Saturday, July 31, 2010
This month I was inspired to use the "rubbing" technique to create my miniature artworks.
We all know this method from our school art classes: place a piece of parchment paper over a textured surface and lightly pass your pencil over the paper in a windshield wiper motion. The texture is captured on the surface of the paper. This is a handy method to copy engravings that cannot be moved or are not suitable for photography (gravestones, wall carvings, embossed texts).
The design was borrowed from classical still life paintings. I made a sketch of the shapes on my ATC sized parchment paper, then went around the house looking for different textures to use for each shape: a cardboard book cover, a brass plate from Morocco, a tablecloth, etc.. Using different colored pencils, I filled out each shape.
From the top:
Martha Alf: Pears Series 11 #7, 1978
Paul Cezanne: Still Life with a Basket, 1888 (used only the top right corner).
Georges Braque: Still Life with Fruit and Stringed Instrument, 1938
Frida Kahlo: Still Life with Parrot 1951 (without the parrot)
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is the best time of year to take a walk in the vacant wastelands to pick a bouquet of wonderful "weeds". As a gardener, I would not welcome any of these plants in my garden: they would take advantage of the fertile soil and regular moisture to overwhelm my cultivated plants. No, these beauties thrive on poor soil, intense sun and drought.
Here is a list of some of the flowers I was able to identify:
bird's foot trefoil
Queen Anne's Lace
August flower (or lionstooth)
To identify your own collection of weeds, check out this great website.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Last month, I attended a special exhibition at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Horticulturalists from far and wide presented their special products: garden tools, floral arrangements, unusual perrennials or rare cultivars. I bought a small plant for $4.- that had no tag. Here you see the beauty it became. Sorry, no idea what the name of the plant is.
Another flowering plant (actually a vine) originating from tropical climates is the Aristolochia gigantea. They are grown by a nursery in St.-Remi, Quebec. The flowers are a feat of Nature's creative powers: purple brocade velvet bags about 12" across with a disturbing scent. Here is a picture of the one I saw in Montreal. Now I have the plant too. It can be kept outdoors in the summer and I am waiting for the first bloom.