Monday, May 20, 2013

The Lilies


haiku by Matsuo Basho~ 1694             "Lilies" watercolor by Janice Skivington 2012

Friday, May 17, 2013

greeting cards

I am making a series of greeting cards out of these daffodil watercolor paintings. Original art by Janice Skivington and handmade cards too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

yellow birds

When I wrote a post about the color yellow dominating our landscape, I forgot to mention our bright yellow finches. We have four (at this moment) bird feeders on our deck, and two birdbaths, one heated in the winter and one out in the garden, for summer. All this results in plenty of bird activity. One of the most pleasing sights is around the finch feeder which has special thistle seeds just to their taste. In the spring the males of this species change from a winter grayish brown to a bright over-the-top yellow. Females get a tinge of brighter color on them too but it is easy to tell them apart. The males are so eye-catching, they look like  yellow plastic toys, or candy, the color is almost artificial in that shiny hue.
   I sketched this yellow finch on my ipad using the app called ArtRage.

Once in a while, over my cup of coffee at the breakfast table, looking out to the deck, I get a primary color jolt of a treat. I will see a Blue Jay grabbing a peanut at one feeder, a scarlet flash of a male Cardinal at another station, and a gathering of crayon box purest yellow finches at the thistle feeder.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

These delicate pure blue flowers always remind me of my own mother. She loves blue and white and  chooses that combination for decorating often. I gave this painting to her last year.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

my favorite Mother's Day poem

Here is a Geranium.
To ease the pain in your Cranium.
Happy Mother's Day.

Adam Wood 1991

Drawn on the ipad using ArtRage and the Zen brush app.

Friday, May 10, 2013

sunbathing in her sunbonnet

This is part of my painting from a 3 hour pose during Life drawing class last week. It was my idea to pose the model in a sun hat, reflecting the sunny day outdoors. Acrylic on paper

I was most pleased with the feet! I think that little bit of painting described her feet just right.
*Update: This painting is now hanging in the May art show in the DuPage Art League gallery.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

This message brought to you by our sponsor...the color Yellow

The month of May is here and is apparently being sponsored by Yellow.
Yellow is everywhere today in all possible chroma, from a pale emerging creamy yellow tulip to a hedge spray of golden forsythia. We have a loud and gaudy almost-hurts-the-eyes yellow-green chartreuse on our usually ordinary quiet trees. And over here, we have swaths of daffodils in the hue of sunshine, a symbolic shade of yellow. A giant tube of cadmium yellow has been squeezed out and is spilling over the landscape. An immense artistic hand spread out gorgeous blooming brushstrokes and walked off with the empty tube.
I spent a day this week walking all over the Morton Arboretum. Miles and meadows of daffodils, everywhere you look, from one horizon to the next. So much yellow-ness it became abstract to me. I stopped seeing individual bobbing yellow blossoms. I could only see the large wedges of yellow, next to wedges of  yellow green, relieved by a pond of blue reflecting the sky. If Mark Rothko were happy in the springtime, he would paint this.
In sheer yellow brilliance, the dandelions are in competition with the daffodils. This week regiments of dandelions have appeared in full attack, armored with oportunistic blossoms.
I have a close relative who has an aversion to the color yellow. And this is not just because he must deal with the dandelions invading our yard. He says his hatred of yellow goes way back to a sickening episode of eating too many yellow marshmallow candy chicks one spring in his childhood. He has not been able to bear much yellow since then. Therefore we will never paint our kitchen yellow, and I have no yellow in my closet any more.
In spite of all this, my close relative admits that he enjoys yellow flowers and even the yellow-greens in nature. Nature can be forgiven any garish combinations because it presents an overall design scheme that stuns the senses into delight.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Nature's first green is gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf,

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost


Let the sunshine in, winter is dead and gone.