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Posts tagged “flowers

Dipladenia flowers in aquarelle.

We have a humid summer this year…hot and humid which isn’t normal for us. One can clearly see the effect on us humans. Our energy gets sapped by the humidity and many a day I , who adores heat, feel like a limp fish on these mucky days. The Mediterranean plants even more so. These Dipladenias enjoy heat and dry summers , so too they  struggle with the heavy humidity.  With not their usual abundance of flowers, they still bloom and show off beautifully, quite different from me, who struggled to stay focused on my sketching with no blooming and showing off in sight.


..watercolour and pen on Arches watercolor block, HP, 18x26cm..

dipladenia 5844x4108

à bientôt


September 3: Une rose trémière(Hollyhocks)

Time for the hollyhocks to bloom. An olde world flower that reminds me of Maman and her friends. They all had hollyhocks in their gardens, growing through the cracks in old pavements, pushing through gravel, leaning against old walls. They still do push up through all the cracks and walls, all over the French countryside, turning their bright pink and soft white blooms to greet the warm September rays.

..une rose trémière..

Pen and watercolor on watercolor paper, HP,  23x30cm

une rose trémière

à demain


September art – 1(the last artichoke)

With all this beauty in September, shouldn’t I be out there..sketching and painting? Of course. And that is the plan.

Today delivered this artichoke. The last one which were left to flower. The others have already gone completely dry, but that reminds me too much of endings, which I don’t want yet, so let’s stick with the flowery one.

..The last artichoke..

Watercolour and pen on watercolor block, HP, 18X26 cm.

artichaut en aquarelle

If I can keep it up..my self discipline I mean, I’ll produce a painting and sketch every day for this September, starting today. Even though it is still summer, there are already trees in the forest which are turning slightly yellow and the all greens with the touches of yellow are quite spectacular. The ferns in the forest are also turning into magnificent yellows, while they are still beautiful strong plants, not wilted or dead. The fields have been cut for hay and are pushing the last stretch of greens,which turn them into patches of greens and beiges, with the cattle still grazing…beautiful views.

à demain(until tomorrow)



Artichokes ands olive trees.

My artichoke plants are reaching enormous dimensions and the artichokes are beautiful. Some land in the kitchen and some stay on the plant to seed into beautiful blue purple flowers.


watercolor and pen in watercolor le coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

artisjokke Skets

Three small olive trees in terracotta pots on the table..Hopefully not too long before I’ll have a tiny olive grove…that will be something! But for the time being I’ll indulge in the terracotta pots.

…three olive trees…

watercolor and pen in watercolor le coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

oliviers sketse

The past two years have been difficult in terms of painting, sketching and it is clear..tight, tight, tight..is the work! I am leaving for a few days in Provence, very quick there and back. The sketchbooks are packed and I hope to squeeze in some sketches. No better place than Provence to stimulate the creativity again.

…à bientôt…


Nasturtiums in watercolour

The nasturtiums are slow off the mark this year..our summer being cold and very wet and a nasturtium a lover of warmth. But they are getting there and the flowers as always, playful and gay!

..red nasturtium..

watercolor and pen in Le Coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

Capucine 1

..yellow/apricot nasturtium..

watercolor and dipping pen with “Lie du thé” ink from J. Herbin in Le Coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

Capucine 2-001

…à bientôt…


Geraniums for a postcard

My very late postcard to Bridget consisted of geraniums, done way back when it was still summer.

..Summer geraniums..

-pen and watercolour on watercolour paper-

..summer geraniums in gouache and pen, on handmade paper..

Sketching everyday in May – 1 May 2012

Les muguets de 1er Mai..

..Lily of the valley..

watercolor and pen in Daler & rowney watercolor sketchbook, 254x178cm


Just some sketches.

I have done just some sketches. Nothing in particular. Just taking out a pen and small watercolor tin and putting something on paper.

…two plants on a coffeetable of a shop…

…a third potplant on another coffee table…

…a branch of berries picked on one of my walks…

All sketches done in pen and watercolor wash on Arches paper, 18x26cm

Amaryllis in watercolor

Joyeux Noël 2010!

Watercolor and pencil on Fabriano watercolor paper, 31×23 cm.


Garden sketches in December 2010

I stuck my nose out in the cold today…just outside the atelier and sketched the Jack Frost plant, whitered from the frost and the dry iris sculptures and a tree and shrub, struggling to hold onto some last colour.

..whithering Jack Frost(Brunnera macrophylla)..

..Plum tree..


..Dry Siberian iris pods..

…à la prochaine…


Autumn sketches I..hydrangeas in an autumn garden.

I’ve cleaned my garden, prepared it for autumn and the colours are already turning beautiful golds and reds…and old colours, like the hydrangeas.

This afternoon was the first of my art afternoon with MArie-Christine. We do such different work, which is inspiring. I forgot to ask her psrmission to show her piece here today, but she will be continuing next week, and maybe even the week after, so keep an eye open on Thursdays to see how we progress on our pieces.

For today I only did two sketches in pen and watercolor, but from next week on I’ll also do more serious work…I was so fatigued today and didn’t have the energy to do an oil painting..

Sketches of the autumn hydrangeas in the garden just outside my atelier..

both sketches in pen and watercolor in sketchbooks.

