One of the questions artists frequently get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas?’ Inspiration can come from many, many sources. Things that we see, experiences that we go through, thoughts we remember at odd moments. Everything that has happened to us in our lives influence what we create and put back into the world.
The painting I am sharing today has some pretty straight forward origins. In my Zentangle practice, I will switch back and forth between working on Zentangle tiles and working in my sketchbooks and journals. Some of the drawings are just for the meditative practice, and some call out to me to be turned into something else. This quick drawing in my sketchbook was one of the later.
My mornings in the summer normally start with a quick trip out to the garden to say good morning to the bees and check for any new vegies that are ready to be harvested. The blooms always draw me in, this pumpkin blossom being no exception.
I had a few new boards prepped for new paintings with some background colors blocked in. I had already been influenced by these trips to the garden and had a background in progress with shades of green and orange. With the 2 images above in mind “Abundance”, the final painting, started to emerge.
The mandala of ‘Abundance’ captures the energy and potential of new growth, while the colors fading into the background reflect the peacefulness and serenity I feel sitting in the garden each morning, listening to the bees as they make their rounds.
Oh, it has been a rough couple of months. February and march flew by with way, way, WAY too much going on, so this poor little bloggy got left in the lurch. But, Spring is finally here (although we did get more snow last night) and it is time to get the house in order. So, a quick little post to set the stage on what is coming…
B taking over the drawing tablet.
Going forward, I will be back with my Friday Favorite posts. April’s favorites will be focused on writing. Hopefully there will be some tidbits you enjoy and find interesting, even if you are not a writer.
Tuesday totals are just going to be posted once a month. First Tuesday of the month. Which means next week gets one on April first. April fool’s day! Should I go serious on that one, or have a bit of fun?
Garden updates will also be starting! We have 3 more raised beds to add to the plan this year and are getting the first of our cold weather crops in this weekend. I’ll be keeping you up to date on our progress there and May’s favorites will be garden related as well.
And then there will be the random writing and drawing posts, and whatever else may be catching my fancy. Let me know if there is anything you want to see more of.
A couple of links today on things that I think are steps in the right direction:
When I am shopping with my daughter, I get very tired of seeing very pink and pastel aisles in the toy sections targeted at her, and very blue and bright colored sections targeted at the boys. She loves to build things, but will often not go in the aisle with legos and the like because that is part of “the boy stuff”. I can normally get her over that by pointing out the cool stuff there (she does like superheroes, dragons, etc that are all typically in the aisle targeted at boys. But as you can see here, it looks like the UK may be starting to push away from this. Would be great to see the same sort of thing here.
UK Toys R Us to stop gendered marketing
The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in the Detroit suburbs has opened an onsite organic greenhouse to feed its patients as well as offer educational events. With all of the talk about healthcare going on these days, its nice to see some focus on the basics. Start with a healthy diet, balance with exercise, and you are on the right track. I would love to see more gardens like this open up at schools of all levels as well.
Organic Hospital Greenhouse
The garden has been going well. We are still learning, but have our fall crops in the ground and are planning our wintering constructions.
This week, I just wanted to go back and share some about our garden visitors. No, I don’t mean our neighbors who have been benefiting from the overly abundant tomato harvest. I mean the buggy visitors.
Our eggplant got this guy chowing down for a while before we spotted him.
Tomato hornworm hiding in our eggplant.
I actually found his poop on the ground around the plant and went scouring under all the leaves until we found him. He was about as big as my middle finger (which is pretty much how I felt about him). We were surprised that this was the only one we could find, and that as a Tomato Hornworm, he totally avoided the tomato plants and attacked the eggplant instead. He gave me a really hard time getting him off the leaf, and was put out next to our compost bin. The birds made quick work of him. 🙂
The other pesky guys we had were mexican bean beetles. Our beans had not been top producers. I think we only got 2 good harvests off of them. So when we found these invading, I just harvested the rest of the beans and pulled the sorry remainders of the plants.
Mexican bean beetle larvae.
If the beans had been better producing, I would have taken the time to rid them of these (they are tiny and squish very easily), but as it was, removing the beans helped clear some room for more of the fall plantings.
Our last bugs to share are the ones I welcome. The honeybees (and bumblebees). We have a Korean Bee Tree in our backyard and towards the end of every summer it becomes a Mecca for the bees in the neighborhood.
Honeybees in their tree.
The picture really can’t do justice to the amount of bees we get. The first year we were here I was standing in the back yard and it sounded like a highway had gone in nearby. Looking up into the tree, I nearly freaked out at the swarms of bees in it. After backing away and taking a few deep breaths, I just stood and watched them for a while. It was so amazing to watch these little guys just going about their business hitting as many buds on the tree as they could. It is now my favorite time of the summer and look forward every year to when the tree blossoms and the buzz overtakes our yard.
What about you? Any interesting bugs in your gardens?