Monday, September 1, 2014

DAY 1 - 30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS


This is the first day of the 
30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS CHALLENGE
by California artist,  Leslie Saeta.

I'm starting out with paintings of my garden flowers - that should keep me busy for at least a week!  This is a "Golden Yellow Supreme" zinnia - they grow 3-5 feet tall and bloom until the first frost!  Perfect and long-lasting in bouquets, zinnias are one of my favorite flowers.  


"STANDING TALL"
6 x 6 inch watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord
(easel included)
See at:  http://www.gillyflowercottage.etsy.com



The first painting of the challenge is done on Aquabord by Ampersand.  This is a new product for me and quite different than painting on watercolor paper.  

(Some details about Aquabord: "Museum Series Aquabord™ is an acid-free textured clay surface that absorbs watercolors like a fine paper. Colors retain their purity and vibrancy in a way that even the finest of watercolor papers can never match. Archival, eco-friendly and made in the USA.")

Thanks for looking!
-Nan


Friday, August 29, 2014

HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT

The Sun Cherry Zinnia.  
A real stunner in the world of zinnias.  Brilliant color with long-ish petals that stand up well while allowing a few to gracefully "droop" to add artistic flair to this flower in a bouquet. 

This one, with its two drooping petals, reminds me of the whimsical children's game, "He loves me, he loves me not", as illustrated in this old engraving:

"The Decision of the Flower" (1820) 
by Henry Moses

I'm loving the process of working on pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations.  From the outlining of each petal -

  
to the finished drawing -


 . . . to the process of adding color.  It's picky, time-consuming, and detailed drawing, but I love seeing it all come together!


These 8 x 10 inch original watercolor is available in my Etsy shop.  (fits perfectly in an 11 x 14 inch frame) It will arrive safely on your doorstep matted, backed, creatively packaged, and ready for framing in no time!



Other pen/ink/watercolor flowers in my shop:


Or, purchase a commission of your own favorite below:



Thanks for looking!
-Nan





Thursday, August 28, 2014

THE ELEGANT COSMOS

Getting ready for . . .

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

On September 1st, just a few days from now, I'll be participating once again in Leslie Saeta's, 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  It truly IS a challenge to keep up with this painting frenzy but totally worth it.  Not only is it great practice to paint intentionally every day, but I also learn a lot about my painting style by taking part.  I kept up last year in spite of being on the road for 10 days of the challenge, so this year should be a piece of cake!

Today I warmed up my brushes with another flower portrait, the elegant Cosmos.  My garden has a good crop of white cosmos, but I enjoy my neighbor's multi-colored stand of this flower even more than my own.  Her cosmos self-seed every year and they're beautiful!

RED COSMOS
3.5 x 5 inches
(sold with mat included to fit your standard 5 x 7" frame)


This painting is available here:



Thanks for looking!
-Nan




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MY AUGUST GARDEN and a ROSE MALLOW COMMISSION

A   C O M M I S S I O N

We all have our favorites - those flowers that remind us of our childhood home, our mothers, fathers, or grandparents.  Yesterday, I had a request for a Rose Mallow watercolor.  The Rose Mallow happened to be "a mother's favorite" and now it has been painted to be a constant reminder to someone of a very special person in her life.  

 "My Mother's Flower"
5 x 7 inches


You can purchase your own commissioned flower painting by clicking the photo below

So, here's to growing a flower garden!  It seems that for myself, and others, many memories are made for gardeners and observers alike, when time is spent in the garden.  For me, holding a trowel is 
right up there with holding a paintbrush!  

Or to quote one of my favorite artists:

"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece."  -Claude Monet

and speaking of gardens . . .


M Y   A U G U S T   G A R D E N

It's August.  That means many of us are finally sitting back and reaping the benefits of all the soil amending, planting, weeding, edging, and dead-heading -  all the hours we spent in the dirt that brought us to this point.  Now the garden is in its last chapter and August is when we carefully mow and manicure the edges to make the perfect frame for all those blooming beauties.  I have a garden full of Bee Balm, Cleome, Zinnias, Phlox, Coneflowers, and Hydrangeas.  I can hardly fill up my vases and jars fast enough because everything is blooming at once.  Hopefully we'll have another month or so to enjoy this stage before the first frost hits.













