20 July 2014

Live, Learn, Forever. Original Watercolour Painting

"Live, Learn, Forever" - Original watercolour painting
Another lovely painting to share this morning, again inspired by a quote from Gandhi, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever". Such a wonderful concept to bring into ones life. 

This one I completed in pinks, with just a touch of orange to bring it in line with the other piece - this painting and Be The Change would look wonderful hung up together!

It is available in the online shop for purchase as an original 12x12" painting :)

19 July 2014

Be The Change in the World

"Be The Change in the World" - original watercolour painting

Today I'm sharing with you one of two paintings I created this past couple days. Its a little different than my usual, but I saw a quote online by Gandhi the other day and was completely inspired to create an art piece illustrating it.

It was completed in watercolour on 12x12" watercolour paper. I really like how the flower blossoms turned out, with the translucent layers and various crisp edges. 

It was just a fun piece to create - sometimes a little different is good :)

The picture above just shows how beautiful the watercolour paper texture is - just takes it up a little more and so pretty.

This painting is available for sale online, here.

16 July 2014

Oh She Grows: It's becoming a plant monster!

It's been a week and a half since my last update. I know, every time I update I say it's growing like crazy and I'm obviously thinking that it might 'plateau'...but it's not. The plant forest continues to explode after every day of heavy rain (followed by super heat) that we have. To say square-foot-gardening is 'intensive planting' is an understatement. It's should be called explosive planting. Despite that and things looking over crowded, everything is doing super well and produce awesomely!

Lettuce is doing well, especially with the odd day of cooler weather to give it a break from the heat. This is first and second planting above here. Third planting just sprouted. It's been great not having to buy lettuce. I just pick what we need as we need it to get the most out of the plants.

My peppers have tons of blossoms and are starting to set fruit. Above are my mini-bell peppers. They are going to have so many per plant. Below are my chili peppers.

My pepper plants were the one set of plants that looked somewhat organized in my garden, but even they have gone rouge and grown so much! The tallest, the chili plants, would have to be at least 2 feet high. They are going to need stakes this week. In between are the pansy plants that I started from seed and planted between then, to try and attract pollinators to the garden.

The tomato plants are the biggest monsters of the garden. They have tons of blossoms, and have already set a lot of fruit. Above are the beefstake tomatoes. Below are the Roma's - which are setting the most - some have over 10 tomatoes started on them, plus more blossoms - which is perfect for my plant of making sauce / salsa this season. The cherry tomatoes have fruit set too, but it's all in the jungle and I wasn't able to get a good shot of them. I did have to encourage pollination on these plants - so many blossoms fell off from failed pollination, so I purchased a cheep electric toothbrush and gave them all a little buzz to self pollinate them.

My second planting of carrots are doing well, and my other carrots are recovering from the Earwigs now that we have them under control. I'm hoping to have some carrots to pull soon, but these aren't that big yet and have a ways to go.

My kale is lovely as ever! I harvest a little here and there, but I'm thinking soon I'll be able to take a lot more as these mature more. I love it in salads as a green, and blended in my smoothies :) The green beans are doing really well too - they have lots of blossoms, but have lots of little beans starting too. I hope I get my order from Amazon for my pots and such sooner than later so that I have it in time to freeze these guys!

This is my back corner potato-broccoli-zucchini-cucumber mess. But it's a productive mess.

This is my third head of broccoli growing - it's due soon. Maybe even tonight. So far, we have gotten two heads of broccoli - not bad. I never thought when I started these from seed that I would get any honestly.

My first zucchini blossom was open today too - I hope it takes and I get a vegetable from it!

I'm still having troubles with the pollination of my pickling cucumbers. I have gotten some fruit from them still, and here are some growing. But so many of the female starts are failing. I try to help them a long with a paint brush transferring pollen from male to female flower - but I think I might look into a self-pollinating variety next year. I just don't see bees around, and that's a big problem for these guys.

