Dahlia at Volunteer Park

Dahlia at Volunteer Park

“For dahlias give a jewel-like glow to the heart of the autumn garden, they are, in a mass, so resplendent.”
— Susan Hill, The Magic Apple Tree: A Country Year

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Volunteer Park Conservatory

Volunteer Park Conservatory

I spent a wonderful hour on Sunday wandering around Volunteer Park with my camera.  It was a beautiful, sunny fall day — resplendent — and people were out and about enjoying time with family and friends.  The dahlia garden was an outdoor showcase, but I enjoyed the various plants inside the conservatory, too.

Cacti

Cacti

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Foliage

Foliage

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The Gage Academy of Art was hosting a Drawing Jam in the park, and this time I just looked over the shoulders of the participants rather than taking up sketching myself.  A lost opportunity, really, but I was happy this time just photographing.

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Sometimes you just can’t beat a Sunday in the park in Seattle.

Gordon Skagit Farm

Gordon Skagit Farms

Yesterday I took a drive to the Skagit Valley to meet up with some women friends for a few hours of painting at Gordon Skagit Farms.  This was my second trip to Gordon’s, which is open only during the month of October, and I hope to make it an annual tradition.  I’ll write more about Gordon Skagit Farms in my next two posts, but for today, I will share the experience of making art with friends.  The setting couldn’t be more convivial — Eddie Gordon displays his own paintings around the farm (quite an inspiration), we’re in the glorious countryside, and the sheer variety of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes is mind-boggling.

Weathered barn at Gordon Skagit Farms

Weathered barn at Gordon Skagit Farms

One of Eddie Gordon'ss paintings displayed outside with pumpkins and squashes

One of Eddie Gordon’s paintings displayed outside with pumpkins and squashes

I loved the colors in this squash.

I loved the colors in this squash.

Mary drawing

Mary drawing

Libby working on her journal

Libby working on her journal

Here's the page Libby completed at Gordon's

Here’s the page Libby completed at Gordon’s

Nacy painting

Nancy painting

Anne sketching

Anne sketching

Missy's journal and palette

Missy’s journal and palette

Missy starting a new painting

Missy starting a new painting

My first watercolor sketch at Gordon's

My first watercolor sketch at Gordon’s

My second watercolor sketch at Gordon's

My second watercolor sketch at Gordon’s

Watercolor sketch from a photo I took at Gordon's last year

Watercolor sketch from a photo I took at Gordon’s last year

Pumpkin paintings displayed on the side of an old barn — Gordon Skagit Farms

The highlight of my day trip to Gordon Skagit Farms was the art.  Eddie Gordon, one of the Gordon farmers, is also a talented artist, and he displays his large paintings en plein air.  (He is also offering three prints for sale this year.)  I thought the presentation of art on the farm was delightful.  I’ll show you some photos, but I highly recommend that you make a visit this month to see the paintings in person.

Close-up photo of pumpkin on the barn

Old truck with another of Eddie Gordon’s paintings, a rural landscape

A painting outdoors amidst the pumpkins and gourds

Painting of a rural road is hung over an old concrete watering trough

Another painting set back from the produce tables

Enjoy a painting while you grab a wheelbarrow for your pumpkin purchases.

Detail of another pumpkin painting by Eddie Gordon