Category Archives: My Adventures

Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic is now available

Native Plants book cover

Pinxter azalea

An exhibition of the paintings from the Botanical Artists for Education and the Environment (BAEE) book, American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic, will be held February 15 to June 15, 2014 at the U. S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.  My painting of the pinxter azalea is in this book and will be on display at the exhibit.

What surprised me about this project is how hard it was to find specimens from which to work. This plant is not rare, but it is not in bloom for very long. It took me three years to complete the project, because each time I found a stand of the plant, it was in bloom only for a few days and each year I had to find a new stand because the original plants had been destroyed by development or mowed down. It reminded me how important it is to preserve flowers like this, even though they are common now, their future is not assured.

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Photographing the Sunrise at Chincoteague Island VA

beach thin sky
Although I do not use photographs to make art work, I do, occasionally, use photography to help me observe subject matter.  Paintings made from photographs tend to look flat and lifeless.  However, I do use selected photographs to refresh my memory about details or lighting. It is often difficult to capture the detail needed for my drawings in a limited amount of time.  I always make sketches and plan my drawings but sometimes a good photograph can help me understand lighting or plant structure.

grass and texture1I am also considering drawing and painting birds, so I invested in a photography workshop at Chincoteague Island, VA.

Getting  up at 4:30 in the morning seemed more like boot camp than fun, but, once up, the views of the sun coming up were spectacular.  The challenge was to manipulate the shot with manual settings and get as much color in the sky as possible while still respecting detail in the foreground.   (I had trouble just setting up the tripod in the dark. Note to self, bring flashlight).


house on beach


chinc contrast