Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Unexpected Passing

My mother in law passed away suddenly yesterday. It was, and is, a huge shock to us all. Spending time with family this week, so won't be posting for a while.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Viola tricolor - Flower Drawing 6

I didn't take into account when I set out to do this project of photographing and drawing a different flower each week, that it might be difficult to locate live specimens. In a few months, I will have so many flowers to choose from, the hardest part will be deciding on one. Right now, however, not much is blooming and it is still quite chilly to be outside sketching and photographing those that are! The flower shops are a source. That is where my daughter bought the orchid and I bought the cut daffodils. But looking recently, I am not finding any that strike my fancy. For now, I will use photographs as references for drawing.

Another thought that occurred to me is that choosing a different flower each week prevents me from delving deeper into the multiple facets of some flowers. For instance, there is so much more to explore on the orchid. I do have a limited amount of time in which to complete these exercises each week. Maybe it is more realistic to entitle this project 52 Flower Drawings: A Year in Bloom. That way I can continue to work with a particular flower until I feel I have exhausted the possibilities.

Here is the sketch for this week. I would like to do a cluster of these cute Heart's Ease or Johnny Jump Ups, the way they grow in the garden (similar to the photo below.)

Heartsease - Viola tricolor

from Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Visual Journals Workshop

some of my students and me
Yesterday I had the privilege of teaching an introductory workshop on creating visual journals. This particular workshop focused on using them for prayer, praise and bible study. Eight women signed up for the class and we had a wonderful time together!

To see more photos, visit my Facebook Page here.

I spent most of last week preparing for this workshop so did not have time to photograph or draw a flower for my 52 Flowers - A Year in Bloom project.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Narcissus - Week 2 of A Year in Bloom

Photography lessons learned this week:

Lesson 1 On creating an interesting photograph
The setting in which the subject is placed is as important as the subject itself. Here I began photographing the vintage blue Ball jar with daffodils in isolation. I love the color combinations. It is rather boring as a photograph though.

Placing the jar of daffodils among other items gives the viewer a sense of place, a sense of scale and is just more interesting overall.

Do you agree?

Lesson 2 Lighting
These photos were shot at 7:30 a.m. on a cloudy morning. No interior lights were on. I was fully expecting the photos to be really dark. Surprisingly, they are not. The natural light, though it was low, was enough. The shutter speed was set to auto so I don't know what the selected ISO was. Probably 800. There is a slight blurriness to the photo because of camera shake while the shutter was open. I think I prefer this lighting to that of a sunny day. I know for next time to set up the tripod to shoot in this light.

Lesson 3 Keep Experimenting
I moved the flowers to my studio where I have a combination of fluorescent lights -  regular daylight and Verilux. I placed a large piece of white mat board behind the flowers and took many close up photos. I really like the results!

Lesson 4 Create a Filter
I was using a magnifying glass while sketching the daffodils. I decided to try it as a macro lens. It was pretty tricky trying to hold the magnifying glass in one hand and the camera in the other AND press the button! It may not have worked as a macro lens, but it did seem to provide a softer look as one might achieve with a filter.  I LOVE how these photos turned out! I should look for one of those old fashioned magnifying lenses on a stand.

This week's drawings
 Another week of other stuff to do. Didn't have as much time to devote to drawing as I would have liked. When the daffodils are blooming in my yard, I will draw them again to have several sketches to work from when I want to do a finished piece.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mini Booklet to Insert into Journal

daffodils in Ball jar inspired the color palette
Today on the blog 12 Months in View, Bernice provided a tutorial on making a small booklet. Tomorrow she will post what we will add to it. I created my booklet from a piece of 12"x12" scrapbook paper.

 I made a place for the booklet in my journal by sealing, then cutting an envelope in half and gluing it onto the journal page.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Opportunity - 12 Months in View

 I am pleased to be able to announce today that I will be contributing monthly to a year long online multidisciplinary art and creativity challenge. 12 Months in View, created by Bernice Hopper, is written as a blog, has a Facebook and Flickr Group and is open to anyone who would like to participate. The overall theme is the seasons of the year and will feature a flower each month. Challenges for visual journaling, photography, craft projects, cooking and more will be provided. Participation is encouraged - you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. Or you may want to just follow along and see what others are creating.

My contribution will be to write an article each month on the featured flower. This month the flower is the daffodil. I have published my article on my horticulture blog, Hortus Conclusus.

Also this month I wrote a tutorial describing how I designed this visual journal page spread. Here is the link to the step by step instructions.

Won't you join us?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Phalaenopsis Orchid - Week 1 of A Year in Bloom

Here is the first of what I intend to be 52 flower drawings to be completed over the next year. This is a challenge I have set up for myself to get me into the routine of observing, drawing and photographing a subject.

My daughter gave me this lovely Phalaenopsis orchid for my birthday.  The rich magenta petals accented with plum dots and veins is truly stunning. The first challenge was trying to get the colors true in the photographs. I wanted to use the lace curtains as a backdrop and work with morning sunlight. The sun seemed to be a hindrance so I photographed again in the afternoon when it was cloudy. I experimented with different camera settings.

Here are the sketches I worked on:
quick sketch

the back side of the flower


 I would like to develop these sketches further and add color. I want to do more detail sketches. As I closely examined the flower I discovered a series of triangles within it. I don't have an appropriate macro lens to zoom into these details for photographing.

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