I just finished another Annie Oakley commission. This is the third Annie I have painted, the other two were exactly alike, and this is a different pose and environment. It is a 24x36 oil on linen canvas. The background was shot at the Oceanside Mission, there are some great brick arches and cacti out there.
This piece went out to Beartooth Gallery in Montana last month. It is a 20x24" oil on linen canvas. Titled "New Toy." The young girl is playing with a wooden dowel that is meant to resemble a horse. It has a clothed figure representing a rider. These toys were meant to be played with, but also as a learning tool.
The garden has suffered from some serious neglect. I did not prune or maintain much of anything for a year. Honestly, I just didn't have any inspiration to be out there and working on it. Being sick last year affected all my hobbies, making them disappear from my memories. However, the garden bug has bit me again. Above is the workings of a messy transition. You can also see our new rescue pup Harley. We lost my beloved Poppie in January. This area will hopefully have a new water feature. To the right of the photo is the existing fountain, but I would like to put in a more natural rock spring type of water feature. It is a great way to get birds in the yard.
First, we are going to put in some real steps with beds in this area. It is precarious going up and down these steps, my failure to make real steps a few years back is evident in the overly narrow landings.
How about this for inspiration? Of course, wood will break down over the years, but it is an economical way to keep everything from sliding down the slope.
Another failure was this "pergola" I made from cast-off branches. The clematis and rose originally under it never got anywhere. My focus here is to get the sumac cut back and an arbor will go at the end here.
Since we have decided to stay in our place for longer than we originally planned, I have been putting more of my rare heritage roses into the ground. There is just a bit of a terracotta pot showing, it is a homemade olla pot for watering. I would like to get more of these into the ground to be waterwise and yet keep things moist and growing. New roses in this area are Paul Ricault and Heathcliff. This year has seen the addition of Colette climbing, Super excelsa climber, another attempt at the Albrighton rambler (other one died,) and Tess D'auberville.
Another galvanized tub has been added for tomatoes. They have been painted green, a better match for nature than the silver metal. We chopped down the cypress laying here, as sadly it was blocking sun from the new arch.
These stones steps are another goal to finish, about 4 are done, the rest are dangerous. The arch at the top has lady banks, marianne, and the tess d'auberville on it.
Trying to get more areas switched over to water wise plants, these sharp cactus beauties will go into the dry areas. Ceanothus has also been planted, hopefully I wont kill it this time.