Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sweet Peas

The sweet peas are blooming!

I cut just one stalk to take into my studio and I could smell it the whole time I was painting it. I wish this painting could be scratch and sniff.

The painting took me longer than I had expected since it turns out that the shapes and structures of sweet peas are more complex than I thought. I don't know anything about botany but, whew... I feel like I do now. The strange square stalk splits into three with two funny little leaves that I am sure must have a special name. One stem is for the flower and the other two are for leaves and tendrils. The flowers themselves are fascintating too.

I can't describe them in words but, if you are lucky enough to have sweet peas in your garden, you can take a minute to look and puzzle it out. Personally I am lazy about really looking at something unless I am drawing it. This style of painting doesn't allow for fudging either and that is why I like it. I demands clarity of thought and vision. No pretence or fancy brush work. Just looking.

You can click on these to see them bigger, if you want.


  1. Jean, your blog is a pure delight! I love your work, so full of color and light. It has some great texture as well, just like the real things. But yours might be lusher yet.

    I once helped breed Burmese kittens, in another life, and your kittens there look Burmese. Are they?

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Oh, can drop in on me here: (I'm "just down the street!")

    I have to fix that thing

  3. I have sweet peas. They are growing this year just outside my garden retreat. I plant them every year. I think there is nothing better.
    I love your photos of your cat! You really know what is the best things in life.
    I look forward to reading your blog and sharing it with others. I hope many many others see your blog.
    You have something special.

  4. Hi Philip,
    I can't find your blog to thank you for your kind comments so I hope that you check back here. It means so much that you are enjoying my art. Thanks for taking the time to tell me and I am so glad that you have sweet peas growing. Aren't we lucky!

  5. Hi Steve,
    I have just enjoyed a quick glance at your web site and will read it with more leisure later. What ambitious projects! Just reading about 10 foot root balls makes me tired.

    My cat in the photo is actually just a black guy from the shelter. We thought he was brown when he was a kitten but he got darker. He is very well behaved and leaves the birds alone, but seems to like to eat sweet peas! He is my studio companion.

  6. Jean, you have to check out Philip's blog, lol. Shameless pimping, I know, but I go there often and can't wait 'til his next post.

    Here he is:

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