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Sunny Summer day at the BBG 2015Summer day at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – 10 1/2″ x 15″ on 140# Arches coldpress

NO, The Husband and I are not expecting a baby.  “We’re pregnant” is a phrase that just irks me to no end.  WE cannot be pregnant. I can be pregnant.  (Well, not me, personally, I can’t be pregnant, that ship has sailed.) But I, as a female, could be pregnant.  We, as a couple, cannot be pregnant.  Last time I checked only a female can carry a baby.  (Or a petri dish, but that’s a different blog.)   I just heard a person on a talk show say she and her husband were pregnant.  After I finished yelling at the TV (something I have started to do frequently since I stopped working) I looked up the word “pregnant”.

The Oxford dictionary defines pregnant as:

(Of a woman or female animal) having a child or young developing in the uterus.

Whew,  Glad I got that off my chest.

My work here is done.

The painting above is from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  A beautiful sunny summer day in the garden. The paths were bright and dappled with sunlight and the flowers were in full bloom.

Kevin's card 8-2015

And the above hand-made watercolor card was done for my nephew who is off to college to study automotive repair.  Good luck Kevin!

Subway ridersAnd it was just another day on the NYC subway when I spotted these two.  I was more fixated on the fact that it was SO HOT in NY and even hotter down in the subway station and here are these two in what seemed like really hot latex body suits.  Whatever.  Luckily the came train shortly after I took this picture of them and we all went to where ever it is we go.

Bonus Fun Fact:   This symbol: # is also known as an “octothorpe”.

Flowers for a friendFlowers for a friend

No you’re not seeing the same painting as the previous post.  I needed a get well card or gift for a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (She’s doing great.)   And after I painted the last bouquet I decided I would paint some flowers for her.  On a card. With the breast cancer ribbon on the vase.

I hope she likes her flowers.  I hope you do too.

I don’t get Irish Coffee.  Why would you drink a caffeinated beverage that has alcohol in it?  Wake you up slap you down, wake you up, slap you down till you don’t know whether you’re coming or going.  This came up while walking with Charlie.  He wanted to find some Four Loko.  Just because.   I think it was just because he had some minor surgery and was still enjoying the pain medication.   Apparently Four Loko is some super caffeinated malt beverage with a large amount of alcohol in it.  So much so that kids not only loved it, but were hallucinating from it.  Oh those kids.  When we wanted to hallucinate we knew what to use.  And it wasn’t a caffeinated beverage.

This won’t be a very long post.  The Tony Awards are on and I have to get my evil twin to stop singing and tap dancing to all the musical numbers.  (Maybe I’m just hallucinating…could someone pass me some more Four Loko?)

The painting above was done from a reference photo from an out of print book by the watercolor artist John Yardley.  I loved the sheerness of the curtains over the windows and outdoor foliage.  This is not an exact duplication. Outside my windows it looks like a cloudy day.Outside his windows it looks sunny and bright.  Sigh!  I’ve done paintings from images by Mel Stabin, Charles Reid and now Mr. Yardley.  All of them have been excellent learning experiences.  I think this one was too.   There is so much to learn. I think I will stop learning when it’s finally curtains for me.  And speaking of curtains, the big, red, velvet one is coming back up at the Tonys.  Gotta run.  I just love that Neil Patrick Harris.

Snow, snow, snow!  So far we have had the snowiest January EVER!  With more on the way tomorrow.   So, to cheer myself up I decided to do these hydrangeas.  I really forced myself not to overdo them. And to use a limited palette. Yes, the urge is to go back and put more detail in the flowers, but no, I say, no.  They will stay like this and I will move on.

This has been a difficult week.  My mom passed away a year ago.  I spent the weekend with family and friends and had a lot of laughs.  Many of them at my mom’s expense which she would have loved.

Recently The Husband and I visited my mom’s grave to make sure the engraving had been completed.  Knowing my mother didn’t like flowers we got her something she did like.  It was The Husband’s idea.  He is very thoughtful like that.

Here is a favorite story of how much my mom loved The Husband. One time when in the hospital she was being transferred from ICU to a regular room. The nurse transporting her was making small talk.

Nurse: How many kids do you have?

Mom: Three

Nurse: What are their names?

Mom: Carol, Alice and Robert

Nurse: Who is your favorite?

Mom: Matt

She was a lovely person.

On another note, if you want to know what The Husband does when he is not critiquing my work or reading my blog for typos, he’s busy being a NYC ESU Detective.   You can see some of what he does on this documentary on the Nation Geographic channel:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/counterterror-nyc-5539/Overview

A wonderful class with Joan had us practicing wet-in-wet technique.  And flowers.  We practiced flowers, cause really, who doesn’t love flowers.

Well, ok.  My mom didn’t like flowers.  She complained that they didn’t last long and then you threw them out.  This was the same woman who (when visiting a nursery with my brother-in-law and his partner who is a landscape architect and knows everything this is to know about all things flowers) pointed to a dandelion and said “I like those.”   To be fair, she was born and raised in Manhattan.  What did she know?

I’m a big flower fan.  (And a big flour fan.)

But I digress….Back to the wet in wet technique.  We wet the arches paper with a hake brush, and laid down a background leaving a white area.   Once dry we wet the paper again and then painted in the flowers.  And so on.  Until we had something we liked. If the flowers look a little familiar, I took some inspiration from the poppies and larkspur painting I had recently finished.   It was a similar technique that I used for my mountains a while back.

Each of the above paintings is 9″ x 6″ on Arches 140# cold press paper.

stripedtable.jpg

Here’s a painting of some flowers the teacher set up for us in class. There was a window behind me so there was light reflecting on the glass vase. I really enjoyed working on the highlights in the glass and the folds in the fabric.

The flowers, to me, were the easiest to paint, but I realized that they were all facing “away” from me after I completed the watercolor. Oh well. That’s the way it goes. It was an excellent lesson and I feel I learned quite a bit.

Sometimes I look at the watercolors after they are completed and I always think I should go back and work on this area a little more or that area some more. But if I did that I would never move on to another watercolor, so I just say to myself, time to stop on this one and move on to something else. Should I be more of a perfectionist? Maybe. But I’m not. At least not right now.

Me gusto las flores.

I was going thru my bookmarks today and came across my most favorite video EVER. Every time I watch it I just laugh and laugh.

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