03 March 2015

Written In The Trees: Shine


I would love to share with everyone a new painting I created this past weekend. 'Shine' is part of a mini-art-series I'm calling, Written In The Trees. It combines my current style, with a little twist and some new, fun elements. 

"Shine" - Original Watercolour Painting
The bright colours are just in time for the 'blahiest' time of the winter season, when we are all eagerly anticipating the spring and warm sunshine.

You can find it in my online store, here.

02 March 2015

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is an old ancient Mayan city dating back to A.D. 750 (depending on the source you read from). Above, the large pyramid structure, is the Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo). 

We visited this site while visiting Mexico this past January. Despite the three-hour drive in a bus, it was beautiful to see. It's now considered one of the wonders of the world (referring to the new, modern list) - so it was a must-see while we were down there.

It was such a warm day while we walked around this site, despite feeling like we were going to pass out from the heat and sun beating down on us for hours, I guide said that we were lucky to visit on such a cool day. Whoa? What? I guess we were visiting Mexico during their 'cooler months'...if you go to this site during the hotter months - please bring lots and lots of water, a hat and umbrella for shade -  I can't even imagine how hot it can get on a 'hot day'.

You are not allowed to walk on the structures anymore. Previously, this site was owned privately, and then the government purchased it and from there it went on to be a wonder of the world. My older brother got to climb the pyramid 5-7 years ago, but that is no longer allowed. Not only is it extremely steep and tourists were getting hurt, but it was also getting damaged from all the foot traffic and the rude people doing graffiti on it.

There were so many interesting carvings in the rocks - and so well preserved, considering how old they are and how long it was not as well protected. 

Below is the cenote that they sacrificed young girls in. It's called accordingly, the Sacred Cenote. Archeologists have drained and explored this sink hole, and found many bones and jewelry from the victims. The Mayans believed that these cenotes were entry ways into the underworld.

Can you see the lizard on the rocks below?

And, of course since this is a tourist attraction now,  all the walkways leading up to and between structures are lined with vendors. We were warned to be careful if purchasing anything there - there are no 'by-laws' for selling at this particular location, and some people have been ripped off. You just have to be careful though, there was a lot of beautiful items.

So that was one our first adventures in Mexico! It was such a long, long day (left the resort at 7am and returned at 7pm), but it was worth it to explore this important piece of archaeological history. :)

01 March 2015

#garden365 photo challenge: START

I'm going to try and participate the best I can in a photography challenged hosted by Sweet Domesticity (go check out her awesome blog!).  With all the gardening that will, slowly, begin this month - and then hopefully just take off, I think there will be lots of photograph. I've never done a photography challenge before, so this is exciting. Even if you don't 'garden' outside, I think this is an excellent challenge for anyone with house plants as well!

Here is my Day One: Start. A little pansy seedling starting to emerge from the soil. So sweet!

My challenge photography will be most up-to-date on my Instagram feed, over here. I will probably post multiple days / weekly 'gather-ups' of these submissions on the blog. I know, I know - blogging about my garden is so much fun and everyone wants to read all about it everyday ;) But, I also have to share my artwork, and I like to keep posts centered on one theme the best I can most days, for example a post about: my art, the studio, the garden, and of course, Chewie.

I hope I can really follow along with this challenge - I usually fall behind. I'm also hoping to use my Canon Rebel for most of the images (a DSLR digital camera), and start playing with my various lens again and getting into it more. The poor camera just sort of 'sat' for most of the winter. 

I you choose to join in, please use the hashtag #garden365 on your images where you post them so that everyone can share in the fun :)

26 February 2015

Seed Starting Diary: Day Ten

My first seed is trying it's best to poke through the soil. These are the unknown-pink flower seeds. 

I also got in my seed orders from Vesey's and West Coast Seeds. I'm excited to try all the new varieties I have selected for this year of growing. Picking out your seeds, and dreaming up what you're going to be eating this summer just makes me want to snow to melt that much faster.

I also started some Oregano inside in a larger pot. The seeds are so tiny, I think this will just grow into a clump of herbs that I will place somewhere. You must love my potting system - an old cat-food container for the drain plate ;) 

It's not all dreary though - my Gerber daisies that James got for me about a year ago are still going, and still give us gorgeous blooms - so happy on these winter days!

25 February 2015

In the Art Studio

I've been working evenings this week - a 3pm-11pm shift, getting home usually just after midnight and right into bed. So my mornings have been spent working on various commissions (most of which I cannot share until they're done, and I've asked permission from those who have ordered them). 

I've found time inbetween paintings drying, and waiting for email responses to paint some of my own thoughts as well.  I love painting commissions, but I do love putting down all my ideas on paper. And right now, my brain is focused on the spring in our -30-something degree weather (Celsius folks!).

My super large commission is coming along as well. I'm at a sort of crossroads with it, so I thought I would ponder it for a couple days - make sure it's going in the direction I was hoping. 

I hope everyone is staying toasty warm!

16 February 2015

Seed Starting Diary: Day One

A handful of my seeds this year are getting an extra early start today. I feel that it might help them along, and I quite honestly just wanted to plant something.

I felt that my parsley had a very, very poor start in my garden last year when I directly seeded it. I failed, at that time, to notice on the back of the package that it could potentially take 3 weeks to germinate - what?! My harvest therefore was quite poor as well. I dried as much as I could, and we have almost used it all up. So this year, it's getting an extra hand for its start. It should be quite on its way this time when I finally plunk it in its garden space.

I've also decided to start my Pansy's earlier. Last year, I started them beginning of April, and they did really well - but they didn't reach their blooming age until almost the end of the summer. So I thought - plant them even earlier, and maybe I'll get blooms earlier?

The last, titled 'pink flowers' are seeds I gathered from some pink flowers I bought last year. I'm not sure if they'll germinate, or even if their plants will get blossoms - with all the hybrid plants out there, and my lack of keeping a tag for this one, it's anyone's guess. But I felt it was worth an experiment - the seeds were pretty much free anyways! If nothing grows, I'll just drop other seeds in that soil.

So, let the growing begin!

11 February 2015

Days off

I've had the past two days off, and I've been working away in the art studio. I have some commissions I have been painting - working on one, while another dries and so on.  Packing orders in between that. Chewy likes to sprawl on the floor while I work, and even sometimes 'squeeze' himself beside me. I've had to take him on long, long walks to tire him out so I can work. :)

The early mornings have been spent planning my garden and dreaming away while I have my coffee. I found a nifty online garden planning program - free - www.smartgardener.com - it allows me to search and build me garden with my exact plant varieties. I love how you can have all those little icons - just makes me way more excited to get started.  I also am enjoying that I can move them around, instead of my old paper method of scratching and redrawing everything a million times.

This is my garden right now - buried under a couple feet of snow. Soon.