Spring flowers have been popping up around here for a couple of months now.
I was so excited to see the pretties popping up all around our property. Every week or so, a new posy would open up. For some reason, I started snapping pics. I have no idea why. Heaven knows, I’m not a great photographer. To say nothing of a gardener. But I do believe that this house has the largest array of flowers of any I’ve lived in. The fact that I didn’t plant them, or do much to tend them, makes them even more that enjoyable.
I kept grabbing my camera, even though I couldn’t really see an entire blog post devoted to random spring flowers, blooming in the Sierra Nevada foothills, when the rest of the country for the most part was still buried in snow. Seemed a little . . . I dunno . . . not very nice somehow. But even though I don’t garden, I do love painting flowers. They’ve always been favorites of mine, and I loved teaching Indoor Garden Painting in the craft store to novice painters too. As my photo collection was enlarging, I thought I’d use them as photo references for painting tutorials.
Then it dawned on me . . . I already have a number of tutorials for painting Spring flowers . . . and maybe some of you enjoy painting flowers as much as I do. In which case, you’ll find my entire list of Flower Painting Tutorials at the bottom of this post.
And maybe some of you will know the names of the flowers that I don’t. Like this one above. Any ideas?
It looked like a daffodil from the side but has many more petals and no center, like other daffodils.
Just this one stem. No others like it anywhere around.
It bloomed a week or two later than the other daffodils.
Another early bloomer were the flowering branches. We have a small Flowering Quince, that I neglected to get a photo of. Poor thing. It really needs some shaping.
Now pruning, that I’m pretty good at. I’m not over-zealous . . . at least I don’t think I am . . . but I know to remove the cross-members that crowd the center of trees.
Bushes . . . they’re just at my mercy.
Like the Wisteria.
I mentioned when I first showed our home’s property how we have two wisteria vines on either side of our garage. You probably already know how wisteria can really take over, right?
Out came my shears for a little . . . haircut. For months there was nothing. No sign of any life, save for some greyish twigs and branches. Mom was worried. She was pretty sure I’d killed both wisteria.
I said a few prayers myself.
A few weeks ago, these little guys started popping out. *phew*
It seemed like overnight they all popped into their glorious sweeping displays.
Nature amazes me, it truly does.
This will be my reference shot for a painting of Wisteria. I just can’t decide between a watercolor-ish one or my regular full blown acrylic look.
These sweet little snapdragons came up along the side fence, to my surprise.
Actually, all of these flowers were/are a surprise since this is our first Spring in this house and I have little knowledge of garden flowers.
Behind the snaps are two stems of these white cuties that somewhat resemble Lily of the Valley, but not quite. There are only one or two blossoms on each stem. Any ideas what these are?
Also along the fence are bushes and bushes of this variety of Lavender. We have another variety too but it’s not close to bloom yet. I ‘harvested’ some of it last summer . . . and it’s still sitting in the storeroom . . . waiting for somebody to do something fabulous with it. I think I’ll let these blossoms stay just as they are for the bees to enjoy. (But I do want to paint a sprig or two.)
Fig trees are the funniest things, with their twisted and gnarled branches and a sprout of green at the very tip of each one. As they unfold, the tiny leaves take their familiar shape.
Yet another surprise were these white lilacs. I knew we had one fledgling purple lilac tree which is just starting to bloom, but these lacy white blooms seemed to come from nowhere. I was so pleased as we had a myriad of lilac bushes and trees at our old house.
I could go on and on, as each week another surprise blossom pops up, but I’ll share just two more photos . . .
These past few months have been unbelievably hard here, with my brother’s illness and passing, and the simpleness of Spring flowers has brought little glimpses of joy and renewal just when I needed them most.
I stopped by the drug store for something or other after my final visit to the skilled nursing facility and saw these sweet garden cherubs. (I call them angels, Mom says they’re cherubs.)
At my brother’s request, there was no memorial or service, which was fine with us. But I thought these little cherubs, nestled amongst the flowers and vines, would bring a reminder that John is at peace now.
I hope you’re enjoying some Spring wherever you’re at now. I also hope you’re getting some time to paint. I’m trying to, although at times the noise of my thoughts drowns out the silent brushstrokes and I have to find something else to distract my mind.
It’ll pass. Or . . . at least it will lessen a bit.
I don’t like being this familiar with Grief. I certainly don’t like having my creative work interrupted. But I’ve learned that you have to allow yourself to heal. And then start anew.
Just like Spring flowers.
Flower Painting Tutorials
Here is my complete list of flower tutorials. I’ll be working on a few more (like Wisteria) as I can.
- Cherry Blossoms You can use this tutorial for a lot of ’round’ flowers, like camellias, simply by changing the center details.
- Daffodils – basic layering method
- Daffodils – watercolor effect
- Hydrangea – 3 different ways to paint
- Hydrangea – layering method
- Hydrangea – video tutorial
- Lilacs – purple
- Lilacs – white
- Lilacs – simple ‘dipdot’ technique
- Paperwhite Narcissus
- Poppy – watercolor effect
- Queen Anne’s Lace
- Sunflower, large
- Simple Spring Flowers – video tutorial
- Wildflowers – with fabric markers
- Paint Flowers in 15 Minutes – simple ‘dipdot’ method