Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ligularia Sketch & Pattern

This year I bought a plant I had never seen before called Ligularia dentata.  I bought the plant for its beautiful foliage.  The stems and underside of the leaves are a gorgeous red/purple and the shape of the leaves are like lily pads.  I planted it next to my mill stone fountain and it looks perfect there...giving the area a pond/bog feel.  The plant loves water and will wilt in the middle of the day when it is in mid-day sun.  But it usually springs right back in the evening...especially if you water it daily.

I was super excited because in mid-July these strange-looking leaf pods sprouted up that were very distinct from the other foliage.  As you can see in the sketch above there was a main pod that held both a fly-trap-looking leaf and another pod of yellow flower buds.  It is really very stunning.  Every day I would examine the progress when I watered and at the end of July I was rewarded with bountiful, yellow, daisy-like blooms.

I have been meaning to sketch this plant for a while and I thought instead of using my usual black pen that I would try colored pens.  In the end I thought maybe I shouldn't have used pens at all...but it is always good to try different things.  And some times if I am not satisfied with a drawing it is fun to try and find a way to like it better.  So in that spirit after I finished scanning it I decided to play with the image even more.  I cropped the image two different ways and then experimented with rotating the image.

After I looked at all the options I chose my favorite one shown below.

Then I took that pattern and again made repeats of it to create a wallpaper.

I don't know what I will do with this but you never know when Ligularia wallpaper might come in handy! (Oooh, maybe as a the interior lining of a home-made book!...or wrapping paper!...or maybe a cell phone cover!...the possibilities are endless!)

“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.
And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
― Alan W. Watts

Friday, August 26, 2016

Finding Stillness and Joy in the Garden

Lately when I am gardening I have had to wear long pants and sleeves and a mosquito net over my head.  This, combined with the VERY high temperatures has made me hot and sweaty and in a bit of a hurry to finish the job and get the heck back inside.  But every so often I am so struck by the beauty I have to tear off my mosquito net, run into the house and return with camera in hand.  Such was the case with the Japanese anemone above.  The light was hitting the blooms just right and even though there was a slight breeze, the anemone and I shared a moment of quiet stillness as I held my breath and took the photo.

And later in the week I found a joy so irresistible in my succulent garden I had to scurry in the house again looking for the camera.  I planted a new kind of sedum this year called Purple Emperor (above) that has dark purple leaves.  I can imagine this plant as an emperor wearing a lovely dusty color cloak and what a stunning surprise when the pink lining was revealed!   OK, maybe the heat was going to my head...but the colors of this sedum are particularly ravishing.

And right next to the emperor lives an unidentified succulent that finally produced these jubilant white blooms.  I have been curious for weeks what was going to come out of these long stalks that shot up about a month ago.

Below is another kind of Japanese anemone that lives in my backyard and has spread rapidly.  I don't have the heart to control it because I love the flowers so much.  They are also very nice cut flowers.

I think this post has been a bit rambling but I feel a little rusty since I took a break from the blog this summer.  It wasn't a planned break...but life just got busy and had other plans for me.  As I worked on the photos tonight and struggled with writing this post it felt good to be back doing my "thing."  And I thank those out there who noticed and bugged me to get back to it (Frank!).

"The forest and I was all there was. In the deep still silence I could feel the Earth's beating heart."
-Wren, F.J. Rouse (Aerie Earth and Sea)

Monday, August 15, 2016

House Sketch

I have a neighbor who has a birthday very close to mine and every year we like to go to lunch and exchange a little gift.  This year I decided to give her a sketch of her house. 

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos amiga querida!