Monday, September 29, 2014


Day 29
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Today's painting is another botanical - this time the Purple Cleome.  I have fond memories of the Cleome, or Spider Plant, from 50 years ago!  When I would visit my grandparent's house, one of my favorite places to hang out was in their backyard where my grandfather kept his garden.  My family has a long string of great gardeners and he was one of them.  Grandpa used to brag about his Cleome plants saying, "They get so big by the end of the summer that I need to chop them down with an axe!"

The Cleome does grow to be quite tall - sometimes as high as 6 feet in my garden.  The seed pods that burst out on long stems, dry out, and crack open in September and October leaving thousands of seeds for next year's growth.  It's quite an amazing and enormous plant with relatively shallow roots,  and all coming from one very itty-bitty seed.  They take no effort at all to grow and faithfully return year after year all on their own.

You can find my watercolor illustration, "Purple Cleome" on Etsy.  Just click the photo below.

Also available:



Thanks for looking!


Saturday, September 27, 2014


Day 27
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

I really enjoyed painting another purple iris with bud and leaf.  We finally got some of these in our garden, but this year's blooms were few.  Now we can look forward to next spring when our bulbs will feel a little more situated and hopefully will produce a large crop of this beauty!  The flower, with all its intricate details, is a challenge to draw and paint.

This painting, a 9 x 12 original watercolor of the purple iris, is one of my absolute favorite flowers.  Done on Strathmore 140 lb. paper with Sennelier watercolors, this watercolor will arrive on your doorstep creatively packaged and then slipped into a cellophane sleeve.  Ready for your mat and frame.

9 x 12 inches and done on 140 lb. cold pressed paper with Sennelier watercolors.

Available on Etsy:

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Day 25
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

 One of my goals is to frame and hang a block of 6 botanicals and I want them all to have purple and green tones.  As I was searching around for today's flower, I came across the lotus.  So, today's (and yesterday's) flower is the Purple Lotus, which happens to have special meaning for me.

Last fall we drove to Sandbridge, Virginia for a palette knife workshop with Leslie Saeta.  While on our way out to our condo on Sandbridge Beach, we came across this unusual looking pond, and later learned it's called Lotus Garden Park.  Beautiful, and like nothing we'd ever seen before!  So, in memory of a great trip, today's flower is the Lotus.

The original PURPLE LOTUS watercolor illustration is available in my Etsy shop.  Just click the picture below to access that site.

Also, I got a fun package in the mail today from the website,
Spoonflower is a company that takes images of your own artwork and prints them on fabric.  You can have your design printed on any of 16 different fabric types - from silk faille to cotton to faux suede.  I thought I'd try it out with my first painting of the Artichoke Thistle printed on linen-cotton canvas and it arrived today.  I can tell it's a high quality fabric and the detail is great!  

You can upload your own graphic/drawing/artwork, or buy any of the designs that others have created.   To access my design, or look at hundreds of others, click the picture below.  

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Day 23
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Here is the Artichoke Thistle again, done in watercolor and ink on 140 lb. archival quality cold press paper.   Barely getting this on today before the day is done.  I think I'm ready for this challenge to go away, but I made the commitment so I'm going to finish!

While reading about the various types of Thistles, I came across the Artichoke Thistle.  It has been declared an invasive weed in most areas but I think they're beautiful and interesting.  Kind of dry and unfriendly looking until you get to that pretty tuft of purple at the top.  They're also really fun to draw and paint!  

The original watercolor of Artichoke Thistle No. 2 AND a print in the same size are available for purchase and will arrive on your doorstep creatively packaged and slipped into a cellophane sleeve, ready for your matting and framing.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, September 22, 2014


Day 22
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

The Thistle, symbolizing nobility and austerity, is the national flower of Scotland.  I have painted the Artichoke Thistle, noted for it's spiny base, which is thought to protect it from being lunch for animals.  The thistle, with its crown of purple, is a member of the sunflower family.  

This listing is for the original, 9 x 12 inch, watercolor.  It is done on 140 lb. paper with Sennelier watercolors.  Will arrive creatively packaged and in a cellophane sleeve, ready for your mat and frame.

Thanks for looking!




Sunday, September 21, 2014


Day 21 
3 0   P A I N T I N G S   I N   3 0   D A Y S

Freesia grows from a bulb (corm) and is a heavily scented flower.  The scent, along with it's graceful, curved habit makes it a favorite in bouquets.  The leaves are shaped like a sword and the flowers bloom in a little bundle at the end of the stalk.  I have painted this one with an example of the freesia bulb alongside the flower stalk.  Freesia is symbolic of innocence - a great meaning for a delicate and sweet-smelling flower!

Freesia For Innocence
8 x 10 inch watercolor

Available on Etsy 

Thanks for looking today!

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!



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