…hydrangeas and greens…

…hydrangeas and urn…

Oil painting- sunflowers.

Sunflowers look so easy to paint, but it is everything but easy! One can either paint it too stiff and controlled, depleting it of all character, or it can be painted sloppy, in which case it looks as if you didn’t know what you were doing. I think I fall in the second category. But it sure is fun to paint! Robyn made the remark that sunflowers remind her of happy people. While  painting these, even when scraping off and starting over, even when throwing sunflowers 2 out the barn door and picked it up afterwards and finally completed it… I was happy. The colours, the shapes, the smell of the oils, the touch of the sunflowers, the buzzing bee around the paints and flowers, the leaves wilting and drying and taking on shapes of their own….I was happy. Still am.

…sunflowers 2…

oil on canvas, 41x33cm (16,1″x12,9″)

I did struggle a bit with sunflowers 1…he composition gave me trouble and I overworked it completely. It actually had a stage where it was perfect…sort of undone, half finished, a slight background with an attractive unfinished look. And I just had to add a touch here and there, which eventually turned into a completely different painting and I lost that “unfinished” stage forever. Fortunately , there is always the next one.

…sunflowers 1

oil on cotton, 38x46cm (14,9″x18,1″)

Wildflower sketches

In spring the wildflowers are just beautiful. At Coin Perdu, the hills are covered yellow Pissenlits,  ( dandelions). On my sketchercise walk, I normally only take a pen or pencil, but since this was a long but leisurely walk, I took my watercolour paints as well. Put on my straw hat, walking boots and wandered into the hills, losing myself in the sun and flora.

All sketches done in my Coin Perdu garden journal with pencil and watercolor.

…buttercup and dock…


…our wine crate table top which greeted my on my return…

…the latest addition to our family…Petronella and Stephanie…

Hawai’i: sketches and chronicles 1

Safely back home from Hawai’i, with unforgettable memories, tons of photos(for memories, paintings and snazzy shooting!) a heatlhy tan, fit as a fiddle, tired and dizzy with jet lag and hungry for french coffee!

Since Hartman spent his time with convention meetings, I had all the time in the world to selfishly do my own thing. I walked a lot, picked up things on my way and sketched them in our “room with a view”, when alone in the evenings. I carried my camera and sketchpad with me during the day, hiked long stretches up and down the coast and stopped every now and then to indulge in sketching some part of nature or the many art statues and animals around.

…findings along the way…

hawaii sketch 1

We were on Kona, the big island, still very quiet and undeveloped in comparison to the others and to me, up until now a world unknown. Taking about 6 hours to travel around the whole island, you travel through rain forests the one minute passing an empty desert the next, cows grazing fields follows shortly after, just to suddenly make way for dry volcano rock and finally ending in sandy beaches and tropical flora.

I found the trip very inspirational and came back home with some ideas for paintings. I’m not sure whether “island painting” is really me, but I am looking forward to the challenge of putting something different on canvas than what I’ve done up to now. Even if it is just for memory sake, because I don’t think I have the courage to go that way again…the long flight and stops are far too challenging for me!hawaii sketch 2

Some sketches…seed pods and flowers picked up from the ground. Parts of a statue captured here and there. Up until the day we left, the coffee table was covered with findings from every day along with pens and watercolour pads and palettes and a note I left to the cleaning lady…to leave it all as it is. She was so cute – she would take the dirty glass I use for my watercolour and replace it with a clean one every day. She would also leave me a little pile of napkins next to my palette. By the last day, the leaves were dry, the flowers wilted, the napkins all used up and I felt quite emotional to throw it all in the bin. To me it was a story which came to its end. I’m always sad when a story ends, even when the end sails happily off into the sunset.

hawaii sketch 3

hawaii sketch 4

All  sketches were done in the aquarelle moleskine with rotring pen and watercolour.

We had the most beautiful view from our room with the sunset straight in front of us over the ocean. The doors to the balcony stayed open all the time we were there. We fell asleep with the sound of crashing waves in our ears and we woke up with the smell of the ocean whifting in through the open doors early morning. I could live a life like this – the tempo slow  and almost heavy with laid back pace, stressless,  nonchalant, with hips swaying and flowers bouncing in tied back hair.

…from early morning…

early morning 2 9-24-2009 6-34-14 PM

…to sunset…

sunset 3

See some more photos here at Myfrenchkitchen: Travel.

To be continued…

Walk and sketch 1

A post for Sketchercise.

With a little bit of time on my hands I put on my heavy hiking boots..urgh.. and took off for a walk. All the flowers on shrubs have made room for berries of all colours. Since I am in the process of noting all the fauna and flora in this area, I dragged along my  sketching palette, which is boringly still the same as you’ll see in this link, except that my sketchbook might be the small moleskine or the normal one…watercolour of course. I like the paper of the watercolour moleskine.

Tokala and Aiyani tailed along, until they realized to their horror that we were going further than normal. That had them plonk down under the apple tree, all the while complaining about my imbecility. On my promise to give them joghurt back home, they sulkily agreed to wait under the apple tree. I kept my promise.

…prunellier and aubepine…

berries 1

…bramble, stinging nettle and dock leaves…

berries 2

All sketches done in rotring pen and watercolour in watercolour moleskine.

