Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Practice Makes......Better?

Playing with the watercolors again.  Can you guess which one I painted first?  Well, I'm still not satisfied with any of them.  Why am I so preoccupied with painting a thorny, noxious weed?  Well, first of all, they are very common in our landscape.  And, they're not all bad, really.  They make beautiful flowers, and when the seedhead opens, the most wonderful little balls of fluff fill the air.  My children chase them and catch them and make "pets" of them.  I did too when I was their age.  And second, the butterflies and bumblebees love them, so they can't be all bad :)

I photographed this one out in the meadow.  It's not one of the prettier purple varieties like the one I was trying - emphasize trying - to paint.  I couldn't even find one on the internet that looks exactly like these, so I'm not absolutely sure that this is indeed a bull thistle.  It might be some other variety, but I couldn't find it.

Anyway, the reason I'm trying to learn to paint one is because, as I said, the butterflies love these things.  Apparently those blooms are rich in sweet nectar.  Must be why they developed such an elaborate self-defense.

I've also been practicing my butterflies.  Remember this guy from my last post?  The plan is to eventually paint a butterfly sitting daintily atop one of those fluffy flowers, and who knows? It might even be turned into an embroidery eventually.

Clearly, I need a lot more practice.

Hope ya'll are having a lovely week, and that you are able to enjoy some butterflies and wildflowers wherever you are :)



Valerianna said...

Looking great! I often recommend the book,

The Tao of Watercolor: A revoloutionary Approach to the Practice of Painting - Jeanne Carbonetti

I'm not particularly fond of her color palette, just a personal thing, but I am very fond of the techniques she shares that can really help folks understand some of the ways that watercolor can be pushed. Its on Amazon. I finally got it for my library and students have found it really useful.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

I love them all. I think you are doing so great. Thistle blooms are awesome to me.

margaret said...

you are too hard on yourself Starr, you are very artistic and I would be over the moon to paint as well as you.
Beautiful thistles and a lovely butterfly.

Mary Ann said...

I think your water colours are lovely:) I love thistles. They get a bad rap but to me they are complex beautiful plant.

Jules said...

You are doing brilliantly, and I agree, I love thistles, I think they are fantastic plants, both beautiful and useful.
You might like to check out the lovely Sketching in Nature blog, Starr,really fab natural history art journalling - from all over the world. There's a link on my blog list xxx

Faye said...

Mararet is right you are far too hard on your self,all of the paintings are beautiful.
Your thistles look like what we call scots thistles.
Thistles get such a bad deal ,but can be beneficial as well as beautiful.

Shashi Nayagam said...

You have a very delicate touch

Starr White said...

thank you all, sweet friends, for your kind notes of encouragement. You guys are the best! and your support and encouragement makes me want to work even harder! Thank you!!! xoxoxo

Deborah OHare said...

I do like your thistle. We have a lot of them growing around here.
It also reminds me that I have an unfinished thistle piece sitting in my attic!