Sunday, May 31, 2015

Botanical Watercolor Painting.

Botanical Watercolor Painting

From Lara Gastinger's Sketch book

Kimberly Maggard Runion and I discovered the world of botanical watercolors and spent the afternoon painting with botanical artist and illustrator, Lara Call Gastinger

In this expert-led workshop, Lara demonstrated painting techniques, watercolor mixing, and how to set up a composition of spring specimens using plant materials from the MSV’s own Glen Burnie Gardens

All skill levels were welcome and all materials provided.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley offered as a complement to Beauty in Botany, a special exhibition of 22 botanical-themed works by seven celebrated regional artists on view in the Glen Burnie House.

 Tours were available of Glen Burnie home and gardens throughout the workshop. 

As a participating artist in Beauty in Botany, Lara Call Gastinger was the lead illustrator for the recently published Flora of Virginia Project. Lara has exhibited her work widely and was awarded a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society garden show in London.

Her work was part of the international exhibition Losing Paradise:Endangered Plants Here and Around the World and her illustrations were published in the book, American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid-Atlantic. Most recently, Lara's work was accepted into the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. 

A resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, Lara holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in plant ecology.


Here are some of my classmates work during the day.

I really loved the detail on this piece!
 This is Kim in action! I was really sent by her mother (Dianne) to play photographer. She normally takes classes with us. However, she was unable to attend.

This woman was able to capture the exact size of the plant!

Can you believe that this person was able to capture such detail!

 I liked the idea how this budding (Ha ha get it....) artist painted details on the side!

The Roses seem to be the hardest beauty to capture! This artist did a fantastic job!

We each had our work area and I enjoyed the colors on this piece.

We also learned about blending and shading. This artist did a terrific job!
Some chose the same flower but were able to each show a different perspective.

Here is Kimberly Runion's 
Botanical Masterpiece! 

I guess some of you might be curious how mine turned out. Here it is! Not bad for my very first time painting with watercolors. Well ok, I believe I did paint with the watercolor tray as a child. 

"Chive" by Ginger Dawn Harman
Art and Nature is amazing.  We must do our best to preserve it and allow it's beauty to flourish. Moreover, take time to nourish yourself with your passions. After all....

 "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." ~Henry Ward Beecher


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stained Glass

 "People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

My First Window "Dawn" by Ginger Dawn Harman

 My personal journey with stained glass came at a time when I was putting broken pieces of my life together. I had several friendships that had ended, stopped all contact with my biological family, dealt with many other difficult personal situations. I was very low and left all social media as some of you might remember.

Window made for Pam Kruger

One day, I walked into a Old Town Stained Glass and decided why not I will sign up for a class. With each piece of glass that I cut, grind, foiled, and soldered, I gained a new perspective in life. 

Big Eye! A New Perspective!

Moreover, it provided me an opportunity to see my own potential for color, sparkle, and great purpose through my broken past. Here are my first three windows, slumped wine bottles, and a funny Cuckoo Bird.
Boldly Going where no Stained Glass has gone before!


 I really enjoy making Slump bottles also. They make a nice cheese tray and fun gift. 
A slumped bottle that I made for Linda Mary

A Bottle for Pam and Bob

This one was for Poppie!
For Kim and Edgar


Working with wire on a colorful bottle can add a bit of color to any window. We tend to reproach ourselves for staring out of the window or looking through others. yet, the greatest beauty is like Mrs. Kubler-Ross said, "Revealing" the light from within.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Farm Girl Friday Post No.1

I am officially a Farm Girl Sister!

It is true I am on the Farmgirl Sister Roster # 6451 My good friend Cynthia Castile Arent suggested that we join. Immediately, I fell in love with the idea of connecting and creating with others.  

Come and have a cup of tea with Mary Jane's Farmgirls .

Who are we? — a sisterhood of farmgirls. We’re country, we’re city, and every texture and stripe in between. It’s not where we live, but how we live. We get together to Chat online and form in-the-flesh Farmgirl Chapters. We love to share stories, to craft, to garden, and to nurture the next generation of Farmerettes and Young Cultivators. And when our work is done, we get together to throw tea parties, and go camping, fishing, and “glamping” as Glampers on the Loose.

Oh and wait til you meet our the lovely Hen named,  Henrietta!

She symbolizes the “can do” attitude of being a farmgirl. What are the noble farmgirl traits? Farmgirls are multi-talented, resourceful, creative, strong, down-to-earth, and generous by nature. We enjoy creating things, whether it is in the kitchen, our studios, or the wood shop. We may not live in the country, but friendship, fun, community, and creativity bloom wherever we happen to be “planted.”

Photo Credit: Mary Jane Farm
In other words, farmgirls can do anything they set their minds to, sorta’ like the Little Red Hen in the famous children’s story. We enjoy the fun of getting together to create, to help others in our communities, or to share ideas. 

Photo Credit: Mary Jane Farm
Mary Jane believes in the power of the Farmgirl Sisterhood to change the world for the better! (And you can earn merit badges to prove it. Think girl scouts for grow-ups.) If this sounds like you, check out MaryJane’s Farmgirl Sisterhood and her Chatroom, where women connect on farming, canning, sewing, family life, kids, DIY, and more, from all over the world.

Speaking of Merit Badges! I have just completed my Beginner level of Stitching & Crafting. Oreo the cat approves! 

 It is so Sew Wonderful 

I put together a beginner’s sewing kit with a homemade pinkeeper owl made by my dear friend Anne Lister. Oreo was a naughty sausage and ran off with Mr. Hoot! Nevertheless, It is tucked in the tin!

 I Included:
  • Several different colors of thread
  • Buttons
  • Scissors
  • Needles
  • Straight pins
  • Safety pins
  • Thimble
  • Measuring tape 
  • Bee's Wax
  • Oh and my crochet hooks.


I am  looking forward to the Farm Girl Friday Post! Hope you enjoy them too!


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