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Monday, July 20, 2009

Looking for Lavender Inspiration

Welcome and thank you for stopping by. I am back from a painting vacation and would love to take you with me on a little tour to share with you the lavender inspirations I found for us to paint together. I am blessed to live in beautiful Southern California just several miles from the Pacific Ocean. We have mountains , lovely farm land , small lavender farms , and vineyards within a three hour drive from the coast. This year we decided to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings and find our inspirations to paint at our local flower and lavender farms.

Pour yourself a cool drink and let's go. First I need to pack my painting gear - my apron and hat are a necessity.

I wear gloves when painting outdoors to protect my hands from the sun and found the fun lavender rubber gloves at Debra's Cottage to add to my painting gear.
Throw in my paint brushes and off we go.
Well, before we get started I happened onto two white wicker chairs that were such a great deal I could not resist them. Bentley, my studio assistant, also went with us to look for inspiration.

On our way out of town our first stop is a slight detour to Balboa Island to show you this delightful and whimsical house with a crooked lavender fence and umbrella. The house even has a lavender clock in the garden surrounded by lavender hydrangeas.

OK, here we go!

Finding inspiration . . . . .

We found lots of beautiful flowers at the flower farm and nursery. Lovely lavender delphiniums.

A beautiful mixed bouquet.

A profusion of lavender flowers growing on a picket fence.

A lovely hanging basket filled with lavender and white flowers.

Lavender flowers with white daisies.

Here . . . . .

There . . . . .

Spanish Lavender

There . . . .

French Lavender

Everywhere . . . .

Lavender Sage

The wonderful road side stands selling fresh cut lavender inspired me to paint. I loved the stand with the yellow market umbrella and could not resist the delightful contrast of the yellow and lavender combination.

Roadside market.

Now, let's paint something together. I picked out lavender bouquets just for you to paint.

French Lavender Bouquet

Lavender Sage Bouquet

The buds on the Lavender Sage are larger and will be easier for you to paint. You are welcome to use either photo for your inspiration. Now let's get started. I am using an 8X10 canvas and base coated it with Naples Yellow and a little White. The Naples Yellow makes a very nice neutral background and looks wonderful with the lavender. My painting is a present for a friend who has a Country French kitchen and I decided to add "Herbs de Provence" to my painting.

First sketch your bouquet.

The colors I used are: dark purple, light violet, light blue violet, magenta, raw sienna, dark green, medium green and a green gray.

Next, paint in your darks - always paint from dark to light.

Now add a little touch of raw sienna and several shades of green for the stems. Lighten up the buds with lavender, blue violet and a touch of magenta and then add a little gray green to the entire bouquet. Note that I put dots of the gray green in between the buds. I always like to compare the painting to the inspiration.

Complete your bouquet and enjoy!

Thank you for visiting. I sincerely appreciate that you have taken the time to leave me a comment and to follow my blog. If you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Have a lovely week. Blessings, Erin

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Neighborhood Flowers

Welcome. Please take a stroll around my neighborhood and enjoy the summer flowers while I am taking a vacation and blog break. I will be painting the beautiful California lavender fields and when I return we will paint lavender bouquets together.

I hope you enjoyed your stroll. Thank you for visiting. Your comments mean so much to me and I sincerely appreciate that you have taken time to leave me a comment and follow my blog. If you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special, please leave me a comment of send me an e-mail. Have a lovely week and wonderful summer and I will see you in a week.
Blessings, Erin

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Bluebirds are Back

For a while the Southern California Blue Birds seemed to almost disappear. I was so excited to see a Blue Bird in my garden the other day. This called for a little celebration and inspiration for a new painting. Lets take Bentley ,my studio assistant, and look around my little garden for inspiration for a garden painting with a blue bird.

I find inspiration for my art in every day life and in the every day objects in my surroundings. I love old fabrics and can't bear to get rid of throw pillows - they usually end up on the chairs in my garden. We have very little rain this time of the year in Southern California and I am able to leave old pilllows out during the summer and fall.

Finding inspiration . . . .

I liked the fact that one of the pillows is blue and white stripe and decided to use the pillows in my painting . . . the blue pillow will add a touch of blue to my composition to compliment the bluebirds.

Here . . . .

I also wanted to add pink roses in the background to pick up the pinks in the fabric on the floral pillows.

There . . . . .

I like to repeat colors and adding the blue Hydrangeas will add more blue and bring harmony to the painting.

Everywhere . . . . .

And of course we need to add a garden hat to our garden painting.

Now that we found the inspiration for the garden painting, let's get started.

I have lots of birds in my garden and love to put them in my paintings . . . I feel they bring life and interest . . . next - I decided with so many birds in the painting that they need to have a bird house suitable for multiple birds and added the "birdhouse condo" with a red roof for a pop of color.

The finished painting named "Welcome Back Bluebirds".

Thank you for visiting. I love to hear from you and sincerely appreciate your taking time to leave me a comment and follow my blog. If you have any questions or would like to see my painting something special, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Have a lovely week. Blessings, Erin