Le Boss is in Paris – sketches

le Boss is away!!

le boss is away 1le boss is away!

It has been quite a while that I held a sketch pen and book in my hand, but now that le Boss is in Paris for the week and I am alone at Coin Perdu, I took my chance to go from …



…and this…

cement mixer

…to this…

thistle and rosehipsAll sketches in rotring pen and watercolour in moleskine.

Sunflowers in France – to sketch and paint

I’m not making the same mistake as with the poppies. The sunflowers are out and I’m ALL over them with eyes brushes and lenses!

I’m posting one or two photo’s here and you can see all the rest of the sunflowers here.

For those who don’t have access to sunflower fields or who are stuck in cities or those who want to work in their atelier, I invite you to download any of these photos and PAINT it, or SKETCH it, or DRAW it. If you want a photo bigger than 500 x 333(what they are posted in here), drop me a note and I can send it to you in bigger format.  BUT PLEASE! these photos are only for those who want to draw or paint it! For any other purposes, feel free to ASK me…I can be a very nice person!

I am off to the sunflower fields myself tomorrow with my easel and paint and will hopefully turn up with something worthy of the sunflower’s exuberance!


…sunflowers to paint and sketch…

sunflowers 1sunflowers 2sunflowers 4sunflowers 11sunflowers 19sunflowers 24sunflowers 6sunflowers 17sunflowers 13sunflowers 12sunflowers 9

Crocus painting

I’m still frantically struggling artwise. It may not seem so, but I am.

I’ve spent some ample time sketching and drawing, doing contour work, splashing paint and it still feels as if I’m slopping through mud.  I suppose I am in the low part of the creative cycle and will need patience and perseverance to rise again. Patience doesn’t come easy for me, especially when I have  a new book of artists in hand and see what amazing talent and excitement and original creativity are happening in the art world! Then I “intensely dislike” the slushing here in my mud pool!

…a little colour in mud…


Watercolour on Fabriano artistico paper HP, 30x23cm (11,8″x9″)

A while back Lindsay posted some of her comments which I found a great idea;  sometimes there is such valuable info and support in the comments which we miss out on.  I’m going to follow her lead and post some comments of my previous post. From these comments it is clear how many/all artists relate to these feelings of frustration, understand the creative struggle and recognize their own share of lows with personal experience and bits of advice here and there. These are the things I learn from on my daily creative journey…

…..”the nice thing about things forgotten is that they come back again quickly, and one has the chance to change a thing or two about them”… said Gesah.

…”Sometimes when work shows a little struggle in the birthing it only makes it more pleasurable to see. I learned that from a painting I did that when I looked at it I could only see the struggle. A viewer told me they loved it BECAUSE they could see the struggle which gave it much more drama and excitement than the ordinary pretty picture it might have been without the struggle”…said Jana.

…”sometimes those ‘tough love’ approaches do us the most favours…” said Cathy

…”like anything else you have to warm up first. If I’ve not been on my bike for 2 months, I am shaky and breathless just going down the road – but after a couple of rides, I’m back in the saddle. The same with drawing for me – if I’ve not drawn for a while, I do the most clumsy, embarassing drawings until I get my eye back in again”… said Carole

…”sometimes our brains get in the way of our making”…said Maureen

…”I really learn when an artist shares the process she has gone through. We can all sympathize with those times when the creative juices seem frozen”…said Annie

…”I have a tutor who echoes in my head in the same way :>) when going through a bad patch on the degree and being very nervous of him (he was very acid and didn’t suffer fools gladly) I was was overworking the paint. Each time he walked by he said ‘put it down (the paint) and leave it ALONE’, ’round the class …. back to me …. and he’d say it again and again! It worked”…said Vivien

…As far as I can tell, for a certain type of artist (of which I am one and I think you are, too), it’s always a process of learning, losing the way for a time, relearning, picking up new materials, re- finding old ones, circling back to old themes and concerns, recalibrating, rethinking, refocusing. It’s a lifetime thing. Or so I think. I try to be accepting of the process, as dispiriting as it sometimes seems”…said Laura

…Art doesn’t come out in an even stream, but we go backward and forward and through all kinds of loops and spins”…said Bill Fulton

…I guess those things work like when you have a bad hair day – YOU see it very well in the mirror, but everybody else thinks you just look like you always do”…said Nina.

…”Sometimes what seem to be harsh words sink deeper and do good even if they can feel soul destroying when they are spoken”…said Jeanette

…”I can empathize with what you said. I know when I have not painted or drawn for an extended period of time, there’s a little reluctant anticipation….kind of like the sensation of jumping into cold water…but once in…. it feels good”…said D Prizzi.

…”But painting, like riding a bike, will again come naturally”…said Desirée.

(a recent comment)…”these things definitely do come and go in cycles, don’t they? One of the things that is always hard for me to remember is that the cycle moves more quickly if I still show up and work every day. (There’s a good book about this that I should probably re-read — “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield.)”…said Turningturning

Hydrangeas and awards

The hydrangeas in my garden are supposed to be blue, but the soil doesn’t play along. They start out with tints of blue and then turn a dark, bright pink, almost red. It makes for a very pinkish/reddish painting, but at least I had fun doing it.

