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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1st wave-Roses in bloom-Still life set ups

My first wave of David Austen roses are coming in. This is usually the largest set of blooms, and the most prolific. Some of my roses set blooms through November, but others do their best in the months of April and May. I am stockpiling images, so I can paint rose still lifes whenever the mood strikes. The rich red blooms are Red Eden and Sir Edgar Elgar.

The largest pale peachy ones are Jude the Obscure, which has an incredible fragrance. The yellows are Golden Celebration, also large in size and with a lovely scent.
In the mix is Heritage, Swedish Queen, James Galway,Carding Mill,and Alnwick. I have many others which are just about to bloom shortly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What I have been up to...Victorian Wild West Outfit

I just finished sewing an 1880's ensemble for a Victorian western photo shoot. My friend Ben was good enough to grow the stache for my photo shoot, and endure the wearing of vintage long johns. The vest and pants are made from a vintage wool and silk fabric in a dusky gray with terracotta pinstripes. It's an awesome fabric, but I only had enough to make the vest and pants. I wanted to make an overcoat as well, but needed another 3 yards for that. I made the shirt from this organic Japanese cotton I got on ebay, it is a cream color with goldish stripes. The winsor tie is a blue and cream silk.

The buttons and pocket watch are Victorian era antiques.

I used Laughing Moon patterns, which are historically accurate and well drafted. This was my first venture into this era and into the tailoring of menswear suits. I hope to make Erik a full ensemble one day.
Ben really put in the effort, and did an action sequence for me....which is probably how the crotch ripped on the pants afterwards.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Garden Tour-Still life painting potential

I have had many questions about my sources for still life painting. I like to paint English roses and hard to find flowers like Hellebores and such(pictured above.) You are not likely to find these at your local floral stand, and if you do, the price will be shocking! My solution is to grow my own. Erik and I live in a small condo, and the major selling point for us was the huge back yard deck. It backs up to a very large, very vertical easement. This easement had not been maintained when we got our place. It was a big brown weed patch. I set out to get it planted right away. The soil is very clay based, we have brought in tons of good compost, and even rocks from my parent's property out in Ramona. I used to wear a back pack when we would walk the dog, and put rocks in it. I have tried to plant as many water friendly plants like lavender and Euphorbias. The roses, viburnum, and hydrangeas require more water, and they are mostly in pots.

Things are just started to set their buds and blooms, and this winters more generous rain will prove to be a good start to the season ahead. This is the catwalk area- as I said, our yard is almost all vertical, with a small walkway at the top:

Sweet peas being trained to tendril on some bamboo, and clematis waiting to bloom on the trellis structures behind:

We never sit out on the back porch, the chairs and table are more potential spots for growing:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New paintings-Pansies and Candlelight

I have finished the Pansie piece, along with a figurative piece.

This is "Candlelight" It is an 8x12 on linen on board. I am also about to finish a large piece, will post that soon.