Leaf of the Day: Busy Bees, Big Paintings and Blog Interview

Me and the bees have been very busy this weekend. I have been working on the big paintings and the bees have just been working. I think the bees are making more progress.

I have taken a few photos recently where the bees are slightly better than just a blur.

Here, approaching the Toothache Tree.

Here, with Lemon Blossom.

Here, on a Banana flower.

Here, high in the sky, with the strange Grevillia flower, which I would love to draw but all are way out of normal human reach.

Here with the Lemon Bottle Brush…where the mocking birds were also helping themselves to the nectar.

Here approaching the stunning, huge Shaving Brush Flower, which I will hopefully paint as one of my white flower series, all those stamens are a bit daunting though.

and lastly on the Sweet Almond..


A big thank you to Karrita at mymothersgardens.blogspot.com who was also busy getting my images onto blogger. She was kind enough to ask for a short online interview for her interesting series “Artists in the Garden”, which you can read here.
I was delighted to oblige.

I have been wrestling all weekend with the big tree pattern paintings which have taken on lives of their own (as paintings often do). They are not really as I had planned and were not as simple as I had hoped. The twisting live oak branches are just about finished and the lone pine three quarters finished. Just before I had to stop for the night I added some lightning. The paintings really reflect my experiences of my time here, what I have noticed and what makes an impression on me. The summer storms are spectacular and something I will always remember. Although the paintings are not finished I put them on the wall to get away from them both physically and mentally for a while, but with only a week to go to the exhibition and much to do, they may just stay there.

Two Trees

Leaf of the Day: Two big trees, First Stages

I decided yesterday that I have not really made enough drawings or paintings which celebrate the trees at the Gardens. I have drawn the leaves and pods but seldom really addressed the grander aspects. For the bigger subject, I feel that a bigger canvas, well larger than a 9 inch square sketch book, is required, so with two spare 3ft x 2ft canvases, I spent the weekend planning two tree paintings.
I have gone back to look at my sketches and two particular trees stand out, the huge live oaks, particularly the one which overhangs the path to the White Garden and the solitary pine which grows near the South Woods Pavilion. The main preoccupation in the live oak sketches, which go back to last April, seems to be the twisting branches and with the little pine tree it was the silhouette, at one time set against a stormy sky. So, after much deliberation about possible colour, orientation and composition, I have decided on two very simple paintings which focus on the patterns of the branch structures, and looking up rather than looking down which is what I am normally doing.

Live Oak Sketches

The Live Oak near the path to the White Garden

Lone Pine Sketches

So today I am as far as this, below (not a brilliant snap), two canvases at the initial stages. I generally like this stage .. it always hold promise. The low flying aircraft with the paint drip in the first one will be a bird eventually ! The problem with posting work on the the blog is that there is no real sense of image size. The sketches look disproportionately huge and the big paintings very small but these below are 3ft x 2ft..