Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

I find painting lilacs a challenge.  So instead of getting bogged down in the details, I tried to keep this painting tip from Monet in mind when I set out to paint this bouquet of lilacs:

“Whenever you go out to paint try to forget what objects you have in front of you — a tree, a house, a field, or whatever . . . and merely think, here is a little squeeze of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until it gives your own naive impression of the scene before you.”
— Claude Monet

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Lilacs at Jello Mold Farm

Lilacs at Jello Mold Farm

“Is any moment of the year more delightful than the present?  What there is wanting in glow of colour is more than made up for in fullness of interest.  Each day some well-known, long remembered plant bursts into blossom.”
— Henry A. Bright, from A Year in a Lancashire Garden

Blossoms abound this time of year.  One can hardly keep up with the newest blooms.  This year, in the midst of tulip season, the lilacs are already bursting into flower.  Since we were in the Skagit Valley to see the tulips, we decided to swing by Jello Mold Farm to see what was happening there.  And lilacs were abounding.  These are indeed long-remembered plants to me.  My mother had a large lilac bush by her garden, and the scent of lilacs brings back memories of my childhood on the farm.

Here are some photos of the lilacs at Jello Mold Farm:

Syringa hyacinthiflora 'Sister Justena'

Syringa hyacinthiflora ‘Sister Justena’

Syringa hyacinthiflora 'Asessippi'

Syringa hyacinthiflora ‘Asessippi’

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Syringa vulgaris 'Krasavitsa Moskvy'

Syringa vulgaris ‘Krasavitsa Moskvy’

This variety of lilac has unusual multi-petaled flowers

This variety of lilac has unusual multi-petaled flowers

Watercolor sketch of lilacs

Watercolor sketch of lilacs

Another attempt at painting lilacs

Another attempt at painting lilacs

 

 

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From the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 2010

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Living Poetically

April 30, 2014

National Poetry Month. 30

Lilacs

Lilacs

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“We do not all have to be poets, but if we do not want to live meaninglessly, then we need to give ourselves over sometimes to the time of inwardness and contemplation, to empathy and aesthetic wonder.  We need to mull and muse. . .”
— Eva Hoffman, Time

Imagining Heaven

April 28, 2014

“I am sure heaven is bounded by a white picket fence that never needs repainting, and with lilacs always in bloom hanging in deep clusters over it.”
— Gladys Tabor, Stillmeadow Daybook

From the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 2010

From the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 2010

“In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a painted blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle . . .”
— Walt Whitman

Lilacs with cat

Lilacs with cat

Watercolor sketch of lilacs and apple blossoms

Watercolor sketch of lilacs and apple blossoms

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

Another watercolor sketch of lilacs

Another watercolor sketch of lilacs

 

 

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

I love visiting Jello Mold Farm, my favorite flower grower in the Skagit Valley.  I’ve stopped by in all seasons, but this week’s visit was the quietest by far.  The Skagit Valley’s annual tulip festival is in full swing, and the fields there are full of colorful blooms.  At Jello Mold Farm, in contrast, the flower beds are just now beginning to wake from their winter sleep.  One of my painter friends commented, “Talk about peaceful — it felt a bit like a ghost town because you could see how much work had taken place yet no one was there.  I would have thought the rapture had occurred . . .”

The greenhouses were full of plant starts and seedlings.  The flower beds were tidy.  It was as if everything was holding its breath, knowing that a few more weeks of sunshine and warm weather will bring on far too many tasks to keep up with.

Here are some photos of Jello Mold Farm in early Spring:

Bonnie displayiing the "lady in the bathtub" hidden inside a bleeding heart

Bonnie displaying the “lady in the bathtub” hidden inside a bleeding heart

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

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Young poppy

Young poppy

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Bird in blossoms

Bird in blossoms

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

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A few early lilacs

A few early lilacs