This was done with watercolour on Fabriano artistico, HP extra white, 23×30,5 cm.

…hydrangeas, red and blue…

I also want to thank Mark from Paper Raven Art, Pamyla from Musings and Maggie from Scquiltaddict, for this award. I really appreciate it.

Like everybody else, I also would like to pass it on to so many people and since I feel I can’t stop at five names, I decided that I would this time like to pass it on to Cathy G at Asketchintime, who does beautiful art, experiments with all kinds of media, who often tries new directions, new techiniques, new approaches. She is an inspiration as well as a supportive friend. No obligations Cathy!

The red tulip

Like last year, this single red tulip once again made its appearance in my all white and blue  garden. And like last year, I accept it and welcome it. It has become quite a game and I’m amused by the tulip’s proudness and dedication to defeat me. It reminds me of a guy I once knew at university who wouldn’t give up either.


He was madly in love with me, completely, head over heels..and yes, he was sort of cute too, I thought at that stage. I was staying in a hostel for girls on campus, fourth floor out of six, overlooking beautifully tended campus gardens. And he was staying in a hostel for boys, way off, on the other side of the campus. That’s how it was those days. No men allowed in the girls’ hostels and vice versa, which made for very exciting experiences! Except of course, for visiting hours in the lounge downstairs.

Very regularly, he would show up at my hostel, long after visiting hours, on nights when the moon was showing off in the sky and the stars were sparkling impatiently with anticipation. With his guitar and a red rose and his best friend, I would be charmed with unashamedly beautiful love songs from the garden under my window. Their strong, deep melodious voices, trained from years of singing, had every girl hanging out their windows along with me, losing ourselves in the charm and romance of “old world courting” from down below.  Beautiful beautiful brown eyes, would always be on the list of songs and their voices would fade away in the distance with Goodnight ladies. My red rose, always stolen from an overflowing garden somewhere, would be left on the windowsill downstairs at the front door, for the hostel had already firmly been locked up for the night.

And so it happened that he got caught one night while stealing my red rose. He unfortunately chose the garden of the Professor of engineering, with whom he was very well acquainted…! He was allowed the rose, but had to work the Professor’s compost heap for two weekends. For a while, it was slow on the rose-serenading-scene and we all missed it..all the ladies, that is. Then one night there he was again, with a stolen red rose and guitar and his best friend. The cute guy I once knew. And who I still know. He is my husband.

Summer guests

Every summer our Bed and Breakfast is fully booked. Mostly by regulars who visit year after year, finding our meals unsurpassed, our hospitality most gracious and our facilities nothing but quality; in short, five star accommodation at a reasonable price.
Mr Frog arrived later than usual this year and is still awaiting the lady of this affair to arrive. Every evening he protests his discontentment at her not being here yet, in his distinguished baritone voice. I hope she arrives soon, I don’t like seeing my guests unhappy.


Once again we had the honor of assisting in the arrival of Mr and Mr Swallow’s young ones. What a lovely couple they are, so caring and loving and protective of the live they have created. the happy event happened only 5 days ago and it was a grand event here. We opened up a bottle of bubbly and all the guests attended to celebrate the wonder of new life and admire the 5 adorable infants.


 Miss White butterfly brought many more of her friends along this year and I really had to be inventive to accommodate all these teenagers. But I love every minute of their delightful company! We have come into the habit of sharing an hour or so together every afternoon, where I learn from them all about being a delicate and beautiful and delightful adolescent again. Along with the ever roaming dark and handsome bees, they enjoy energetic parties until late night, Fortunately the neighbors haven’t complained yet. I suspect they know and understand all about the habits of these young people.


 We are also very honored to accommodate very well-known international models in our B&B every year, miss Dragonfly and company. They keep mostly to themselves, are very discreet and love their privacy. But when the moment shows itself, I’ll stare at them shamelessly, wishing I had their elegance and beauty Soon they will all be moving on to make room for the next half of the summer guests, leaving me just enough time to tidy up, restock the pantry and put out fresh flowers. The arrival of our summer guests, is a highlight in the season, something we look forward to year after year.
All these sketches were done in pen and WC in moleskine.