O T H E R   G A R D E N   A R T   F O R   S A L E:




Thanks for looking!
-Nan





Saturday, August 23, 2014

DAD'S "SUMMER GIFTS" TO MOM - A SPRAY OF ZINNIAS

I've spent the last couple days working on some watercolors of one of my favorite garden flowers - the old fashioned zinnia.  I have great memories of zinnia bouquets on display all over my childhood home.  My dad used to love to go out to the garden in the early evening and cut bundles of them.  Then he would proudly head into the kitchen, fill up a bunch of mom's old canning jars with water, and deposit the flowers inside of them for mom to use in arrangements.  Sometimes this would mean multiple trips between kitchen and garden.  I distinctly remember my mom standing there with jars full all around her as she watched dad head back out for a another load.  She gave me a look that meant - "Where am I going to put all of these flowers?"  But, along with the raised eyebrows, there was a smile hiding on her face. I knew that deep down she was touched by his interest in filling the house with the flowers she tended.

And now the tradition continues.  I fill my house with flowers from my own garden.  While I love bouquets everywhere, I'm sure there's a part of me that is just imitating a favorite memory of my childhood.  Isn't that what we do sometimes so that we never, ever forget?

10 X 10"

3.5 x 3.5" 


These watercolors and more can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Thanks for looking!
-Nan

Friday, August 22, 2014

THE BIRDS - NEW NOTECARDS IN GILLYFLOWER COTTAGE

New notecards are in!  The first set has been listed, with several more to come.  Check them out here.

The Birds!  
This set includes 4 - (blank inside) notecards that are professionally printed by Vistaprint and suitable for framing.  More will be listed soon.




 "THE BIRDS" note cards measure 5.5 x 4 inches.  
Along with making great stationary, they are also suitable for framing.  Visit my Etsy shop, 
to check them out! 




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HOME PORTRAIT

Working on this home portrait was SO MUCH FUN, and today it is on its way to Ontario!  What a treat, to be asked to do this!


She wanted to be sure I would include blue sky and their Canadian flag, front and center.



Putting special touches on the packaging is almost as fun as doing the painting itself.  I want any paintings or other artwork that goes out of Gillyflower Cottage to be fun to open along with reflecting something about myself.  On this package I did a little watercolor portrait of one of my favorite Native Wisconsin Wildflowers - the Coneflower.


Do YOU know someone who would like a portrait done of their home?  It makes a great housewarming, birthday, or anniversary gift.  Check it out here.  All it takes is a couple great shots from your iPhone - no fancy photography needed.  All the instructions are right on the listing.

Saw this on Facebook this morning and it says it all!

Thanks for looking!
-Nan


Saturday, August 16, 2014

CLASSROOM TO ART ROOM

I've just finished my 3rd year out of the classroom and I can't believe all the fun things I've been able to do and learn!  More time with my husband (and best friend), trips long and short, painting workshops, lazy mornings with my sketchbook, and so many other opportunities are now a reality!  This is such an exciting time in my life and I LOVE looking forward to what each new day will bring.

As the calendar rolls toward fall and a new school year, (I don't think teachers ever stop thinking of their calendar in terms of a school year) I've been spending some time getting my art room sorted and organized.  In the past, I'd be busy setting up my classroom at school at this time of year - now I enjoy spiffing up my art room at home.  So, after a fresh coat of paint . . .

 It's a room with great light spilling in from two sides.

 The lampshade I made for my classroom desk now sits on my drawing desk, complete with small watercolor sketches of mine and those from some little people I know!

 My artwork on the walls has taken the place of students' work . . .

 A corner set aside for painting . . .

 Bulletin boards replaced with clipboards.

 A basket filled with sketchbooks and other projects in the works . . .

 Everything and anything I could ever want for making stuff!

 and a chair right by the window that makes this room feel like a treehouse.

Fall is in the air.  There's a new slant to the light pouring in and I'm looking forward to a "school year" filled with projects!  I have a house portrait commission I'm working on, a Christmas story for children written with illustrations almost done, another children's story in the works, and an exhibition entry to photograph and paint for.  

I feel so fortunate to have the time to do all these things that I love.

Life is good.



My first children's book:  O is for the BIG OAK TREE, is available HERE.



YOU COULD MAKE THAT IS ON FACEBOOK!

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