I think my favorite subject matter is all in the Missouri Botanical Garden. If I didn’t have other responsibilities, I would literally set up camp there, and paint morning noon and night! One late May evening, I was strolling through here prior to the Whitaker music festival. When I walked through the Japanese garden by the crooked bridge, I was struck by the way the setting sun hit the tops of the trees in the background, and the way it reflected off the water. What a perfect place to sit and relax.
When I was walking past the lily pad ponds by the Linnaeus House in the Missouri Botanical Garden, I was mesmerized by the pattern of lily pad shadows and reflections on the water.
I painted this in acrylic based on a photo I took of the scene. I enlarged it on my ipad mini, and did a drawing first. Then I painted in the scene. It was colorful, but looked somewhat flat and disjointed. So, I put my Monet on and put lots of broken color in the shadows and the sky reflections. This made it much more vibrant, and unified the painting. Later, I darkened some of the shadow areas, and brightened the lighter areas to improve the value system. Finally, I realized it was hard to tell the reflections and shadows from the actual lily pads and flower, so I put a glaze over the water using a mixture of translucent zinc white, iridescent silver, and iridescent gold.
My favorite part of this is the foreground lily, with the white and gold light reflections on it.
This is the first blog I’ve done in a while. My son needed major surgery this past summer, and this fall my mother has had serious medical issues.
I just completed this pastel drawing called “Mermaid Riding Fish”. I did this in Nupastels. The surface I used was a black toned professional artist quality pastel paper with a very rough surface – like sandpaper.
This is a scene at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This is in front of the climatron, which is a very large greenhouse filled with tropical plants and trees. There is a formal series of reflecting pools with lily pads, bronze sculptures, and glass art by Dale Chihuly, such as the yellow onion bulb here.
I took a photo of the scene, and used my ipad Mini as a reference point. I started with a detailed drawing in white “charcoal”. Then, I put in the background. I used a lot of blue green for the background, because the coolness adds depth to the scene. I decided to use a pretty strong blue green for the banana trees in the background. The statue in real life is bronze, and is done by a Swedish sculptor by the name of Carl Milles in the 1950’s. For the colors of the sculpture, I used yellow ochre and blue green together for the mid range values. For the hilights, I used a warm off white, then surrounded it with yellow and orange. I also used this orange in other areas of the painting such as the lily pads, the background landscaping, and the glass onion bulb base. The orange at the base of the glass onion gave it more richness and depth. The blue sky reflecting in the water contrasts very nicely with all of the yellow and orange. The bright yellow glass onion shows up well with the dark water surrounding it. The reds of the blooms in the background landscaping are a foil color, and break up the yellow/green/blue theme.
Overall, this piece has a warm, sunny, lush feeling to it. It shows summer at it’s best – lush green foliage, blue skies, splashing fountains, and bright sun. Here is the listing in my online store.
I got bored of painting landscapes, flowers, and buildings, which have been my favorite things to paint. So I decided to paint a fish. When I came across a photo of the mandarin fish for the first time, I could not believe my eyes. I have never seen a more colorful, exotic looking fish. I love fish. I used to have an aquarium, but gave it up so I could have the 3 cats I have now. The fish tank was a lot of work.
I have a great love for color, and this subject matter sure fits the bill. My color palette was Permalba white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow dark, cadmium scarlet, permanent rose, cerulean blue phthalo, ultramarine blue, and burnt umber. For the body of the fish, I used the cerulean with a bit of yellow mixed in, and cadmium yellow dark with a touch of cad scarlet added. I love the various warm and cool blues. I used glazing in pure ultramarine blue and Liquin for the transluscent fin on the side.
This is oil, on an acrylic background. It was a labor intensive thing to paint, but I’m very happy with it, and enjoyed painting it. I am in amazement at the creativity of God, to make such a creature.
I gave myself a wonderful gift for my birthday. I went to Forest Park here in St Louis
Missouri to paint en plein air. My sister came out and joined me for part of the painting session, which was an added bonus! I painted the visitor’s center. This is one of the many charming old buildings in this town. St Louis has much beautiful, older architecture. I remember spending hours with my art teacher at age 8 learning to paint cubes, cylinders, spheres, etc. and learning how to shade them to make them look 3 dimensional. This is probably why I enjoy painting buildings to this day.
It was a perfect spring day. The sun was shining, and it was warm without being hot. I had lots of people stop by to talk to me, and they were all very gracious.
I’m very pleased with how this pastel painting turned out. It is of the boxwood garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I really like the contrast of the vertical brickwork in the foreground left and the fountains on the lower right, with the horizontals of the garden behind it. It is very colorful. There is a warm, sunny feel to this piece. You can see the gazebo through the round opening in the brick wall. I really enjoyed creating this painting.
I’m a bit out of order here. I had painted this en plein air last autumn with my painting buddy Jane Flanders. This is in Carondelet Park, by the corner of Holly Hills and Leona. The tree is a maple tree. Carondelet Park has a lot of karst landscape. St Louis has a lot of caverns underneath it, and when these collapse, it forms a basin, as you can see here. I like the effect of the background even better than the orange and red tree. This is done in pastel.