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Poppies are a big time favorite of mine and have been for years.  Which bums me out that I have the worst luck growing them from seeds!  I've bought so many different packs of seeds from different varieties and online nurseries... I must be doing something wrong!  This coming spring will be the "year of the poppies" in my garden.  I'm determined to have them everywhere!!!!

Luckily, though, this past spring my local nursery had one "Tulip" variety as an annual and as soon as I saw them I snatched up almost all of the two trays!  And it's crazy, but I had so many plants to plant that I procrastinated and just kept them in their little 4 inch pots for weeks. Finally, I planted about half of the poppies in various locations in the garden hoping to let them go to seed and come up where ever they might find it happiest next year.  I planted the other half several weeks later.  It's crazy the difference in growth between the two sets!!!  The ones first in …
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Zinnias are absolutely one of my favorite flowers.... This orange one excited me because I haven't painted many orange flowers yet and was needing a break from pinkish purplish flowers that I seem to keep painting!  I've saved seeds from this year's Zinnias and would be happy to share if anyone wants to message me their address! 

 As usual, I paint a base layer all over to map out where each petal is.  Then slowly build up more colors and deeper hues. 
 Then I start working on the center parts which still confuse me and I'm not sure how to properly paint the center to accurately replicate (best I can) the weird texture.  I feel like I want to draw every little squiggle... but it's not reasonable to do that.  So should I just use brushstrokes to "draw" or paint the  little bits?  I don't know.  But I'll keep trying!


My DAHLIAS this year were stunning! Blooming from July (thanks to a two month early start growing then indoors in pots) all the way to first frost end of October! That made for extraordinary blossoms and gazillions of photos for reference material.  I'll be painting dahlias all winter long!

This one caught my eye because I knew the white petals would be a little challenging to reproduce subtly and I loved the bright details on the end of each petal.  This was very enjoyable to paint and taught lessons in very light shadows.

As always, I painted a light base layer to map out where everything is.  It helps me not to get as lost when looking at individual petals.. I can see the "whole picture" easier with some color in it!  The very light shadows were painted using several mixes of "Botanical Gray" (which in this case was Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue) plus other colors on the palette.... like "Botanical Gray" plus Lemon Yellow, or Sap Green, or Per…


I don't know what I was waiting on to post about this.... the vibrant purples in this flower and the little "horn" looking areas just blew me away.  Never would I have ever truly seen those parts of the blossom if I hadn't been studying it to draw it.  It's amazing what (at least I haven't) noticed about the intricacies of flowers ... I see the "whole" flower and think "aw, that's pretty".  But now that I paint them, I truly SEE them and all the little special bits and think, "damn, that's incredible"! Last November, Anna Mason chose my study for the "Painting of the Month"... I couldn't believe it!  Her classes are magical and she is such an inspiration being self-taught.  And now she's teaching thousands of budding artists that they have it inside them to paint beautifully.  I highly recommend taking her classes and the artists are so encouraging and it's a wonderfully positive atmosphere in the c…

Red Cardnial Flower

The Cardinal Flower is probably one of the "reddest flowers I've come across.  I found it while fishing along our little streams in Virginia.  This year I found a place where they were ALL over the banks!!!! They like "boggy" areas which means it likes it's roots in the mud.  I've come back from fishing with not a fish one but an arm load of these and a blue variety (and anything else that looks like it might develop a bloom on it!).

"Fishing" it out of the icky mud proved to be the easiest part of this venture...  Drawing the intricate little petals was quite enjoyable... but then came the two day process of figuring out which reds to use to recreate those "candy apple red" blossoms.  After trying EVERY red I own, I went to Facebook to ask for advice from the experts.  

Here's my reds: (photos have to be reloaded)

I first lay down a wash of lemon yellow in the "warmer" areas  and some Manganese Blue for the "cooler&q…

Salvia Study....

I was so excited to paint this beautiful Salvia I bought this year for the garden. There was this purple, a pinkish, a coral and a white.  Usually I find the bright red ones but for some reason these colors just made me fall in love with this plant I normally look over.  I love the petals and how they are nestled inside the bracts.  The fine "crinkles", deeps and valleys drew me in and I was ready!  I drew the intricate drawing in one of my  Stillman and Burn journals (which I love).... 

This is the time I realized my iPhone and iPad have TOTALLY different ideas of what colors a plant should be! Drawing by the larger iPad makes my eyes happier.  I mixed colors and began painting... then the next day I started painting by my iPhone since the iPad was dead.  I was SHOCKED by how different the screens show colors.  It was terrible!  The phone is so much brighter and brilliant colors.  The iPad so dull and boring almost.   That was frustrating but I kept on and figured I could…


Echinacea is a beautiful flower that is fairly easy to grow and produces tons and tons of seeds to share!
 I have about six different varieties from the normal purple one, double pinks, bright red, white, green  and the real frilly kind.... Hopefully next year I'll have an entire row dedicated to this flower.  Lord knows I have plenty enough seeds saved over the past few years. Though, somehow, I have yet to see any "volunteers" or seedlings from dropped seeds.  I just last week planted a little "patch" of mixed Echinacea in my flower cutting garden to see just how the seeds will sprout and can watch them grow better than if they try to come up in beds already full of flowers.... the seeds have yet to sprout after a week! 

But anyway,.... I painted this study in my Stillman and Birn book back a couple of months ago.  Since then, I've taken many photos to carry me through the winter when I decide to paint a more "fully opened" or even better a &qu…