Tonniece said…
It sounds so super there, with all the guests, the night sounds, and the beginnings of new life.
Wonderful wc’s depicting all that activity.
June 13, 2007 11:17 PM  
Jenny said…
You have such beautiful, interesting guests! Seems they give you infinite pleasure in return for your excellent accommodations. You are wise to appreciate your exciting life.
June 13, 2007 11:30 PM  
Lin said…
June 13, 2007 11:34 PM  
Andrew said…
too much fun…couldnt wait to see what you were terming your summer guests…lol
June 14, 2007 12:00 AM  
Anonymous said…
Love this B&B!hfm
June 14, 2007 12:48 AM  
juj said…
Your sketches are – as always – simply wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the story. I have a much nicer perspective on the wildlife in my yard now. Thanks for the much needed break in my day.
June 14, 2007 12:54 AM  
Brenda Y said…
You had me going!! I was thinking, “hmm, I didn’t know Ronell ran a B & B,” only to discover very shortly the true identity of your “guests!” Outstanding story and FABULOUS sketches!! Loved every word and brush stroke.
June 14, 2007 1:21 AM  
bec said…
you had me going too! so cool, I thought….she runs a b&b! HA! You’ve brought your guests to life for me with your beautiful watercolors! Thank you!
June 14, 2007 2:22 AM  
mARTa said…
Well, it’s not going to take much more than this to convince me that I MUST come for a night and see what all this magic is about! I’ll have to email you soon so we can work out some dates! Will the dragonfly models be gone by October…so sad that I might miss them! What a midsummer night’s dream you live!
June 14, 2007 4:01 AM  
Nancy said…
I love it when I click on my digest e-mail and find that you have posted new sketches. It makes my day!
June 14, 2007 4:03 AM  
good with color said…
These are some of the nicet summer drawings/paintings I have seen in a long time. They will be great to look back to when cold weather returns with its different visitors. Your accompanying notes are a joy to read.
June 14, 2007 5:48 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a treat! These are just delightful, Ronell. It’s so much fun to see all your ‘guests’ close up. I feel honored to have heard Mr. Frog complaining in person. You’ve brightened up this grey day for me – thank you!
June 14, 2007 11:32 AM  
Ujwala said…
i love all of them! very very nice. i hope mr frog finds his companion soon.
June 14, 2007 1:18 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell! I did not know you ran a B and B for such elegant visitors. I’m very impressed. My compliments to the gardner!This post is the essance of summer!
June 14, 2007 3:17 PM  
Sandy said…
Love your B&B post with the description of its’ guests. This was so fun Ronell. Paintings are beautiful and delicate as usual. Don’t let those teenagers wear ya out okay…I’m having the same problem with mine…very energetic and raucous…I must subscribe to your emails..I always come late to the party.sandy
June 14, 2007 5:07 PM  
Christeen said…
What a charming narrative- I felt like I was there, marveling at your guests in person :)
Your paintings are beautiful!
June 14, 2007 5:14 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, you are just a blast – Lovely work as always! What a treat to be your Guest!!
June 14, 2007 5:15 PM  
Diahn said…
How lovely! If you ever start accepting human guests, I believe I’ll have to make a flight over and stay a while – such fabulous and interesting company it would be!!
June 14, 2007 6:02 PM  
Carole said…
Your blog is just a delight to read and look at! You’ve managed to make me smile on a cold, wet day here – thank you.
June 14, 2007 6:19 PM  
Robyn said…
They are beautiful guests, Ronell, the very best kind, I think. I would adore to have Swallows born in my garden and a cloud of butterflies in the lavender was one of my most magical early memories of a European summer.
Now I’m going to subscribe to your blog so I don’t arrive last with my praise!
June 14, 2007 7:40 PM  
Lynn said…
What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I love your sketches.
June 14, 2007 9:47 PM  
Dave said…
You make it look and sound idyllic! Wonderful post.
June 15, 2007 12:03 AM  
martha said…
Wonderful nature sketches – so loose and colorful!
June 15, 2007 12:54 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What wonderful sketches and I just love the way you write! It’s what makes your blog so interesting.
June 15, 2007 1:40 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Ok Ronell, here’s the deal. You have a contest offering the winner a weeks all expenses paid vacation to your b & b, then you pretend to honestly pick the winner… but all along it will be me that gets to come. Oh what fun it will be.Oh the other hand…. have you ever given thought of writing an illistrated book of a summer or fall etc in the life of Ronell? I think it would be wonderful to read and look at. You have such a way with words and paints…….. Give it some thought, for us, your fans.
June 15, 2007 5:16 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the kind comments.
You made an interesting point there, Sandy and Robyn…subscribing to a blog? I don’t know how that works and thought that was for “professional bloggers”…I would also like to subscribe to some work, because I also arrive late with comments…tell me too how to do it!
June 15, 2007 6:28 PM  
Desiree said…
OH what fun you are! I loved the story and was ready to sign up to visit your B&B, maybe you should think about writing ads for peoples business’! Great work.
June 15, 2007 7:21 PM  
Sandy said…
oh boy…how to have a subscribe button..I would go to the dashboard and read up from there. Maybe it will talk about it. If not just google how to put email subscription on blog, that ought to do it..but I would definitely sign up. I wanna be in line FIRST…its’ all about me, don’t ya know..hahaha.
June 16, 2007 7:30 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
This was such a delight to read and see. I’m awed by your creativeness, sense of humor and talent. A little butterfly landed on my knee the other day in my backyard and I got to study it for a quite awhile. It reminded me of how my mother used to give me “butterfly kisses” with her eyelashes as it was so delicate and gentle.
June 17, 2007 8:08 AM  
luci said…
Love, *love*, the story, Ronell. And of course the beautiful pictures that illustrate it all. Your garden is as magical as the one in Secret Garden. :)

A handful of happiness

“Je porte bonheur”.. .says this little bunch of muguets(lily of the valley). A beautiful custom in France is to give a small bouquet of these to anyone and everyone you want to, on the 1st of May, that way, wishing good luck and happiness to all. Of course it is also a public holiday..worker’s day I think in English. Since I love the idea, I’m offering this bouquet of muguets to all EDM- friends – to those with special projects for May, like a drawing a day, to those who have a work on exhibit, to those who wish to exhibit, to those whom we’re voting for everyday, to those who are wonderful professional artists, to those who are doing art for the fun and joy it brings them, to those who started up this great site, to those who keep it up faithfully and in great spirit week after week, to those who add fun and joy , originality, spirit and character to this art site….to all who participate and bring beauty to look at, inspiring words to read, jokes to laugh at, advice to grow….to all at EDM; wishes of happiness to you all in this beautiful month of May!


