Monday, September 30, 2013

Late Summer Garden Visitors
This Black and Yellow Garden Spider spun her web in our sunflower patch. She is a member of the orb weaver family of spiders and will lay her eggs in a sack on the edge of the web where the baby spiders will hatch and over winter until next spring.

Not sure, but I would call these guys love bugs.  The spider set up in a good location right beneath them.
 This little guy fell into a bucket in the barn. Lucky that I noticed him while I was clearing a few things out or he might have been there for a while. I let him spend the afternoon in the kids aquarium, so they could take a good look at him when they came home from school.
 Midland Brown Snake - great news- they never bite!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

 Autumn has arrived- at least according to the calendar. I am still reminiscing about summers past. These shells were collected on the southeast side of  Sanibel Island, Florida. We visited Sanibel in late November when the crowds of summer had gone, and the weather was perfect for shelling. In order to get my shelling fix now, I often visit .  A great blog, with more terrific photos of shells and shellers.
This watercolor has been taped to my desk for a couple of days now. I am trying to work out a few problems with the edges on the bleached out shark's eye shell at the bottom. The choice to stick to a high key color palette was easy, but making it work has been challenging. I have been relying on using warm and cool colors to help shape the forms - cool on edges moving away, warm on advancing shapes.
 Tiny Sanibel treasures. These are my favorite to collect, and they are easier to transport.
Washed up on the beach after a storm.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

While I was out running errands a couple of weeks ago, I came across this beautiful guy. He had been hit by a passing car, but was still in good shape for making some nature studies from. He is a Black Rat Snake, fairly common in central Ohio. 
 He measured not quite three feet long, not full sized for a Rat Snake. They typically grow from four to six feet long, although some have been known to exceed eight feet.
 I love the iridescent reflections on his belly. Rat snakes can discharge a foul smelling substance from their musk glands when alarmed.
 This closeup shows the beautiful scales on his back and the subtle brown rings around his body. Most eastern Rat Snakes freeze in position when threatened in order to blend with their surroundings. I hope to use these photos for reference for some paintings.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 These butterflies in rainbow hues were inspired by all the winged visitors to the garden this summer. The purple cone flower I planted a few years ago has spread itself around and the butterflies seem to love it.
 This is a close up of the original. I like how the layers of texture worked out, and the color gradations.
This is the cropped image on an iphone skin at Society6
These two textures helped the give the final image more depth.