I love to paint, but over the past few years I have had very little time to do it. Right now we are in the middle of a massive heat wave and are trapped inside. It’s too hot to do anything. Anytime you step outside it’s empty with just the sound of buzzing air conditioners and vibrating wires overhead. It’s eerie. It’s our version of a snow storm, except it looks beautiful outside, but as soon as you step out, you are enveloped in heat and can only rush backwards back into the house.
I found myself painting for several hours over the weekend. It’s a great way to ignore the heat with the aid of some music or Podcasts, I lose all sense of what’s around me and forget the 105+ degree heat and anything rattling around in my head is silenced. I revisited some old sketches I did several months ago and also practiced drawing and painting some new things including geometrically based succulents. Of course, the succulents! They aren’t far from my brain… I won’t show the full paintings yet, but here’s a couple of glimpses. I’m really happy with the studies and I hope to show the finished pieces soon.
Succulent update: Everyone survived the winter. We had some hard frosts which are unusual where we live. In order to save all my outdoor pals, I gathered them under a table and covered them with a tarp. It protected them from the frost and the rain, and kept the temperature high enough that they didn’t croak. The year before I didn’t use this technique and lost a few succulent friends.
Now that it’s summer, a lot of the succulents are going through their major growing time. Over the winter in the colder weather they go somewhat dormant and don’t need very much water or attention. Now that scorching summer is here, the soil dries much quicker and the succulents are bursting vertically, horizontally and some even diagonally. There are some that have grown several inches in just a few weeks! Pretty amazing!
I also try to have a vegetable garden, and it’s usually a failure. I am not attentive enough to watering or maintaining the soil or keeping the pests away. I recently put in a tomato plant a friend gave me and it got scorched in the sun. Oops. I think I may stick to succulents.
Succulents really are pretty miraculous! They can take hot and cold extremes. Some of them flower, others change color with the seasons. They do best with a little abandonment – they are independent little creatures, maybe that’s why I like them so much!
I caught up on some podcasts and spent part of the afternoon working on the garden projects I linked to on the previous post. I made three small planters and several plant markers. I didn’t have any clay tools, specifically a smoothing tool to make the joints and connecting pieces look clean and professional. Since these are the first ones, I’m giving myself some slack. They aren’t perfect, but I like them anyways.
The plant markers were much easier and looked a lot better because they required less tools. I had a set of alphabet stamps which made the markers especially simple. I made markers for some of the succulents and herbs. I’m already making a list for more to make later. I think they look pretty good! FYI, the Mint marker is really white. The light gave it an orange tint.
Thanks to Say Yes to Hoboken for the planter instructions, and Wit & Whistle for the marker guide!