น้ำธรรมดา said…
It’s very beautiful …
i like your work..
Don’t you mind if i add you to be my link.
Thank you ;-)
May 1, 2007 11:30 AM  
Kunya said…
Hi Ronell, thanks… I like this idea. We have this custom in Belgium too, although I do not see this as much anymore…maybe one reason is these little flowers are far to overpriced this day. I realy like this drawing.
May 1, 2007 11:39 AM  
Laureline said…
Merci, Ronell! Et a vous, aussi, mes voeux de bonheur!
May 1, 2007 11:46 AM  
Pequete said…
Thank you Ronell, I found you through EDM and I love your work – I actually identify a lot with it, since I also love working with watercolours and ink. I’ll be visiting you often!
May 1, 2007 12:21 PM  
Lin said…
WOWZA!! What a wonderful tradition and even more glorious painting!!! THANK YOU!! You’ve begun the month in splendor!
May 1, 2007 12:31 PM  
Tonniece said…
Hi Ronell
I love this tradition, I only wish they did that here in Canada. And to make it even more special My Birthday is this mo. so THANK YOU.
As always you painting is wonderful.
May 1, 2007 1:24 PM  
Felicity said…
Beautiful painting as always Ronell, those tiny flowers look so cute! I’ve seen these lily of the valley all over the shops recently – is it the tradition to give only those? I would never have known if it wasn’t for your post, thank you. Hope you have a super day!
May 1, 2007 2:17 PM  
jill said…
beautiful work. thank you for the great way to start “may day”!
May 1, 2007 4:10 PM  
Bonny said…
Ronell, this tradition is also in parts of Italy. When my husband first began dating me, he looked through all the flower shops in the city to find me un petit bouquet de muguets. They are not usually sold in shops here in Canada. They are easier to find in the garden, but by now they are past their season here on the west coast. Thank you for such a lovely reminder of a very beautiful tradition.
May 1, 2007 4:40 PM  
Sandy said…
Thank you Ronell – I picked a sprig of Lilly of the Valley on this morning’s walk. May 1 is my grandmother’s birthday (deceased) and I have very fond memories of picking bouquets of these tiny flowers from her huge patch in her back yard AND I intended to sketch them today in her honor!! What a coincidence! I love the holiday you have attached to them and ON this date. Merci!!
May 1, 2007 6:13 PM  
Sarah said…
What a beautiful gesture – in every way!
May 1, 2007 6:15 PM  
juj said…
What a wonderful tradition and such a fabulous painting. You’ve captured them perfectly. Thank you for sharing. Sadly, I’m afraid these are the only lily of the valley I will get to see this year as ours got snapped by a late frost. Would it be possible for you to send along a little of the sweet fragrance as well?? (grin)
May 1, 2007 6:31 PM  
Ujwala said…
good luck and happiness to you too! nice to learn about different traditions and customs. great ink ‘n wash.
May 1, 2007 6:31 PM  
Deborah said…
Thank you very much! When I was a kid we always celebrated May Day, also the 1st, by picking our mothers roses and leaving flowers for all the neighbors inclucing mom of course!
May 1, 2007 6:40 PM  
Genine said…
Ronell,Beautiful drawing and a big thank you for bringing this holiday to my attention. It has definitely brightened a gray day here. I think I’ll stop on my way home and pick some up.
May 1, 2007 7:12 PM  
bec said…
Thank you Ronell!
Happy May day to you too! (that’s what we call it here in the US). Nobody gets a day off though. My lily- of-the-valley aren’t in bloom yet. They usually start blooming around mother’s day… May 13. another week or two. I always give a bouquet of them to my mother!
I like the transparent quality of your painting.Bec
May 1, 2007 7:37 PM  
Robyn said…
Beautiful idea, beautiful brushwork. Thank goodness you have sent me these, because I didn’t get any others. What have I done?!;)
May 1, 2007 8:22 PM  
Dave said…
That’s a very generous sentiment, and a lovely painting. Thank you!
May 1, 2007 9:19 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks to everybody!
May 1, 2007 9:27 PM  
Carole said…
Thank you, Ronell! And a happy May Day to you too. This is a beautiful painting and a joyful sentiment which I most wholeheartedly echo.Now then – how did you manage to hold this and paint it at the same time? :)
May 1, 2007 10:15 PM  
platitudinal said…
Thank you for the beautiful May Day posy, Ronell. And all the good hearted and gracious wishes that comes with it. Thank you ;)
May 2, 2007 12:01 AM  
martín said…
Ronell, there’s not much to add. The others have already said it all for me. Beautiful drawing and WCs, as always, and a REALLY BIG THANK YOU for your sincere wishes! All the best to you too.
May 2, 2007 2:38 AM  
Stacy said…
Ronell, what a lovely painting and a lovely sentiment! We don’t have this tradition in the United States. I wish we did!! I am glad I at least got to experience it here.
May 2, 2007 3:07 AM  
Linda said…
Beautiful custom and beautiful painting! You have a great sense of color and value — you always get your darks just right. And in this piece, it makes the little flowers look all the sweeter. Again, beautiful!
May 2, 2007 4:00 AM  
nik said…
Ronell, they are wonderful. We have some of them in the garden, but I did not manage to draw them. Perhaps today.
May 2, 2007 6:20 AM  
mARTa said…
I smiled this morning when i read your post and saw the lovely lilies. It’s my 31st wedding anniversary today so I tucked the tiny flowers near my heart and thought of what happiness this life has brought me. thank you for the reminder:)
May 2, 2007 7:46 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
what a nice idea, and a beautiful painting.
May 2, 2007 12:42 PM  
Ben said…
Merci beaucoup…c’est tres jolie…and thats all my five years of french have done for both of us:>
May 2, 2007 1:21 PM  
mchunt@wctel.net said…
Merci beaucoup…c’est tres jolie…and thats all my five years of french have done for both of us:
May 2, 2007 1:28 PM  
Lindsay said…
Aw,Ronell, what a lovely gift. THanks so much for the beautiful bouquet and words. Happy May 1!
May 2, 2007 3:59 PM  
phthaloblu said…
What a beautiful custom and even more beautiful sentiments! Merci beaucoup! Forgive my rusty, stunted French.
May 2, 2007 5:40 PM  
Emma Pod said…
This is a beautiful little sketch! Happy May to you and may you have a wonderful summer playing tennis!
May 2, 2007 11:43 PM  
Mommy Bee said…
Ronell,Thank you so much. Your thoughtfulness, and beautiful bouquet really touched me.As a child growing up, my mom taught my brother and I to make “May Day” baskets. We would hand make a little basket out paper and put little wild flowers in them. Then we would go ding-dong-ditch the neighbors…Leaving behind only the flower loaded basket.Thank you for the memory, and sharing your custom. Not so different from mine ;-).

