Spring is nearly here and the garden around my studio is coming to life! It's been lovely to capture some of the little wonders through my photography. Starting top left and moving clockwise: Gorgeous quince blooming, a mushroom born from the soggy ground, one of many bees busy in the pear tree blossoms, and miner's lettuce all around the stumpery garden.
I photographed all of these little creatures around the yard. It's so fun to see them and know what they are. It seems I'll have to take the mindset of Ms. Beatrix Potter if i'm to find out who they are!
I'm quite possibly one of the most inefficient plein air painters, but nonetheless, I enjoy to take my easel, and A LOT of other stuff, outdoors to paint!
There are plenty of challenges to painting outside, perhaps the most frustrating is the wind. The breeze provides relief from the heat of the day, but also, sudden wind can flip your wet painting face down onto the ground. I've spent a fair amount of time picking bugs and grass off of my paintings. C'est la vie!
Here are some of my recent paintings done in the great outdoors, under the hot, hot, hot sun.
I painted this view from the gardens at Truett Hurst. Oil on canvas. 11x14 inch.
Spice Market -- Istanbul | Frieze -- Copanhagen | Me -- Istanbul
Bicycles -- Copenhagen | Tile in Mosque -- Istanbul | Reindeer -- Inari (Finland)
I found this little friend in the yard today. After much research online, I've concluded that this fuzzy caterpillar is a Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Larvae in one of it's last stages before transitioning! Very neat!
When I went to switch the laundry I noticed what I thought looked like tiny mouse droppings, and as that thought formed, out ran a mouse from under the dryer leaving me shrieking "Mouse, mouse!"while I did the heebie jeebies dance. Being an unprepared city to country transplant, I gathered my three indoor cats and left them to deal with the mouse. The cats were interested because they have only ever seen toy mice, but they were lacking a certain predatory instinct [left picture]. At one point Roux and Simone just looked at the mouse, who sat in front of the two cats as though it were no big deal[center picture]. Seeing that my cats didn't know what to do either made me realize that I needed to come up with a solution so I could get on with my day. City girl + city cats + no mouse trap = organic peanut butter in a mason jar. I put a dab of peanut butter towards the bottom of a mason jar, tipped it on its side in the laundry room and held back the cats while the mouse ran in. I tipped the jar up and put a lid on it. Problem solved [right picture]. I put the mouse back outside far, far away from our house. I know that there will be more mice, but I also know that I am more prepared and a little bit more country.
It's official, we've left the big, beautiful and busy city of San Francisco for a more relaxed and rural life up north. We're all settled in to our new maison which is buried deep in the country, outside of Healdsburg, California.
We're loving every moment of everyday and I'm looking forward to sharing about our adventures and wildlife encounters!
Pictured left: Roux has his first sighting of a bird (house finch) that really, really wanted to fly though our window late at night! This is the closest that Roux has ever been to a bird! We (humans) are not the only ones excited about all of the wildlife surrounding us!