Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leaf Trellis

When I decide to enter an art show, one criteria is that the show is located in a place I like to visit or would like to visit. The bonus when one of my paintings is accepted.....I get to plan an adventure.

In May one of my watercolor paintings was accepted into the Sequim Art Show. When I dropped off the watercolor painting, my friend Shelley and I hiked the Dungeoness Spit to the light house. On the return trip, my friend Janet and I stopped at the Whitney Gardens and Nursery, an art show, the Blue Whole Gallery, the Native Art Gallery, and my favorite place "Over The Fence".

"Over The Fence" is a unique garden store in the heart of Sequim, Washington. What a fun place to visit and get ideas for the home and garden. On this adventure, I saw two leaf trellises which would look outstanding as landscape art. They came home with me!

Closer view

With the dinosaur egg

Thinking about adding some flowers around the base....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rhodys In Abundance

Sunday I traveled with my friend, Janet, to Sequim to catch the last day of the Sequim Art Show and to pick up my watercolor painting. Janet suggested we stop at the rhododendron garden on our way.

I had never been to Whitney Gardens & Nursery in Brinnon, Washington, and what a RARE TREAT. Whitney Gardens is at the foot of the Olympic Mountains and has the most beautiful array of rhododendron hybrids and species in the Northwest nestled among rare trees and ponds. Also in abundance are azaleas, magnolias, maples, conifers, kalmias, camellias, perennials, trees, shrubs and ground cover. It is definitely a breathtaking experience especially when the rhodys are in full bloom as we experienced.

My favorite was this Rhody tree whose name I have misplaced.

The small greenhouses of rhododendrons were organized by colors and one greenhouse had fragrant varieties.

I especially like the colors and rows of maples.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I broke the cardinal rule of composition; placing the subject matter in the center of the painting.

BUT, this showy Iris deserved center stage and I did it!

Rebellious, aren't I :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mama Robin Attack

Although I was under attack from Mama Robin, I was able to capture (pun intended) her little one nesting in the Rhododendron in my front yard.

It was challenging finding the nest while zooming in with the camera. After several attacks, she buzzed my head, I decided to just snap a picture and hope for the best.

Surprisingly the attentive little one was captured. I thought the photo was striking and wanted to share.

What big eyes you have.......

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Beauty Erupts

What a surprise!

Having been gifted with Iris bulbs from my neighbor when I moved into the neighborhood, I had no idea what they would look like. The first year the lavender ones bloomed (the other day's blog) and I thought they were soooo gorgeous. What a treat to see the addition of a new beauty which erupted upon the scene this morning. I am in awe.

Close up view

The lavender Iris group's display, so far

Did you notice there are a couple of buds on another plant behind the newest arrival? I wonder what it will look like?

Which one will I paint?

Stay tuned for the unraveling mystery....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Ready To Open

I can hardly wait......

The beautiful Iris in my front yard have started to open and what a gorgeous sight! Hopefully the coming rains will not wipe them out.

Ebony could not understand why she was not getting attention.

Definitely a future watercolor painting subject!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Strange Beauty

Last month as spring began to unfold, I blogged about the strangely interesting flower, the Hellebore.

It has become one of my favorite flowers because of its unique details and untypical colors. I took several pictures of the ones blooming around my house and knew, one day, I would paint from them.

In this watercolor painting, I have captured the three stages of the flower and exaggerated their shapes with black ink. As the flower opens, inside you see the tubular nectaries whose shapes I find fascinating. I also like the way the stamens open and seem to dance. Finally, the center elongates into pod-like forms. The flower lasts this way for months!

Hellebore Trio
Joanne Osband
watercolor and ink
15.5" X 22"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Tulips make spring magical. They just show up and splash color on the winter barren landscape. Tulips make me smile.

Not only do they provide a gorgeous showing, but also when they begin to die their shapes and contours are wonderful. I am more prone to drawing or painting them at their senior stages.

Senior Tulips
Joanne Osband
8" X 11"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jasmine Tea

Yesterday's tea time blog sparked my sharing a unique tea which is my daughter, Michelle's favorite.

Jasmine tea and not just the ordinary kind you find at the market.

When Michelle comes to visit, she goes into my tea drawer........yes, a whole large drawer full of teas.........and selects Jasmine. This tea comes in its own tin. There is no tea bag or loose tea. It is in the form of a ball.

The ball needs to be placed in a glass container in order to watch what happens. I use a canning jar. When hot water is poured over the tea ball, it starts to open and gradually up shoots the Jasmine flower.

It is quite spectacular and fun to watch. The smell is intoxicating.

This is what it looks like.....

Tea Art

Drinking Jasmine Tea is one of our rituals when we get together.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tea Time

Last Saturday I went to the 4th annual Designing Devas Garden Tour. I was set to visit Cathy Johnson's Dandelion Gardens because I met her and saw her garden art creations at Olympia Country and Golf Club "Spring Fling".

No way is her garden filled with dandelions! She has acres of gorgeous landscaped gardens overlooking St. Clair Lake. I was so glad I made the journey out to see it and thankful that the day was sunny and beautiful, too.

At the art show, I fell in love with a tea cup planter but for some unknown reason did not purchase it at that time. I have been thinking about it ever since that day. After our initial greeting, I asked Cathy if she still had the tea cup. That is when she told me this story: The tea cup was in her car after the art show. She met a man who was looking for a gift for his wife for Mothers' Day. When Cathy showed him the tea cup, he bought it. Fortunately for me, his wife did not like the tea cup and returned it to Kathy in exchange for another planter. So, the tea cup was there waiting for me!

After a couple of days of moving it around my yard, I found the perfect spot where I can see it from my kitchen. I selected a hardy geranium to plant inside.