May 3, 2007 8:49 PM  
suzanne said…
Thank you so much for such a beautiful sentiment! May you have a wonderful day as well.
May 4, 2007 3:08 AM  
E-J said…
And we say “thank you for the muguet” :-D This is a lovely post, Ronell, and a lovely sketch. I am reminded of the lily-of-the-valley perfume my grandmother used to wear … I haven’t thought of it for years … thank you.

The details of a wisteria

The wisterias are magnificent now, their beauty cascading over walls and pergolas and trees and gates, windows and towers, roofs and even pathways. I just had to take on a painting or two, try and capture a little of their glory.

I tried twice again, not being too happy with the first try. I took on another corner, more “architectural”, more detailed, brighter colors, with which I am quite content..it feels like “me”.


And I just can’t get away from it- detail- I need detail. Without it, I can’t stress. I can’t be obsessive compulsive. Without detail in my life, I can’t experience beauty. I can’t create beauty. Without detail, life is very foggy and leaves only an impression of what might be out there…very much like the first painting of these wisterias.


Watercolor and ink on Arches HP
23 x 31cm (9″ x 12″)



Fanta said…
Wonderful again, Ronell. I love the way the shadows “dance” on the wall surface created by your careful layering, especially in the first one.
Have a great Sunday!
April 22, 2007 2:01 PM  
Lindsay said…
I like how you do these a couple of times! Lovely job.
I’ve been trying to get my wisteris to bloom for YEARS. Stubborn things refuse to flower.
April 22, 2007 5:14 PM  
Teri C said…
You are persistant arn’t you! The signs of a good detail person….I recognize it because that’s me too.Those wisteria are wonderfu and beautiful. So glad you persisted to your satisfaction.BTW, I was just reading about creativity and a detail person is called “bios’ or the dteails of life, and the person that has an overview of things is called ‘zoe’ or the essence of life.

Hmm, I bet that is more information than you wanted! :)

April 22, 2007 6:43 PM  
Lin said…
GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS!!!! The frost nipped ours and I haven’t seen much since then — so I am thoroughly enjoying yours!! Did you know you can eat the flowers?? BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT THE SEEDS!!
April 22, 2007 11:13 PM  
Lin said…
PS — I’M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AND DETAIL … MAKES ME SO UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN I LEAVE IT OUT!!! Hard to learn to live with simlicity — i do love the detail!!! lol
April 22, 2007 11:14 PM  
Dave said…
I love wisteria, and you’ve really captured it in these lovely pictures!
April 22, 2007 11:36 PM  
beautiful! i LOVE wisteria and the draping laziness of it. great pictures!
April 23, 2007 1:59 AM  
Nancy said…
Love the wisteria – I, too, have been trying to get mine to bloom – they are 9 years old now. Is there any hope?These a gorgeous!
April 23, 2007 5:13 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Oh my gosh, I just love these! My favorite is the first one. I’m such a sucker for blue. Very beautiful! :)
April 23, 2007 9:26 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are both beautiful, but the second one does more to convey the delicacy of wisteria – such a tough subject.
April 23, 2007 10:59 AM  
Sandy said…
I love Wisteria and mine is huge, but never blooms !!!!! I want to paint them too!!! Just Lovely! You have been busy!
April 23, 2007 5:07 PM  
Carole said…
I’m another wisteria fan, and I agree that you’ve really got the essence of wisteria in this second painting. The twisted branches and those wonderful long cascades of blue/lilac flowers. I once painted the detail of just one of those tiny little flowers – I may post it on my blog.
April 23, 2007 10:55 PM  
phthaloblu said…
I understand all about detail. Yep! As much as I try to get away from it, I am only happy when it looks like what I’m looking at. These are both so beautiful. I love wisteria, too, the way it hangs and looks. It’s all around my house, but not in my yard. Wonderfully done.
April 24, 2007 3:15 PM  
platitudinal said…
Thank you for your unrelenting pursue of details, we all benefit from it and get to enjoy the beauty you created based from your search.*Honestly speaking, though, Ronell, I think both takes of the wisterias are appealing. :)

