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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finding Inspiration In My Garden

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  My garden gate is always open for you to come in and sit and relax with a up of tea while I share with you the inspirations for my art.  I bought some beautiful Sunflowers at Trader Joe's and combined them with  red Roses.  

Let's join Bentley, My Studio Assistant, in the garden to look for inspiration for a new painting for my dining room to replace one that is now hanging in the Heart of the Island gallery on Balboa Island.

I want to paint something with a flag, blue and white china and Sunflowers with  a beach cottage feel. My flag ends up in lots of my paintings!

My Inpatients have been beautiful this year until  recently when I noticed that some of them were dying. I spoke  to our local  nursery and found out that California has an airborne virus that is attacking our Impatient plants and within a year almost all of the plants will die as there is no a cure for the virus.

                                                       The last of my Inpatients.

                                 So sad to see them go as they are beautiful almost all year around .

                          I love adding touches of yellow in the garden to give a pop of color.

I ended up painting the flag in the background and arranging the Sunflowers in a blue and white vase and adding the  blue and white tea set on a yellow table cloth sitting on the Bistro table. 

                              Let's go inside and I will show you where I hung the new painting. The flag pillows scream Summer to me and I love putting them out in Spring and Summer.

               Bentley is all settled in and waiting for his "snack time" when I have a cup of tea.

The living room is right off the dining room and I wanted to coordinate the new painting to go with the ones in the living room.

Thank you for stopping by.  I love hearing from you and sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those of you who follow my blog.  Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special.  

Karen Valentine made me a new navigation bar so you can find old posts according to subjects. The Art 101 button will take you to some of my very, very simple tutorials on how to paint little seasonal garden signs. She also made me a pin so I can pin to Pinterest directly from my blog and you can now get to my pins directly from my blog..  I will be on a little blog break for a few weeks while I recover from knee replacement surgery and  hope to be able to paint some small flower paintings while going through the rehab portion and will share with you when I can.  

Have a lovely week.  Blessings,  Erin

                                    "Be ye kind to one another."  Ephesians  4:32

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Bloggers Create Blog Party

Welcome to Where Bloggers Create Blog Party 2013.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  My garden gate is open for you to come in and sit and relax while I share with you my creative spaces.  I am a flower painter living in Southern California and my garden is the inspiration for most of my art and my blog.  I call myself a Decorative Impressionist and my colorful garden is reflected in my art.

Let's join Bentley, my Studio Assistant, to take a little tour of the creative spaces where I paint in my garden before we go inside to my studio space where I also create. 

Bentley and Blossom, my Scare Crone, watch over the Garden and Studio.

Flowers, chairs and vintage garden objects in my garden are inspirations that  end up in my paintings.

The blue Bistro chair and flowers inspired this painting.

I like to group plants together along with my vintage garden treasurers in a vignette to paint the Garden Shop paintings.

My potting shed sign , vintage items, flowers and and Bistro chairs are the inspirations for the Potting Shed Paintings.

This is where I paint the Potting Shed paintings.

Let's join Bentley and go inside so I can share with you  my indoor studio where I also create.

My indoor studio is located in my 450 square foot garage.  I knew when I bought the house it would make a great art studio as it has very high ceilings with a loft feeling, a wonderful tall window, dry wall finished walls, and  lots of built in storage. I faux finished the concrete floor and divided the space with vintage shutters and screens. Last year I decided to enlarge my painting space to take up the entire garage and gave all of my screens, shutters, etc. to a friend for her home and garden shop.

In this shot you can see the window, storage cabinets and high ceilings. I have "day light" florescent lighting  and the lighting is great for painting - but hard to photograph!

Bentley loves to hang out in the studio with me.

I hung some of my art on the walls and the space feels more like a "loft style " art  studio now. The old green ladder is used to display flowers I am painting. I can open the door, which looks out onto the driveway/courtyard, if I need more light and also pull my car in at night.  I recently taught an art class to my art group, The EastSide Artists, and was able to easily seat eight artists in my new space.  The additional space has me now considering teaching more art classes!

I use the umbrella at art shows and leave it up as it creates the feel of a flower shop.  Most of the flowers in the French tins are silk so that I can have flowers year round when not in season if I need them to paint.  I also have some live plants in pots that grow quite well by the window.  The vintage wicker picnic baskets are used for storage.

I buy fresh flowers from the market for just a few dollars that have been marked down as " Managers Special" as the blooms are past their prime for selling, but perfect for me to paint.  

One of my favorite quotes: 

"I must have flowers, always, and always"  Claude Monet 

Water color pencils and brushes are stored in galvanize tins.  The red Bistro chair, basket, Sunflowers and blue Hydrangeas were used in the painting below.

I store my canvases and painting supplies in the built in cabinets along the wall.  I store my various garage tools, ladder, seasonal holiday decorations, etc. behind the white curtains under the built in cabinets.  I also have a curtain hiding my washer and dryer.

This is a little work area I created on the other side of the garage. The  vintage shutters behind the work table hide my exercise bicycle and provide more storage.  I find that I am a lot more creative now that I am organized and do not have to spend  time looking for things.  The white storage bins came from Joann's Fabric and I keep my art books, etc. in them.  The big white cabinet stores mismatched china and things that I use in my still life paintings. I found it in a neighbors trash and brought it home in the back of my SUV with one inch to spare!! It has an old mirror on top that reflects more of my items that I use in my paintings.  I also have storage under the work table behind the check curtains ( can you tell - I am real BIG on using curtains to hide unsightly things???)

As you can see - my mismatched china in the old white cabinet could use a little  more organizing!

I bought these adorable flower pots at the 99 cent store and they are great for keeping things organized as well as have a garden feel.

I also use my work table for painting  smaller paintings.

This is the other side of my studio. The large white buffet is used to store my paints and more garden props. The buffet has drawers with dividers for silverware and I use it to store paints. The curtains do a great job at hiding messy - but necessary  things.  They are stapled and I just undo the staples to wash them and then staple  them back up!

 Here is a shot of the entrance to the studio from inside the house showing the white buffet cabinet.  The tall curtain hides the hot water heater and tall items. The curtains  came from Target and were $7.95 each and have been a great inexpensive way to hide unsightly necessary things and create an all white background in my studio. The concrete floor was painted with patio paint about 12 year ago and has held up very well.

Paints are stored underneath in baskets according to color.

Thank you for stopping by to visit me and my creative spaces - I hope you enjoyed your visit. Blessings, Erin

 Many Thanks go to the fabulous and beautiful Karen Valentine for creating the 5th Annual Where Bloggers Create Blog party.  Please make sure that  you visit all of the Bloggers participating for a real treat at: 

"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24