Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I found a little beetle...

It will be one hundred degrees here today (38 C). so Huckleberry and I made the most of the cooler morning by walking in the alley and watering the garden.

Because I have been walking around in bare feet I have noticed all kinds of little things on the ground. I found this dead beetle who looks just like an "Alexander Beetle" from E H Shepard's drawings of A A Milne's poems.

I found a little beetle, so that beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a matchbox, and I kept him all the day...
And Nanny let my beetle out...
And beetle ran away...

We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
"A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!"

I can't find a copy of the book here in the house so I made my own painting of Alexander Beetle.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Sometimes the world can be a little bleak but friends can make it all beautiful. The plant is a lupin with such nice furry seed pods.

The painting is oil on panel and measures 11"x14".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bloggers in Paradise

Seattle Area Garden Bloggers United to Talk (SAGBUTT) enjoyed a perfect summer afternoon at the Snoqualmie Valley garden of Daniel Mount and his partner Michael. Here we sit under the cherry tree.

David Perry who blogs at David Perry Photography and Michael.

Molly from Life on Tiger Mountain and Karen from Greenwalks

Paula from Petunia's Garden and our generous host Daniel of Daniel Mount Gardens

In the foreground - Liisa of Intercontinental Gardener

I don't remember the names of the friendly dogs who walked with us around the spacious woodland paths and marshland. Later we heard some stories about their many encounters with bears - so far with no injuries on either side.

We all brought treats from our gardens. Isobel helped me to ice the cupcakes that we decorated with our own blueberries. (Yes they are officially now called 'eyeball cakes') Looks like they got a little beat up in the car. Other delicious food included black currant and apricot tart and a black currant crumble, exotic salads, fava bean humus with home made pita, tabouleh, and home made rhubarb juice. Wow.

I don't know what David was photographing but I'm sure he made it look beautiful. I hope he posts it.

Thank you Daniel and Michael. It was a slice of heaven.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not a Has Bee - Remembered Forever

This little painting is a memorial to a lovely bumble bee I found dead in my garden this week. I looked as closely as I could at her little furry body but still may have made some mistakes. I am no entomologist. Please comment if I should make any changes to this amazing little creature.

The painting is only about 4x6 inches.

Huckleberry tried to eat my little bee.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Studio

I'll have an open studio here on 29 August. Some friends will also be showing their work.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Monkey Dreams

This portrait of a stuffed toy is a commission for someone who is also fond of water bears. It took some thought to combine the two into one painting so I painted the monkey as though he is dreaming about his little microscopic friends. I gave him a hill of sempervivum to sit with. Doesn't sempervivum mean "always alive?" It seems appropriate for a well loved toy animal friend.

My son translated the slogan on the back of a package of men's boxer shorts for me once. "Semper ubi sub ubi" - "Always wear underwear"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Artist A Day

Speaking of poppies, which I was in the previous post, my flying weasel with poppies painting is featured on the website "Artist A Day" today. If you click on the painting it also shows my "Polar Ice Cap" painting. Fun! This is a great website which features a different artist, yes, every day.

Poppy Pride

Last year I saw a picture of this poppy somewhere and even corresponded with a fellow blogger about it. I found seeds on line and planted them this spring and here it the poppy. I am such a proud parent!

I don't remember where I bought the seed or the kind blogger who helped my to identify it. But it is called either (or both) Danish Flag or Victoria Cross. I love it and will save seed to do it all over again. (and if anybody in Seattle would like some I will gladly share, along with that beautiful pink one from my back alley) I will try to paint this one today before it drops its pretty petals.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not Many Flowers

My garden seems empty of flowers now the peonies and roses are finished. The sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos are still too young to flower. What to do for a dinner party arrangement? Once I got outside with the scissors I was surprised how many small blooms there actually were. Geranium, Dianthus, Astrantia and Spiraea. All small but with a cheerful effect when bunched into a posie.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Opium Cheers Me Up

These poppies are growing wild near my studio in the middle of the very annoying construction site. I have to paint with my door closed because it is so noisy. Go away. Go away. Hurry up and finish your extraordinarily disruptive three car garage. My nerves are ragged. Opium tea is starting to look tempting.