Here is how it looks......

I love it!!!

Time to make a cup of tea......

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I really challenged myself today!

It was a study of lines versus softness. I wanted to sketch my grandson sleeping but how do I define the features without loosing the softness of his face?

This is the first time I have done a watercolor portrait painting with lines.

No, he is not related to Spock ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Only One Day A Year

It was today, and I was there!

My good friend and fellow artist, Judi Colwell, informed me of a local one day of the year event: Prairie Appreciation Day.

The Glacial Heritage Preserve in Littlerock, where the event took place, is one of the few remnants of a prairie landscape that once covered huge areas in western Washington. The prairies were an extremely important food gathering area for Native Americans. Glacial Heritage and other prairies in the area are now important places for ecological studies by professionals and private citizens.

For the past 14 years, many volunteers and organizations have put this one day event together. They do a phenomenal job! Especially fun were the activities geared towards children, but even us young-at-heart enjoyed learning about the area and its inhabitants.

The Mima Mounds were splashed with colors of blue-purple and yellow wildflowers.

The blue-purple camas was an important food of Native Americans. The bulbs were dug in the spring and cooked for 24 hours, usually in large pits dug in the ground.

These wildflowers were intermingled with the yellows of the western buttercup and spring gold.

The seeds from these and other plants are collected in the summer for prairie restoration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Beauty of Sleeping Babes

My grandson, Haeden, had his first sleep over at Nanna's house. I could not resist picking up the camera to snap photos as he napped.

What is it about sleeping babies that is so incredibly beautiful?

Morning nap

Afternoon nap in the kitties' favorite sunspot

Maybe another painting......

Monday, May 9, 2011

Driftwood Sculpture

As we was walking the beach at Fort Worden, the northeast tip of Port Townsend, Washington, there were fabulous piles of driftwood.

I was talking about the addition of a tall sculpture in the orchard at home. My good friend, Shelley, suggested that I make one.

As we walked down the beach through the driftwood maze, I came upon a piece of driftwood that looked like the body of a bird. It was rather heavy, so I stood it up hoping that we would find it on our way back. At least a mile down the beach I found the perfect head for the bird. The picture was formulating in my mind. I needed two flat, small driftwood pieces for feet.

Carrying the driftwood selections, we traced our steps back hoping to find the body part. I was about to give up when, amazingly, Shelley found it!

The driftwood pieces were piled by my garage for about a week waiting for assembly. I did have to retrieve one piece of driftwood from the jaws of my dog!

The final product.....

Closer view......

I am thinking of a name for the bird. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I fell in love with an orchid and being that it is Mothers' Day,
it came home with me.

The grace and details of the petals inspired today's sketch. I drew the shapes and painted with watercolors.

I am totally enthralled by shapes!


I am off to spend the day with my daughter :)

For The Love of Orchids

I went looking for an orchid for a Mothers' Day gift for my grandson's Mama and I found an orchid for myself that I could not resist.

Need I say, I love orchids? I must admit to several unsuccessful attempts at growing them, and I rejoice when they bloom a second time. Yet, there is something about their grace and beauty that I must have in my life.

I decided to gift myself for Mothers' Day.

This is the orchid that caught my eye...

A closer view

Single orchid

Isn't she a beauty?!

Definite subject matter for tomorrow's Sunday Sketches.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Color Combinations

Last fall I got obsessed with planting tulips and daffodils. Knowing I would love the spring flowers unfolding, I lost track after 300 bulbs. In fact, I forgot which ones I planted and where!

The tulips and daffodils have been a pleasant color sensation amidst our dreary, rainy spring.

I must share with you the color combination that is unfolding before my eyes. Dark, dark purple, almost black tulips and apricot pink tulips with a backdrop of yellow daffodils and green foliage. Absolutely STUNNING!

Closer view....

The fabulous bird bath is a Fae Marie Beck creation. Her studio is in Toledo, Washington and she participates in ArtTrails of Southwest Washington which occurs the last two weekends of September.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dungeness Spit in Sequim

I delivered my watercolor painting to the Art Show in Sequim this past weekend and was finally able to walk to the lighthouse at the end of the dungeness spit because the weather and tides were perfect and my good friend was willing to go.

The Dungeness Spit is a 5.5-mile long sand spit jutting out from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in northeastern Clallam County, Washington, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It protects Dungeness Bay. The Dungeness Spit is entirely within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and home of the Dungeness Lighthouse. It is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. The lighthouse once was run by United States Coast Guard, but since an automatic light was installed, it has been run by the "New Dungeness Lighthouse Organization".

Here are some stunning photos from our adventure:

Arriving at the beach and looking West towards Port Angeles

A few miles down the spit looking at the Olympic Mountains

Inside the lighthouse looking back from where we began the trek

Inside the lighthouse looking East towards Whidbey Island

Inside the lighthouse looking North towards Victoria, Canada

The distant view of the lighthouse, Mount Baker and the dungeness spit as we began the uphill climb into the forest towards the car

Zoom in.....

The dynamic duo with the San Juan Islands in the background

And the lighthouse

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I actually cheated and did my sketch on Friday!

I am now into the groove of sketching once a week since I ran across Sophie's blog about Sunday Sketches. Being that I was out of town for the weekend, I needed to have a sketch for Sunday.....so, I did it on Friday :)

I am enjoying sketching, inking, and painting. It feels like I am coloring in the sketch and I must admit to coloring inside the lines. I hope it does not ruin my reputation! I am intrigued by shapes which when I normally paint with watercolors (without the ink lines) the shapes are less pronounced.

Here is my Sunday (Friday) Sketch:

Ink version

Painted version