Irises

Irises

Irises

Last week's watercolor painting of irises

Last week’s watercolor painting of irises (I have not picked up a paintbrush since then.)

“What a disgraceful lapse!  Nothing added to my disquisition, & life allowed to waste like a tap left running.  Eleven days unrecorded.”
—  Virginia Woolf, from her diaries

It’s been over a week since my last post.  I’m sorry for the lapse, but I cannot promise more “disgraceful” gaps in the future.  I am slowing down in my old age!  Now that I am in my sixties, I get less satisfaction from checking lots of items off of an ambitious “To-Do” list.  Those kinds of full days now tire me out.  It’s been very busy at work lately because a nearby branch library is closed for renovations and upgrades, so many of its patrons are coming into the Greenwood Branch and our workload has practically doubled.  In spite of the longer days, I’m just not motivated to tackle any personal projects when I get home.

In my mind, I frequently tell myself just to STOP.  To take a moment and slow down.  Breathe and think about what is important that moment, that day.  And sometimes, indulging myself by curling up on the couch with a good book feels better than accomplishing something more worthwhile.

Right now I have about four hours before my sister and brother-in-law arrive for an overnight visit, and while I finish two loads of laundry, I plan to take out a large drawing pad and make some preliminary sketches of squirrels.  They are so energetic and playful, I hope I can capture that spirit in this morning’s work.  Painting and drawing always make me feel better afterwards.  I bet that painting squirrel antics will enliven me even more.

Hope you have a great weekend!

 

“The love of a practice, the effort of trying to master it, gives us a different portal through which to enter the world and, thus, another way both to see new places and to draw from our innate beings the things that are potentially contained within it.”
— An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery by Janna Malamud Smith

Last week just one 'Samba rosa' iris was in bloom

Last week just one ‘Sambuca rosa’ iris was in bloom

What a difference a week makes!  This past Thursday a group of friends met for a second time in Kitty’s iris garden on Samish Island.  Far more irises were in bloom, and I imagine next week’s garden will be even more profuse.  I wish I could return again, but I fear my schedule is too tight in the coming weeks.  There is always something wonderful and new to see.

“Our interest and competencies create the focus for our gaze, stimulate our curiosity about variation, allow us to seek and find fruit in what is initially an obscure grove.”
An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery by Janna Malamud Smith

My eyes were stimulated by the gorgeous and varied colors of these magnificent irises.  I am still not done painting irises this year!

Kitty's iris beds, week 2

Kitty’s iris beds, week 2

Siberian iris, 'Silver Edge'

Siberian iris, ‘Silver Edge’

The velvety black petals of 'Matt McNames' iris

The velvety black petals of ‘Matt McNames’ iris

Blue beards!

Blue beards!

'Ancient Echoes' iris

‘Ancient Echoes’ iris

'Snowed In' iris

‘Snowed In’ iris

'Lily Pond' irises

‘Lily Pond’ irises

IMG_7227

'Patriotic Hearts' iris

‘Patriotic Hearts’ iris

Some buds remain to open in the coming days and weeks

Some buds remain to open in the coming days and weeks

IMG_7269

Watercolor painting, Iris Medley, inspired by Kitty's garden

Watercolor painting, Iris Medley, inspired by Kitty’s garden

Watercolor painting of 'Pond Lily' irises

Watercolor painting of ‘Pond Lily’ irises

 

A promising start:

Watercolor sketch of irises from Kitty's garden

Watercolor sketch of irises from Kitty’s garden

And then I added background . . . and now I don’t like it as much.  Sometimes less is more.

IMG_7170

So I started over and tried again.

IMG_7177

Still not all the way there (to where I want to be).

 

More Iris Paintings

May 1, 2016

'Jessie's Song' irises from Kitty's garden on Samish Island

‘Jessie’s Song’ irises from Kitty’s garden on Samish Island

I like the way the tall irises stand tall in a row.  The repetition is pleasing to my eye.

Part one of my watercolor painting of irises in a row

Part one of my watercolor painting of irises in a row

My finished painting

My finished painting

 

Kitty's iris garden on Samish Island

Kitty’s iris garden on Samish Island

This iris is called 'Moonlit Water'

This iris is called ‘Moonlit Water’

We picked a cool day for our trip up north to Samish Island to paint in our friend Kitty’s iris garden.  Her irises are just starting to bloom.  It was rather nice, actually, to have fewer irises to gaze at.  In another week or two, there will be so many colors and varieties vying for our attention.

This is such an inspiring place, lovingly tended, overlooking the Sound.  I am loving painting irises this year.

More photos from Kitty's and Steve's garden

More photos from Kitty’s and Steve’s garden

IMG_7037

IMG_7041

IMG_7058

IMG_7062

IMG_7064

Painted in the garden

Painted in the garden

From Kitty's porch during a rain shower

From Kitty’s porch during a rain shower