Another Three Pots

"Another Three Pots"
14" x 11"
Acrylic on canvas panel 
I painted a similar painting to this one during the summer when I was at the Botanic Gardens. I sold it soon afterward. This is one is a commission piece for a woman who liked what I had done, but wanted it larger and taller. This is how it turned out. 

When people see my website they are usually surprised at the variety of subject matter in at least four different mediums.  I'm often asked what I like to paint best?  My standard and honest answer is, "Whatever I'm painting at the moment."  When I did this knife painting in acrylic I thought, I could do this for the rest of my days.  Of course, come morning, I had forgotten about whatever I had finished the night before and moved on to the next fun thing.   It's all fun to me. I love whatever is on my easel.


Mid-October Morning

"Mid-October Morning"
12" x 12"
Acrylic on canvas panel
An outing to the Botanic Gardens in mid-October proved to be more beneficial than I had thought on that particular day. My eyes were accustomed to layers of brilliant colors of that season, so I tucked the photos away.  But yesterday when I revisited my cache of landscape photos, this one caught my eye. 

Compared to the monochrome of snow and ice in the real world, this looked mighty yummy.


Garden Steps

"Garden Steps"
18" x 24"
Pastel on canvas panel
This is my 1000th post to this blog and to  I decided to do a significant piece to commemorate the event. It's a shot from the Botanic Gardens I took last week. 

I joined about four months later… not to slight that wonderful organization. 

I never, ever expected to be able to continue posting after the first week of doing it. I thought my heart palpitations would never stop, but after a month, I was merely nervous. After a year I had gotten the hang of it, and by five hundred posts I was entirely comfortable.  Thank you dear followers for your comments, your affection and for purchasing pieces when the image has moved you.


Ned's Lily

"Ned's Lily"
8" x 10"
Pastel on canvas panel
I was given a photo of this lily from Friday's visit to the Garden.  It struck me as gorgeous when I saw it. I wanted to paint it immediately, but I had other subject matter in queue. So tonight when I sat down to paint, this one simply called to me. The puddle of water at the top was especially difficult to create, but I think it looks puddly, don't you?  

I appreciate when friends share their photos with me. I can't always be in the right place at the right time, but if some of us can, it helps!


Flaming Tips

"Flaming Tips"
20" x 16"
Pastel on hardboard
I found this cluster of pots at the Botanic Gardens in August when I was there with friends to paint en plein air. I photographed it for the sunlit leaves and the banana plant in the background. Bananas do not grow in Illinois, unless they're in pots, such as this one was.  

I thought I'd make a palette knife painting of the photo, but I'm in a pastel mood right now, and it suited my need for subject matter, again, on a larger scale than I've been doing. I'm pleased with the outcome.


English Walled Garden

"English Walled Garden"
8" x 10"
Acrylic on canvas panel
The storms that raged through the suburbs during the past few days skipped over the 385 acres that is the Chicago Botanic Gardens. No trees were downed or damaged. Visitors who stopped to chat while I painted there this morning agreed we were lucky to have only a few leaves on the walkways. 

We are fortunate, indeed, to have such a glorious place to visit, and have it spared when Mother Nature goes berserk.  


Dusk at the Garden

"Dusk at the Garden"
12" x 12"
Pastel on black canvas
The plant materials in this part of the garden were lit very theatrically, as it was very nearly dusk. The sun was streaming in from the side and grazing the tips of the stocks, and other companion plantings in this September landscape. 

I painted eleven canvas panels with black acrylic today and coated them with a couple of layers of clear gesso to create the magical texture I like for pastel. Here is a squiggle painting I worked on while listening mainly to Ray LaMontagne singing "Beg Steal or Borrow."


Ornamental Grass

"Ornamental Grass"
5" x 5"
Pastel on gessoed panel
Ornamental grasses waved in front of the blue and red salvia at the Botanic Gardens that day in August last year. A gusty breeze kept tossing them into the shot, so I made sure to include them in this particular composition. 

I'm back to doing a few small pastels while I work on a large oil painting.

Also, I don't believe I mentioned that I'm participating in a "Thirty paintings in Thirty days" event on Leslie Saeta's website. Check it out if you're interested.


This Morning

"This Morning"
10" x 8"
Oil on hardboard

I was at the Botanic Gardens this morning while the temperature rose to 98°.  I was in the shade inside a small structure in the English Walled Garden, looking across the pond, toward an island of flowers and trees.  I've been cold for a year, so this was my kind of day.

I believe this is my first willow tree, painted especially for Therese, who asked for one.

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Botanic Gardens Icons

"Botanic Gardens Icons"
25" x 13.5" 
Oil on four canvases

The Chicago Botanic Gardens, like many public places, has iconic spots that people designate as meeting areas. The English Walled Garden has many, including the three pictured here: the garden gate, the lily pond, and the Renaissance sculpture.

This piece was hanging in a corporate setting until it was removed to make room for team-building posters.  Fine art went out the door for propaganda. Sheesh. The three canvases are mounted on one large canvas that I marbleized. It's about an inch and a half thick.

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