Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring Paintings

Rhododendrons in the Mist, pastel, 9" x 12."

Here's a couple of new pastel paintings for this spring's Art at the Mill show. The one above was done from photos of last spring's week-long botanical excursion to SW Virginia with the Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS). This particular day when we visited Cumberland Gap was the only rainy day we had. It had been pouring in the morning, but the rain had started to let up a bit when we drove up this hilltop. The spectacular view of the valley below was completely veiled in mist, it was very cold and wet, but the Rhododendrum minus on the hillsides covered with soft pink blossoms looked lovely in the moody light.

The View from Sky Meadows, pastel, 9" x 12."

This other pastel was done from a photo taken a number of years ago on an overcast day. The lush grasses on the rolling hillsides hadn't been mowed yet, and the sprinkling of white dogwood flowers in the thickets of trees were echoed by the dots of the houses in the small town of Paris beyond. It's a classic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround us here in Virginia.

Crocus thommasinianus, last week of February

Early daffodil 'February Gold' in first week of March

White hyacinths, first week of March

The first signs of spring are popping up in my garden--crocuses, early daffodils and white hyacinths are emerging. Unfortunately, this particular hyacinth clump was dug up and eaten (likely by ground hog) just a few days after I took this photo. I've sprinkled powdered hot pepper on the flowers as a deterrent to future depredations--let see if it works. The deer don't seem to find the C. thommasinianus too palatable, thank heaven, and daffodils are known to be toxic to them, so those are safe, but it's a constant battle to keep all these pests from eating everything in my garden. They're particularly ravenous at this time of the year.