day 15 

3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S 

I'm back at it with my blue poppies. I think I just love that color in the paintbox!  I'll need another day or two to finish but I'm going to try something different with this one.  First I need to get all the stems on the paper - probably about 5 more flowers and pods in difference stages.  Then IF it works, I'll have Blue Poppies No.3 in my Etsy shop.

I've been looking at antique botanicals lately and they're so intricate!  Below is a red poppy botanical from 1887.  I think I'd need to grow some of my own poppies so I could cut them up and get all these details!  

Thanks for looking!  

Sunday, September 14, 2014


DAY 14
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Today brought an end to my second blue poppy watercolor, Blue Poppies and Pods.  This one is done on 300# Arches paper with Sennelier French watercolors, both archival quality.

"Blue Poppies and Pods"
10.25 x 10.25 inches with deckled edge

(shown above matted and framed - the listing is for the original painting, mat and frame are not included)

*This painting was finished in the evening so lighting was not stellar.  
Background paper is actual a bright off white, not an antique white.

"BLUE POPPIES AND PODS" can be purchased from my Etsy shop by clicking the photo below:

Thanks for looking!

Friday, September 12, 2014


DAY 12
 3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N  3 0   D A Y S

I thought I'd be finishing my blue poppies today, but I just wasn't in the mood to work on flowers today.  Maybe it was the cold and rain?  So, I went back to an old photo I used from the website,

This is a lavender farm in France and I did a quick watercolor sketch of this same photo a while back.  This one took a lot more time but it was really fun.  I also did a really quick sketch of a different monastery/lavender farm, also in France.  Really rough, and really quick, but also fun to do.  "Little Blue House in Lavender" is available on Etsy and ready for your mat and frame.  
(Below is an example of how this piece will look with your mat and frame.) 

 "Little Blue House in Lavender"
(8 x 10 inch painting in a mat and 11 x 14 inch frame)
Watercolor, Pen/Ink

And the sketchbook version - pretty distorted because it's not on watercolor paper.  This was such a pretty little sketchbook that I picked it up even though it was a very porous handmade paper and NOT meant to handle watercolors.  Very different from today's version but I love the melding of colors.

And a really quick sketch with watercolor/ink just to have fun with the different values.

For purchase of "Little Blue House in Lavender", click the listing below:

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, September 11, 2014


Day 11

3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S 

For day 11 of the 30 painting challenge, I'm showing a work in progress.  This is another painting of blue poppies - it will be about 11 x 11 inches when done.  I'm painting this to replace a different blue poppy painting I've had in my living room for awhile.  

To this one, I'll be adding another full bloom, one just opening, and a few pods.

Thanks for looking!
Check back tomorrow when "Blue Poppies" should be finished.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10 of 30 in 30 - A HONEY OF A PROJECT

Day 10
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

 A friend and former student of mine is a beekeeper and he bottles some really great honey.  A few years ago he asked me if I could design a new label for his honey jars.  It was a fun project for a great product.  

Fast forward.  A few days ago another beekeeper saw the label project I did for Matthew and contacted me to design one for THEIR honey jars!  She asked for something with blackberries and blackberry leaves since that is the main nectar source for her bees.  So, I made up a listing in my
and came up with this oval label with a leaf-braided edge and blossom, leaf, and blackberry design. The pdf has been sent to Janet, of Wildflower Honey, in British Columbia.  Along with the new jar logo is  a duplicate, blank-in-the-center logo for future use when the year and weight change.  It's not a painting (for the 30 in 30 challenge) but it is a drawing.  I decided that's close enough since I used my painting time to work on it!

You can read about my first project on Matthew's blog.  And if you live in SE Wisconsin, you should contact him to try out some of his great honey.  It IS that allergy time of year and some studies have shown that eating local honey can aid allergy sufferers in the following ways: 

-60% reduction in symptoms
-Twice as many asymptomatic days
-70% fewer days with severe symptoms
50% decrease in usage of antihistamines

You can check out Matthew's blog, my first label project, and purchase some great honey by clicking the label for Golden Hills Honey below:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Day 9 
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

There is an exhibition coming up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin that will be held in the Cedarburg Art Museum.  It's an exhibition called, 
"The Doors of Cedarburg" 
and the exhibitors will be selected by a jury committee headed by Tom Lidtke, retired executive director of the Museum of Wisconsin Art.  

