|Queen Anne's Lace- 6" x 6", Oil on Panel, Bridget Grady|
|"At the Wicket"- Ivan Shishkin|
Elizabeth Heal Grady(Aunt Betty)is a former teacher of art history and a perpetual lover of books. It was Betty who gave me my first real art book as a Christmas present. It was a book of M.C. Escher woodcuts, and it blew my 10 year old mind. Still does,and she has been adding to my art library ever since! Thank You Betty! And Happy Birthday!
I’ve been particularly aware of the Queen Anne’s Lace blooming along the roadsides and un- grazed pastures this year. It seems extra robust.For the very first time it has appeared in my own ”garden”. I tried for years to get those white lace beauties, paired with the equally stunning ultramarine chicory, to grow in what once was a well attended garden. No luck. They just wouldn’t reside there.They had escaped from colonial gardens and adapted to the freedom of the wild.Apparently they snubbed eight inches of compost for a life of living on the edge. This year, however, I’ve have triumphed and have a lovely patch for the first time.
The secret? Complete neglect:)!
Every year I say to myself I’m going to paint delicate flowers, but when painting flowers from strict observation, timing is of the essence. Procrastination just doesn’t cut it, and I kept missing the flowering stage. Just recently,I came across a couple of images on the web that reminded me I had better get to it or wait yet another year.One was on James Gurney’s blog featuring an image of a “Weedy Garden” by Ivan Shishkin.
|Weed Fest ( I kinda like it this way)|
|"Corner of a Overgrown Garden- Goutweed"- 1884-|
|"Oak Grove"-1887- Ivan Shishkin|
Both are considered invasive
species. Though the Queen Anne's Lace can have some beneficial qualities if kept under control. Many wildflowers resemble each other. If one cannot closely to compare their botanical structures it can be easy, and occasionally dangerous to confuse them.(See this Link).For instance, Queen Anne's Lace and Water Hemlock look very similiar but the Water Hemlock is toxic!
|"Pine Forest, Vyatka Province"- 1872,- Ivan Shishkin|
|Queen Anne's Lace and Chicory|
|Water Hemlock( Toxic)|
|Hogweed (Extremely Toxic and Invasive)|
|Cow Parsnip(Native, Skin Irritant)|
For those of you who are unfamiliar with James Gurney's blog, Gurney Journey,you should definitely subscribe. It is a wealth of information for anyone interested in contemporary realism, history,and pedagogy. He is an accomplished artist,illustrator and author of several books. generous with his knowledge and research. His book" Imaginative Realism" is well worth adding to the drawing library and was one I recommended to my students interested in Concept Art or Illustration.
For those of you in the New York Area you might want to stop in to Zeller's atelier.
The Teaching Studios
For more information on Ivan Shishkin or Queen Anne's Lace visit the links below.