Tag Archives: photography

Don Bright’s Daylilies

Yesterday I responded to Art for the Journey’s call for a paint-out at a ‘secret day lily garden’ not far from where I live. I’m always up for watercolor in plein air, and who can resist a ‘secret’ garden?! I was amazed at the beautiful acres of day lilies and waterlilies in a park like setting. Our host, Don Bright, was very gracious, and full of interesting stories.

In researching the web when I got home, I learned that Bright, influenced by the bounteous floral displays of Holland, started planting his 10 acres in 1993 and now has 750,000 or so day lilies, which this week are approaching their peak bloom for the season – no wonder they are so impressive! I took lots of photos, did some sketching, and composed several haiku, which you’ll find below. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this hidden treasure – grab it with both hands!

Watching lilies wave
Waiting for the paint to dry
In Don Bright’s gardens

Daylilies in bloom
Beneath tall trees row by row
Yellow, orange and mauve

Munching on triscuits
By the dragon fly batteau
With water lilies

Caressed by the breeze
Sketching by a sunk batteau
In a summer pond

Dragon flies flitting
Thru summer water lillies
With bullfrog chorus



Hiking as Inspiration

This is a follow-up to my last post on Hiking the Rapidan and Staunton Rivers. One of the others on the hike asked what do I do with all the photos I take on our hikes: here’re some of their uses! The first two sketches were done on the hike, with water colors added in the studio. The third nature sketch I did from a photo you can see in the earlier post. The fourth and fifth water color sketches were also done in the studio from photos and are studies for larger works still in process.

Many years ago when I was still an eager young photographer, I was told “never stop taking pictures. Even if you don’t use them right away, you’ll have them for later inspiration.” At that time it never occurred to me that I might at some point use photos as reference for other art. As I moved into textiles, then watercolor, images captured years ago on film, and more recently on electronic media, retain their vibrancy and value.

Here’s an example of photo-influenced multi-generational inspiration. In 1953 my father was in Japan for a year with the Marines and took many slides as he traveled around the country. He mailed them home to us where we youngsters alternately endured and were fascinated by regular extended slide shows. In later he years gave talks in our school classes. In 2008 he scanned those slides and did a presentation for his retirement community. In 2011, he shared the scanned slides with me. I combined them with his notes and thru the wonders of the internet produced a book, at this point a period piece!

So, I always take lots of photos, use them, and/or save them. Who knows?!

Artful Healing

2016 Artful healing postcard0001

A week from this Sunday the Bon Air Artist Association is presenting a fundraiser on behalf of World Pediatric Project at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond. I’ll have my photographs on exhibit in the ballroom. Come on out!

Exhibitions: Quilts, Photos, Watercolors!

Where did July and August go?! Here, at least, is what’s happening in my life in September! Early this morning I drove over to the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) to drop off quilts, and then swung by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond to drop off photos and watercolors. The posters give the details on the two events.

The Richmond Quilters Guild Quilt Show happens every three years and I have three quilts that will be on display this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. The show promises to be excellent! The Richmond Times Dispatch has run two articles referencing the show: Decorate with Quilts, and Quilting Business Continues to Grow. Hope you get a chance to get by – along with approximately 300 quilts there will be vendors and a boutique.  Sales from that last all go toward Richmond Fisher House, a temporary lodging facility for families of hospitalized active-duty service members and veterans.

Next week is the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond’s annual Gallery Show. I’ve heard about this show forever as THE PLACE to sell and buy high quality art, but I’ve never been.  This year I decided to apply to show my photos and watercolors, and was accepted!  So check it out – I’ll have two framed photos on display and 25 matted photos and watercolors, all available for purchase.  The show opens on Wednesday evening and rumor has it that to see the best work you need to get there early!

In you’re in or near Richmond, Virginia, I hope to see you at one or both venues!

World Pediatric Project and Bon Air Artist Association

Artful Healing

Artful Healing

If you’re in the Richmond area, or would like an excuse to visit, join us for the first Artful Healing event on Sunday, March 23rd at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.  A portion of the proceeds from sales of the art that will be on display go toward the World Pediatric Project. For twenty years the Bon Air Artist Association held a Spring open air art show – the group felt it was time for a change!  I’ve been awed by the quality of Bon Air Artists pieces, and thrilled that some of my photographs will be included.  Hope to see you at the show!

Watercolor Adventures Continued

In August (gosh, almost three months ago now) I did a couple of more water colors for my portfolio in anticipation of jurying for the Bon Air Artist Association.  I’m pleased with these two, and need to clear my table and get back to work!  Realizing that I still have a ways to go with the media, I hedged my bets and also submitted photographs.  As it turned out, I was accepted for photography, but not for exhibiting watercolors with the group.  Oh well!

So I’m gathering photos (see new header for this blog!) to include in their upcoming March fundraiser for the World Pediatric Project.  In February I’ll take another go at the watercolor jurying. Meanwhile, in preparation for my next expedition into water media, I’m working my way thru Pam Carriker‘s Celebrating Art at the Speed of Life.  More on that in a coming post… Mixed Media rules!


Water Color Portraits

I’ve been having lots of fun with Pinterest – so many good ideas! Just repinning them on my boards makes me feel like I’ve done something! Which, of course, I haven’t. A couple of weeks ago I decided to actually try one of those ideas -Grow Creative’s water color portraits! I’ve always shied away from drawing or painting faces, which made this a good learning experience. And it was very easy and relaxing.

The hardest part was find good photos to start with. Picasa, Google’s photo management software, was a big help.  A couple of years ago they added a feature that locates all faces in photos on your computer, and sorts them by person.  When you click on a photo of a face, you’re taken to the original photograph.  Picasa is full of other helpful capabilities – if you’re not familiar with it, check it out.

Once I’d selected the photos I wanted to work with, I followed the steps in Grow Creative’s tutorial, and in no time I had portraits of my grandchildren!  Lessons learned: 1) when doing a set of portraits, it’s helpful to have the faces close to the same size, and similar lighting; 2) the width of a line makes a big difference; 3) this would be a good technique for value studies…!