Chicken Coop, Wheat, Crepe Myrtles / oil

chicken coop wheat crepe myrtlesIt was over a month ago when I went out to Cold Harbor and saw the wheat looked beautiful. I wanted to hurry and paint it before it got mowed.  I thought, this will be easy, then I had to go over it 3 times to get it to come out ok. The texture across the top looks velvety and soft. The 1st time I tried to paint the wheat, it was too spotty. So I tried again. The 2nd time I tried to paint it, The texture looked better but the color was off. Finally on my 3rd try, I liked the color and texture. I was a little concerned about finishing the wheat before it got mowed, but Barbara told me the man mowing the wheat was working his way down Cold Harbor Rd. mowing fields on the other side. She said her field would get mowed last when he came back mowing fields on her side of the road. So, even though I had some difficulty with painting the wheat, I got it in before it was mowed.

Then this painting was on hold for a month because I wanted to put the Crepe Myrtles in but they were late blooming. The Crepe Myrtles started blooming in Richmond about a month ago and these are still opening up.

I’m happy to finally see this painting finished.

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Little Demon Pillows

little demon pillows

The weather is nice today but they say the heat and humidity will be back next week. I’ve been sewing more this year than I did in the past 10 years because of the extreme weather. In the winter when it was too snowy and icy to go out to draw I worked on my slipcovers. Now I’m sewing pillows because I can’t take the heat. I might have to force myself to go out in the heat to draw soon because it gets boring working at home. We could have 8 more weeks of the heat and humidity here, with little breaks of good weather like today. So your plein air artist is sewing at home again. I hope you enjoy the little demons. I entered them at the Henry St. Gallery. Opening night was postponed till July 11 because the 4th of July celebrations conflicted with 1st Fri. art opening night.

the Pitcher Plant Sing Along / oil

anthropomorphizing plants

anthropomorphizing plants


As I’m hanging around in the Water Garden on different days drawing the pitcher plants, I’m often joined by groups of kids and their teachers. This is what I learned about the pitcher plants.

The pitcher plants grow in poor soil. The water dissolves the nutrients in the ground and washes them away. Pitcher plants catch their own fertilizer in the form of bugs. Bugs are attracted to the sweet slightly funky sticky stuff inside the pitcher. When they go in to eat they get stuck and drown in a little sugar water inside the pitcher. As they decompose they feed the plant. The lid shaped leaves don’t go down to close the mouth. The leaves are shaped to run rain water away from the pitcher. The stems are narrow at the bottom and wide at the mouth, so it looks like if the pitcher fills up with water the plant would fall over. Later in the summer a lot of them do fall down.

When I get home and look at my drawing I wonder why the teachers don’t talk about the plants crazy personality. Everyone finds these plants fascinating and they don’t know why. This is my explanation. The wide open heart shaped mouths and upturned leaf shaped noses make the plants look like they’re laughing or maybe singing. What are they laughing at? Are bugs tickling their throats? Is it all a bug joke to them? Are they all singing? Is it a frequency beyond the range of human ears? This is the kind of questions I think of.

the Rose Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical / oil

The air around me was thick with the scent of roses and Maroger Medium. Intoxicating!

The air around me was thick with the scent of roses and Maroger Medium. Intoxicating!


I’m enjoying the Maroger Medium so much! It smells great, just like in days of yore at York Academy of Art. It’s the perfect weight and consistency for painting glazes in the couch or mixing it in with the paint and layering it on thick.

It’s so nice to hang around at Lewis Ginter Botanical every day for a few hours while I work on my painting. Sometimes I get surrounded by a bus load of kids and I don’t mind. Most of the time I’m alone with few distractions.

More artists should go there and paint in plein air. Everyone thinks what you’re doing is beautiful even at the charcoal stage when you know it’s not right. They think the underpainting is a finished painting. What I’m trying to say is, artists, don’t fear failure. They can’t tell anyway. 🙂 So, go out to that beautiful place every day and paint. Become a fixture. It’s a Zen thing. It’s good for you.

this is the Pipeline Trail

pipeline trail

The trail starts behind the floodwall. You can park in the lot on the other side of the wall at the end of Byrd St. close to the Manchester Bridge and 10th St.

Someone told me it’s a sewer pipe which seems kind of ironic because it’s so nice. You can walk on this metal grid over the pipe a long way over rapids and rocks. There’s a few easy places to climb down to walk on a sandy beach downstream from the rapids. Farther upstream you can go out on the big rocks. The trail goes over part of the pipe without the walkway then through the woods next to the river and up to the end of Browns Island.

It’s a wild beauty in the heart of Richmond.

a great view for photographers and painters from this spot

view for painters from here

There’s a tiny ladder going around the pipe at that bridge pillar. I take my shoes off for better footing climbing down and sit on the base next to the pipe. Every day Photographers climb down to get shots of rafts  going through the rapids. It’s fun to watch!

a photo of me at the Pipeline Trail

photo of me at pipeline

Photo by Scott Young

http://3rdstone.smugmug.com/Events/Street-Photography/30948245_3JckZ3

3rd Stone Graphic Arts and Photography

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