And some of my harvest:

I must say, I am loving gardening. We have harvested almost 3 lbs of food so far this season, and we haven't even gotten to the bigger, heavier stuff yet like peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. :)

05 July 2014

Oh She Grows: A Closer Look

The very beginning of a pepper...so tiny!

My garden has been growing out of control with all the rain we had - which is a good thing. And with the earwigs mostly gone, and controlled, things are starting to pick up more now that they're not being nibbled on consistently.

Kale is starting to take off. We have already harvested some of the younger leaves.

We have harvested two pickling cucumbers already. The pollination process has been slow and a lot of blossoms have been 'dropped', but I hope that they are going to pick up. The plants have been climbing better lately too :)

My broccoli floret I watch everyday, twice a day. I want it to be as large as it can get...but I don't want it to flower. It's a thin line, I know. 
We have had a very 'garden' salads from the garden, with the lettuce, kale and cucumbers and they are delicious. I joked to the boy that the salad tastes like, "rainbow, sunshine and unicorns.." ... aka: we worked our buttocks off to make sure this stuff grew and wasn't eaten by critters before we could eat it. I've never worked so hard for a salad in my life, but it was totally worth it :)

27 June 2014

Oh She Grows: Garden Update

Look at those boxes!! So full of green goodness!! Things have been growing so well with all the rain, and then super sunny / warm weather. It's like plant paradise around here!

My tomatoes are just doing their own thing. They are thriving so well. Tons of buds are one them, and they're starting to turn into blossoms. I hope to get a lot of produce off of them, it looks promising!

My peppers are the slow-but-steady group of the garden. The first blossom opened the other day, and like the tomatoes, they have tons of buds.

We should be able to harvest up some lettuce soon. I can't wait! It'll be the first "bounty" from the garden :)

The potato plants took a little bit to emerge, but they grow so much every day! I will need to hill up some more dirt around them soon.

My cucumber are starting to climb on their own - for the most part. I have a 'climb-resistant' plant on the right. It just refuses to stay up - so I'm going to direct it to flow off the side of the box.

The broccoli are the super-stars of the week, again. Compared to last week, they must have grown over a foot! They are just loving the cloudy, overcast and cool weather - plus the buckets of rain. 

We even have the start of one broccoli head! Super exciting!!

Now, I do have one annoying garden issue. Earwigs. I think they are nibbling on some of my plants - mostly any tiny seedlings. I actually saw one in the garden, and there's little earwig 'poops' on some of the larger leaves. Any tips? I feel bad 'getting rid' of them, since they are supposedly good for the garden too...but I've had to replant some because of them, and I'm none too impressed by that.

26 June 2014

Colourful Triptych Series

I'm sharing with you today some paintings that I created special for a lovely customer. Together we create a sort of triptych painting series to brighten her walls :) You will have to excuse the poor photos. I took them at night before packing them up to mail out. 

I just love how you wanted a little critter in each painting. It just brings so much life and character to each other scenes. :)

If you are interested in a custom painting, please come see me over at my online shop. I very much enjoy working with clients to create unique art pieces for their homes.

24 June 2014

Little Starts to Bigger Things

Last week I started planning for a larger painting project that I have been asked to 'tackle' - it will be 3 panels of 24"x40", giving a total size of 72" x 40" - that's 6 feet of painting! Phew! 

Due to the nature of the request, a lot of planning will have to go into this piece before I can begin to touch paint to canvas. I'll be able to share with everyone the "nature of the painting" once it's complete and everything is done! I started out with a quickie sketch - I've never been huge of sketching before painting, and usually the sketches don't look like much and in the end don't mean too much because the painting process takes over and things often turn out different. 

But since this piece has to be, very, carefully thought out and planned out - which I guess I should do more often to have a higher success rate in finishing in my larger paintings (as I count unfinished paintings and run out of fingers - blushes). So I thought I would be a quick watercolour painting rendition to get a better feel of colours and composition. This rendition - as shared above - is not complete. But, it begins to give more life and understanding to the random pen marks in the above sketch. As you can see, it already deviates from the sketch - as I thought it would...