Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blooming Inspirations

I always look forward to April, May and June. Springtime in Southern California  bring pops of color... 
And around the country, different neighborhoods have their own abundant arrangements of color.  I always look forward to photos shares from others around the world too.

Not just because it is springtime with abundant gardens and ever changing colors...  as an artist I am always looking around, searching for the right composition, the shapes, the colors, the shadows, the arrangement of nature in contrast to the orchestrated efforts of a still life.  This is life... an be-still my heart, it is beautiful.

This year was a treat, as our family planned spring break in Washington D.C.  --- ideally to be there during the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  "El Nino or Bust"? --- due to strange weather, the Blooms Blossomed Early, the Festival was moved forward by a month, and the day we arrived there were horrible high winds, knocking most of the blooms to the ground creating very few displays of blooms anywhere.

We start with the Cherry Blossoms in late March and early April.
Various shades of Pink, Peach and White dot the neighborhoods and residential gardens about the area.  
This year I missed much of the local cherry blossoms as we took a family trip to Washington D.C. --- so I made a point to enjoy the Cherry Blossoms that were still in bloom there too.  

Cherry Blossoms 
at Mount Vernon
Our last morning in Washington D.C., we went to the National Zoo, where there were a few Cherry Blossoms still blooming.  These were hard to capture in picture, but still beautiful.
On our walk back to the Metro I noticed some random pink blooms beside some brown brick buildings... so these were the last of what I could get pictures of....  I didn't want to be a "Stalker" and freak people out by aiming my camera towards the residential windows...

I think these will make great reference photos for future paintings.

Another Favorite of mine are the purple Jacaranda Trees

This year started in April and had a full Bloom in May, and now in June there are a few still with clusters of purple...  These grace the neighborhoods of Southern California where I live.   The most amazing display of these was along Inglewood Avenue between Artesia Boulevard all the way to Imperial Highway... from Redondo Beach, through Hawthorne to Inglewood.  This is my route to work for the entire month and I probably drive a little slower than normal because I just LOVE the colors.  On bleak, drizzly gray days, the blooms of purple are just lovely. The peak was about two weeks ago, when the canopy of purple blossoms has an equally beautiful puddle of dropped petals as a carpet on the ground beneath it.

Then from May through June we get to see the bloom of the Magnolia's. 
 I watch for this with my next door neighbor's Magnolia which I can see and admire from my upstairs window.  I have been staring and observing the bloom cycle of these large white blooms, which for such a big tree, have a very short bloom cycle. 
The formation of the long oblong bud takes a few days, but then when the bloom starts to open it is a quick 12 hours....  depending on the temperature the bloom opens fully within 24 hours and then quickly starts to change from the bright white to various tones of off-white, yellow-white, then brown before it blows to the ground.  The cone that is left either dries up and falls, but later if still on the tree will develop bright red seeds.  I haven't seen any seeds yet.... but I'm waiting.

Here are some local trees that I have been admiring for the past week or so... 
I took a "photo walk" this morning... to gather some photo references for some upcoming projects.

 The Bees absolutely LOVE the Magnolia's.  

That's a happy bee!

And to end my walk this morning, I passed by the "Fried Egg Plant"....  I first saw this plant at the Madrona Marsh, and have not been able to find a starter plant of my own (yet).. I didn't know the proper name of it, and typically forget whenever I'm at the nursery... but one day I'll have one in my front garden... 
But, here's my homework:  Fried egg plant and matilija poppy are two names for Romneya coulteri.  So now you know what it's called too.  Bee's Love It!!!  And any garden that attracts bees and butterflies is a success in our local community as there is a bee shortage.  Yep.. a bee shortage would be horrible if we are to rely on pollination to keep our ecosystem in check... (but that's another blog-story)

For updates on the paintings and artwork that are generated from this "Art Walk" please visit my Studio Store and Facebook Page.

Contact me directly for information on Art Lessons and Demonstrations

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