Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nature, the source of my inspiration

Nature... the source of my inspiration.
Claude Monet

Living in this beautiful place sandwiched between the blue Pacific and the majestic Cascade Mountain range, inspiration is everywhere.

And it's never more true than in spring, 
when the valley explodes with color and scent.

Now, as the tulips fade and the flowering trees are swarming with bees, there is something new every morning, every moment, every place we look.

Even the mown fields are beautiful.

There isn't time or energy to paint or snip or sketch the explosion of life right in our own back yard.

But it's so much fun to try.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

As I see it... brilliant color.

I rose when the sun did.

Cycled through farmland softened by early morning mist,

listening to bird song and silence.

Past fields where workers hoed weeds and planted seed potatoes...

knowing I would have the breath knocked out of me by color.

What amazing living rainbows spread out before us every spring in this little valley.

We witness this annual miracle and still can't believe the beauty spread like a magic carpet. 

When it's this early I can cycle down the middle of the road, all alone with the birds and the flowers and the occasional cluster of friendly farm workers, their laughter echoing across the fields.

As far as the eye can see, ribbons of color are flung across the earth.

I turn for home, past barns and fields and wide swaths of grass around the farmhouses.

Pardon me for gushing again.

But what else can you do when it seems that God has taken out His brightest box of crayons again and colored all over the world with great glee?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A chilly afternoon with paper and brush

"That," I said, "is NOT NICE."

I had cycled over to the display garden, where tulips and other bulb flowers are absolutely stunning.
The garden is the showplace of a big bulb company, and if you have tulips or daffodils in your garden they probably came from our local fields.

Then I saw a man snap a photo and then casually lean down and break off one tulip and then another and stick them in his pocket.

It wasn't fair, and before I knew it, I had blurted it out the truth. 
"That's not nice. There's a sign right here that says Please Don't Pick the Flowers."

And that is how I happened to meet the owner of Washington Bulb Company, who thanked me after he stopped laughing and showed me that the tulips were rain-damaged and beginning to rot.

I'd come to sketch the spring flowers and though I shivered, it was the best afternoon in ages.

Good thing I'd brought my paints because I was having too much fun to stop at a sketch. Art is irresistible when you're out there amid the scilla, the narcissus, anemones, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. 

I drew them from all angles, and the hours flew.

I will show you the results sometime soon.
But if you love spring flowers, you must tear yourself away from duty and listen to the siren song of spring. 

Come cycle to the gardens with me. 

We'll pack a thermos of tea and a little sandwich, and while away the hours with pencil and paper.

Do come, and come quickly, before the petals fall.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Apple blossoms

The fruit trees are just beginning to blossom, which is my excuse to stand gazing at the garden with a silly grin on my face.

I gave myself a permission slip to wander with paper and art materials in hand.
That's what we artists are supposed to do anyway, right?

Hello, Spring! 

Next time I have to remember to include a bee or two.

(Please excuse the ugly copyright info but it's a necessary evil...)