Saturday, February 28, 2009

Soft Lily Reflection

Fresco Watercolor Painting on Board, 8" X 8"
Painting can be purchased for $125 plus $6 s/h: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

One of my favorite parts in my back yard is our pond. It's the size of a small swimming pool and is several feet deep. And though my first pond included mature koi fish, this pond contains goldfish, which has become a love for my husband and I.

In the summer our pond flourishes with lilies and greenery. I painted the above piece a couple days ago, here in my studio in the dead of winter, while dreaming of summer months in the back yard.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bird of Drama...inspired to paint watercolors!

Fresco Watercolor Painting on Board, 8" X 8"
Painting can be purchased for $125 plus $6 s/h: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

I have been really missing painting in watercolor and have spent much of the last two years working in oil. As an artist that has gone between the two mediums several times over the last several years, I've learned that some subjects simply come across better in certain mediums, for me, at least. And I've decided that if I'm going to paint florals in watercolor, they will most likely be high in contrast.

I started out life as a serious artist through watercolor painting. Many of you know that I was introduced to painting at an early age and when I was 11, I learned through a private art instructor, who is also a good friend and collector. This was many years ago, of course! Watercolors were my tool of expression and I focused on both watercolor and fine pencil drawings all the way through college. My style was realism and through the years, I've explored trying to "soften" what comes naturally.

My large watercolors have always been my best pieces. This year I hope to finally bring a vision to light that I've had since 2002: to expand a series of paintings about tropical lakes and present them in a show. A few of these may become oils but I suspect that I paint this particular subject best in watercolor and have a couple of the paintings in my office that I will not part with.

Of course, I'm balancing all of this with my oil landscapes and my painted chandeliers. It's not easy to work in different mediums and I often find myself revisiting themes that I've explored before as these themes go round and round in my life. Sometimes I want to paint flowers when I am doing landscapes and sometimes I have great ideas for watercolors when I am doing oils and vice versa. It's this inspiration that keeps me creating!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Oahu's Waimea Valley Botanical Garden is a hit

North Shore Expanse, Oil on canvas, 6" X 8"
Painting can be purchased for $95 plus s/h: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

I'd like to share with everyone our great experience at Oahu's Waimea Valley Garden:

One warning is that when you click on the front page there music, so don't open this site at work!

The garden is a lovely tribute to a forgotten way of life in the Hawaiian Islands. You can either explore on your own or take a guided tour. There are craft stations and examples of what life might have been like in the valley over a hundred years ago. The garden walk is simply beautiful and in the back, you can swim by a waterfall. The botany is divided into sections, like South America, or Canoe plants, which were the plants that early Polynesians brought with them as necessities in their sea travels to plant in the newly inhabited Hawaiian Islands.

The garden offers a pretty good gift shop. I bought some gorgeous ceramics as gifts as they were made in the islands. The "made in Hawaii" crafts are in the front section as you walk in and the prices are very affordable. You won't find work like this in Waikiki and certainly not at these prices!

The shop also offers a good selection of books on the history of Hawaii. If you get hungry after your walk, there is a decent snack shop. I rarely eat burgers but Patrick and I did split a burger that had a taro bun and it was good!

And you know that gardens always need support! So next time you're on Oahu, venture out of Honolulu and up to the North Shore. When you come to Waimea Bay, you'll see signs for the garden. It's right there in the valley behind the famous big wave spot!

We loved it so much that we went twice! I'm sure I'll blog on this garden in more detail in the much to share.