JDayMinis, My Life, French & Antique Inspiration

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Garden Continued, Front Garden



Thank you so much for all of your kind comments about our garden, I thought this week I would show you our front garden and a couple of different views of our back garden and atrium, which is an indoor eating area shown above.


Here is a small display area I put in the back to display all of the old rusty gardening tools I found that used to belong to John's and my parents. I love rusty old things, there past and especially for their gorgeous patina. I love the red spade, if you click and look at it closely it has the most beautiful colour variations. The two old doors we found abandoned one year.

You might notice in the second photo above all of the doors, there are six large doors and two windows that open into the atrium. The atrium is two stories heigh with large sky lights and a water feature. It has two balconies inside that over look the eating area and was built between the addition we added and the older part of the house, lovely area to sit.
This is my favorite place to sit in the summer in the back. The next photos are towards the front of the house.



You can see the rock garden area in the fourth photo I did out front last year by the pink azalias, I put in small heather,  heucheras, euphorbias and ground covers. The azaleas were all overgrown with other plants that we pulled out, so much fun to redo areas. All the green with yellow flowers are the kale which has gone to seed that we have been eating all winter, nice flowers.  I planted the area by the drive way last year as well. We had new tiles put on our front steps and entrance so you can see new thymes and sedums I've put on the side path to the entrance and around the frog, by next year hopefully it will be all green. The rest of the front yard is a mound with rhodos and grass. I hope to show photos when all the flowers are out in the summer, if I ever get my dahlias planted, lol, hopefully tomorrow and next week. If I say it maybe I will do it?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Garden

Each morning, rain or shine I like to get out to see our backyard garden and do a garden walk. After filling the bird feeder I thought I would take some photos to share. Last year I really started taking more of an interest in gardening during the time I took off from my minis business and I replanted many areas that had been overgrown and neglected. I had a wonderful time and this year, it even more exciting because I can see how all my babies (new plants) have grown.
I'm starting at the studio back door.
This small area I call the meditation area where I planted sedum and other ground covers.

I planted lots of sedum, thyme and ground covers around the stone stairs.

John loves gardening too and you can see his vegetable plantings and the ones that have gone through the year. Last year I became very interested in having vegetables from our garden all year so I planted very late crops, I did get tired  of having so many green vegetables during the winter but they are very healthy, lol. Our squashes were my favorite so we have planted a lot more this year. If we could just get the slugs to leave them alone it would help! You can see one of the studio windows, I've really been enjoying watching the bird feeder in one of the apple trees while I work.

I love this new area, we had a huge flax plant that was not doing well so we removed it and I moved a few rocks to create a small rock garden with sedums and my favorite heuchera called Marmalade. The wooly thyme is really filling in around the walking stones already.
This area didn't have anything going on so I built up the rocks and added heurcheras and sedums. The reason I chose these plants is because they look great all year round and are very hardy. There are also tiny sassafras that are in bloom now, I love them with their tiny mini blooms.


This area just had some old lavender that was over grown and had died, we have about five other lavender plants on the other side of the path which are done really doing well. This was a really fun area to work on and I love the way the sedums have done so well and the wooly thyme has filled in around the steps. I found the concrete chimney liners for two dollars each and I think they have made very nice planters. There is a delphinium in another container just poking it's head around the corner.
Here you can see the chintz thyme with really goes with the pinky/mauve wallflower.

Morning dew drops on the hostas.

Must get out and plant the dahlias, my neighbor has all 450 of hers in already!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Miniature Transparent Watercolour Workshop 6



This week I finished the quarter scale painting and have started a couple of new miniature paintings. I have shown the finished tiny painting above with my finished one twelfth scale watercolour. I don't have too much more to say about painting such a tiny painting other than it ends up looking very impressionistic. I think I prefer painting in one twelfth scale or bit larger unless it is an abstract painting. Reproductions with a lot of detail are more difficult in this size, mainly because my brush kept drying out and such a small space doesn't hold as much water. Probably I would enjoy quarter scale painting more with acrylics or oil paints.



In the fist photo, you can see that I have started another transparent painting that I'm really enjoying. We visited the Tuscany and then the Chianti region of Italy last winter and I loved it so much. I purchased a shopping bag with a rooster on it and a tiny Chianti bottle in the winery and have displayed them in my kitchen with a rooster and this bowl of fruit. I loved the fruits so I cropped the photo to paint a close up of the fruit. I loved the light from the window in the photo. I've included a smaller photo of the bowl of fruit for you to print out to give this workshop a try if you like.


Here is the matted watercolour paper with the sketch and paints, I am working on another piece of water colour paper in the background, very handy as paper that I can use try out my watercolours before they are added to the paper to see their intensity, since I want to start adding the transparent colours very lightly.


The photo above shows sketched in areas of the painting that I want to leave white. Really important to study the photo at this point. I have done a very light wash of Holbein Aureolin over the bananas, pears and apples.

 

Daniel Smith's Quinacirdone Coral was then added over the yellow in stages, this is one of my favorite watercolours and can be used very transparent and built up to be opaque. I love the way the bright red shines in the photo and I would like to have that happen in my painting, if I don't get too heavy handed. I also added Windsor Newton Gold Ochre in a very light wash over the bowl and background.

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In this photo I have added washes of  Windsor Newton Cobalt Blue, trying to be as light as I can to leave the lovely red in the grapes. I've also used the cobalt to darken some of the background areas that will be gradually darkened with various colours of washes. Please have a look at the previous watercolour workshops where I explain the brushes, paper and watercolours I'm using.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Painting Workshop, Illuminating in Miniature


First I would like to say how thrilled I am to have 300 followers, please have a look at some of their wonderful blogs.

Recently I joined the AIM or Artisans In Miniature magazine group who create a fabulous, "free" online miniature magazine with Bea Broadwood as the tireless editor and the editorial team. In this months issue you will find three articles I wrote and many other interesting articles and amazing photos by fantastic miniature artists. One article accompanies the Inspiration Board I created above called Illuminating in Miniature. I had purchased a fabulous book on the Art of Illumination last time we were in England that I reproduced as a book in miniature. I also explain how to create your own Illumination of a Gothic letter A shown above, if any of you are interested in this style of art for you castles, medieval or religious scene. You can find more information in this months issue of AIM, Clicking here
It will take you to a free online issue of the magazine that can also be downloaded.


Since this issue has an ecclesiastical theme you can find my article on Worship Furniture, using my grandfather's examples and vintage brochure. I also did another Inspiration Board showing the fabulous stained glass windows and churches we visited in Brazil and Barbados, Spain shown below.
http://www.artisansinminiature.com/

Have a great week! Cheers, Jean

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