There are a lot of flowers that I used to grow before moving to Florida that I can't seem to get working in the garden here. Iris are probably one of the flowers I miss having the most, so I tend to photograph and paint them a lot when we travel. This blue iris was at the botanical garden in Austin Texas.
Each spring we get to see a wild show of yellow cactus blossoms on the beach road at Fort Clinch after the rain. I have a collection of photos taken over the past few years from bike riding out that way but this is the first painting from those images. Ironically as often as we are in the southwest it is in Florida that the cactus flowers captured my attention.
While we were at the north rim last year smoke from the wildfires in Idaho would tint and blanket the canyon depending on the wind. I am still experimenting with capturing those canyons, this time in watercolor.
The white bird of paradise in my back garden has bloomed in two cycles this year with huge flowers. I have taken photos practically all summer of those plants and now need to get painting....
This is the first of what has come from this year's bloom
Summer is hanging on here in NE Florida and the end of our local sunflower crop is in sight. I have been working in watercolor exploring the different yellows that can come through two hues I have in the paintbox. These two flowers are on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as intensity of color so it was challenging to tone down for the hollyhocks after painting the sunflowers.
A while ago I picked up some iridescent watercolors that were donated to the IAA. I hadn't really played around with them much but yesterday ran across them in the studio and decided to see what I could do with them. This painting is adapted from a sketch that was in one of my sketchbooks from a couple of years ago. I was trying to get that golden, late afternoon haze that sometimes appears over the greenway marsh. The paints give a very faint sparkle to the background and some of the highlight areas. Unfortunately my point and shoot photography doesn't capture that paint quality.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening of the Wednesday Oil Painters show last night. If you haven't seen the show, stop in at First Coast Community bank and go upstairs to their gallery area anytime the bank is open.
Here is my latest painting for oils. The hibiscus in the garden stores this year have been particularly varied and beautiful. These blooms caught my eye last month and even though I didn't have any place to plant them I thought I would just bring them home on canvas.
After the show at 7th Street it was brought up to me that there were only 3 landscapes out of 20 paintings and that perhaps "less flowers, more landscapes should be painted..." So, in that spirit here are two landscapes I have just finished in oil. The Greenway Reflections painting will be in the Island Art Association Nouveau Show opening during the Artrageous Artwalk this Saturday. Hope to see you there.
There is an absolutely amazing botanical garden in San Antonio where I spotted these red Anthuriums peeking out of the leaves in the tropical flower conservatory. They looked like they wanted to fly up into the light like some strange red butterfly getting ready to take off.
The show at the 7th Street Gallery opened last night. Thanks to everyone who came out to see it and to Margaret and Wayne Howard at the gallery for hosting and making the work look so great in that space. It can still be seen on the next two Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, or by calling the gallery.
The month of May is
synonymous with Spring and fresh new beauty. What could personify this more than
the paintings of Susan Henderson presenting a new suite of work at the Seventh
Street Gallery. “Painting is my passion, my compulsion, and my mystery, all in
one. It has been a lifelong journey, never failing to inspire and challenge
Henderson works in watercolor, acrylics and oil, moving easily
between the mediums, exploring as well as exploiting the differences of each
medium’s unique properties. For example, she may use the transparency of
watercolor with the buildup of paint layers to achieve a rich fullness; in
direct contrast to the plastic nature of oil paint in which a brush or palette
stroke is preserved as a distinct movement of the artist’s hand.” Every piece I
create presents the opportunity to make a lasting, unique statement of how I
perceive my world. My current work includes landscapes inspired by my latest
travels and a number of new beautiful botanicals.”
The reception is
Saturday, May 11, from 5:00 - 8:00 PM at the Seventh Street Gallery, at 14 South
7th Street (across from LuLu’s)
in downtown Fernandina. The show can also be viewed the following two Saturdays
during the Farmers’ Market hours, 9 AM - 1 PM. As this is a historic
property, it is not handicap accessible. For questions, directions, and
alternative viewing times, please call (904) 432-8330.
Seventh Street Gallery
14 South 7th St. Fernandina Beach, FL
(904) 432 - 8330 (904) 491 -
5269 (between Ash and Centre, across from LuLu's
Restaurant) in DowntownAs this is a historic property,
it is not handicap accessible. For questions, directions, or alternative viewing
times, call (904) 432-8330.
Show Times and Additional Showings:
The Artrageous Artwalk is held on the Second
Saturday of the month from 5:00 - 8:00
Many activities on Saturday evenings make
it difficult for everyone to attend the Gallery's reception, therefore we are
also open during the downtown Farmer's Market hours (9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) on
the two Saturdays following each show. The artist may or may not be in
attendance. If those times are inconvenient, give us a call to make other
Well my family has gone back home and the studio is almost back together so I am working on getting the final paintings ready for my show at the Seventh Street gallery on May 11. Hope to see you all there.
I have been exploring oils with a group on Wednesday afternoons for a while now and may finally be getting a feel for the paint. Going back and forth between oil and watercolor is challenging but the differences in the medium and how I paint with them is kind of fun in a schizo sort of way..
I painted the flowers below to make myself use a tube of magenta paint that came with a set of oils my husband had given me. It is a color I had not used before except in tiny quantities to see how it mixed with other hues. Making it the base for a major part of the painting forced me to explore the color and its possibilities. Magenta has now been making its way onto the pallette for more paintings as its vibrant hue gives some added punch to mixed reds and oranges.
Well I have been painting this on and off for over a year so I am finally throwing in the brush and calling it done. These aspens were alongside the road in northern New Mexico and the yellow leaves fairly glowed in the light.
After fighting two separate head colds, I have only managed one new painting so far this year. I seem to be stuck on the flower portraits but they just got bigger when I ran out of small panels. The fun part of painting a flower so large is that it becomes just abstract shape and pattern at some point in the process. This piece really points to that abstraction as I had a lot of fun just layering and layering color to see how many different reds I could coax from a limited palette.