That's the scary part.  The two words  - "jury committee"

   The submission form reads, "Artists working in a variety of media are invited to explore and interpret the diverse architectural heritage of our community with art works that have as their predominant subject, a doorway found in the city or town of Cedarburg."  Each artist is allowed to enter up to 4 pieces for the jury.  The accepted artwork will be on display and for sale from November 19th to February 22nd with a small portion of each sale going to the museum.  Ribbons will be awarded for Best of Show, 1st place, 2nd place, and Honorable Mention.  

So that's what I'm working on.  It's a scary thing for me because this is REALLY putting yourself out there.  But . . . here goes.  I started on my first entry today - the door of an old victorian mansion right on the main street in downtown Cedarburg, on Washington Avenue.  I'm doing it in pen/ink and maybe a light watercolor wash.  I have a long way to go but this will have to suffice for my 30 in 30 entry for today.  I'd also like to try an oil entry.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, September 8, 2014


Day 8

3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

The sun is pouring into my art room and the thermometer reads 73 degrees.  What better time to finish this yellow "State Fair Zinnia" I have named Autumn Yellow!  

 "Autumn Yellow"
12 x 12 watercolor/ink
(no watermark on the shipped original)

Available and ready to ship in my Etsy shop by clicking the photo below:

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, September 7, 2014


Day 6

3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Autumn Yellow vs. Summer Yellow

In the summertime the yellows in my garden look so bright and sunny.  They almost have a white shimmer to them as the sun beats down and sees its reflection.

But yellow just looks different in the fall.  As the leaves on our ash trees start to turn and then drop, the skeleton of the tree begins to show.  The black outline of its shape makes a stark contrast to the yellow of the leaves giving them a beautiful and rich glow.  

So, today's zinnia is a salute to the end of summer in anticipation of the appearance of the rich tones of autumn.  As the nights get longer and cooler, and the chlorophyll is blocked from the leaves, autumn yellow finally gets its chance to shine.

Today, I'm just posting a work in progress.  We had a full day with just a little time in the evening to work on today's painting for the 30 in 30 Challenge.   

So for now . . . meet "Autumn Yellow" in her birthday suit!

And, wearing a few bare essentials . . .

Looking forward to making her presentable tomorrow!

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, September 6, 2014


3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

This 11 x 14 inch oil painting is based on one of Edward Potthast's beach paintings, "Girls Playing in the Surf".  It depicts two little girls dressed in their white voile dresses and red bows, searching the tide pools for shells and small sea creatures.  Big sister, encouraging little sister, and both hoping to find something to take home as a memory of their day at the beach.  The communication between the two seems to be, "What did you find?  Let me see!"

I recently sold a smaller watercolor version of this painting.  It was such a sweet little look into the relationship of sisters, that I decided to do a larger one in oil.  

This painting is dry and ready to ship.  It will arrive on your doorstep beautifully packaged and ready to frame.

 "Beach Finds"
11 x 14 inch oil on panel

Click below to see the listing for "Beach Finds".

Thanks for looking!

Friday, September 5, 2014


Day 5 

3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Meconopsis, or the Blue Poppy, is the national flower of Bhutan.  I have learned that this flower was discovered in 1922 by a mountaineer while trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  I guess it's hard to grow unless you have really fresh seeds and perfect condition.  

Shoot!  I'm sure Wisconsin doesn't fall into the category of "perfect conditions" but what a gorgeous flower with its crinkly tissue-like petals and interesting seed pods.  I have used archival quality watercolors in shades of blue and turquoise, along with a TechLiner archival quality pen.

In progress. 

 And done!

Just for an idea of what "Blue Poppies" will look like when matted and framed.

And, to purchase "Blue Poppies", click the listing below:


Thanks for looking!




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