The green corners of an April garden

April is gardening month. From middle March to middle April I have no nails, no soft hands, a broken back, tennis elbows in both arms, arthritis in my thumbs, I shuffle like an old woman and I smell of compost. All because of the love for a garden.

I have only white and blue/purple in my garden and of course green.Then I have one stubborn red tulip. For three years I’ve had that tulip showing up every April. For three years I’ve cut it off as soon as it flowered, put the flower in a vase, dug up the bulb and gave it to a friend. Just to repeat the process the following year. I’ve accepted the red tulip in my garden now. It is in a vase in my bedroom, I’ve dug up the bulb to give to a friend and I’ll wait for it next year.

I struggled with these sketches. I can’t get all these nuances of green down in a flattering manner. It all looks messy. Maybe it is too much green on one go…I do actually feel a little sick. SoI’ll take my leave now.




Pen and watercolor on Arches hp.

Kunya said…
Well, I realy like those drawings. You must have a wonderful garden…and to me it isn’t messy at all!
April 10, 2007 7:16 PM  
shirley said…
These are really wonderful. I love the various items you have in your garden and the meticulous depiction of chicken wire!
April 10, 2007 8:01 PM  
Sandy said…
Oh My Lord you made me laugh!!! I am right there with you girl. The sketches are lovely, light and luscious. Would love to see that rouge tulip too.
Perhaps a progression of sketches in the garden will follow?!
April 10, 2007 8:42 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are beautiful sketches Ronell. And Sandy, I have to tell you, she does have a very beautiful garden!
April 10, 2007 8:47 PM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Wow, really nice! I love the one w/ the face in the middle. That one gave me a double-take. Beautiful. :)
April 10, 2007 10:17 PM  
Jan said…
I see you have a beautiful and interesting garden and a great blog. Thanks for visiting mine. What an interesting garden!
April 10, 2007 10:19 PM  
Lin said…
WHAT UNUSUAL GARDEN PIECES!! BEAUTIFUL!!!! And that red tulip — what a hilarious story! Yep, we’d be in trouble together! Gardening and sketching!! GREAT JOB!
April 10, 2007 11:22 PM  
Carole said…
There are so many wonderful watercolour effects here – I have no idea how you’ve done them, but I really like them. I also like the various little faces peeping out of these sketches.
April 10, 2007 11:31 PM  
Karen said…
I know how you feel – I was pulling out old vines in my backyard today – oh my back!Very nice sketches, I’m sure they help bring some comfort!
April 11, 2007 10:12 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody, I appreciate the time and effort put into leaving a comment..Sandy, I’ll probably do more sketches as the garden grows month by month…the summers provide so much fun subjects in and around our gardens!
April 11, 2007 10:46 AM  
platitudinal said…
I am already impressed by your artistic ability. And now, you further impressed me with your green thumb. Are these sketches from your garden? Oooohhh-aaaahhhh, so many lovelies to be found in your garden! I shouldn’t be surprised … you seem to exude beauty all around you.*Send that tulip my way, Ronell, I’m sure I can kill it in a second. My mom said that I’m the only person she knows who can kill a cactus!
April 11, 2007 12:33 PM  
Laura said…
They say every room should have a touch of red, so maybe the same thing holds true for gardens! (Though I don’t remember seeing anything red in the white garden at Sissinghurst ;D.) Your cool and subtle palette works very well indoors and out!
April 11, 2007 2:12 PM  
Brenda Y said…
WOW! I love your sketches – I do hope you do more of your garden!! I especially like the water feature, I can almost hear the tinkling of the water.
How hilarious about the tulip! After you dig up the bulb, someone must be sneaking a new bulb in the ground while you sleep – ha.
April 11, 2007 4:26 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are beautiful! I don’t think they are messy at all.
April 11, 2007 5:46 PM  
ksklein said…
I hope I don`t offend you with my comment. But somehow your second pic reminds me of HULK. :) Specially because I went to an exhibition tod;) and one of the artists topic was Hulk. Maybe I`m crazy! ;)
April 11, 2007 11:15 PM  
Robin Neudorfer said…
What a lovely place to practice something that is enjoyable. There is nothing as special as honoring your riches. I love how you captured the water in your last painting, and the effect that you created on the front leaves. Continue doing what works and explore with what you want to improve. Seems like you are on the right path.
April 12, 2007 5:35 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks Robin….and ks klein, no I’m not in the least offended and yes, I can now also see how it might come from Hulk. To tell the truth, I felt a bit like the hulk after I’ve done all this green! Thanks for the comment.


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