Category Archives: Flowers

Fifty Fifty



Cyclamen. 6.25 x 9 in. watercolor Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Cyclamen. 6.25 x 9 in. watercolor Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you don’t. Both of these paintings are blasts from the past. I wasn’t happy with them. At least, I didn’t think they were finished.

watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © Sheila Delgado 2013

Cyclamen, watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © Sheila Delgado 2013

Here is a look at where I left off. In the original post, I mentioned that I was happy with the painting, and that it came together quickly. This was Day 22 of September challenge 2013. 2013!

The background on the bottom half is a washed out green, showing almost white here. Very washed out as a whole. This sat on my desk for a week. I had to think about where to take it.

Finally jumped in, by adding dark to the bottom right corner. I worked piece by piece, covering the areas between the stems. Looking at the results, I think that I probably could have gone a little darker still. It’s a done deal though. Sealed in an envelope ready to fly to a friend.

I am happy with how the greens and blues mixed on the paper. Happy with the whites I left. Happy with the jewel-toned sky. I really like this piece now.

I wish the same were true for Bloom. I like the wonky shape. I could not find the original image post, but the petals were solid yellow, and the leaves were not as defined.

I tried to improve this, adding a warm rusty Neocolor. I kept adding, and adding. To the center around the head. Three or four colors. And you know what’s wrong. I know you know. Value.

Think I botched it even more that it was to begin with.

I was trying for depth at the base of the petals. Didn’t achieve that. I don’t think you can see it here as well as in person, but the head almost looks 3-D.  It looks really cool. Seems to bulge. That was a nice surprise.

Bloom. 8 x 8 in. watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bloom. 8 x 8 in. watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


Oh well, can’t win them all. It was good to take a blah and make it a thumbs up. Good to challenge myself, even if it did not pay off.  Good to have a brush in my hand!







From Chaos



Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


Hours filled with blessed creation. International Soul Art Day 2017 proved to be meaningful, mindful,  and mending. This was my fifth year participating. I always find it so hard to put into words.

I was in the moment. No plan. Feels like I have said that before about Laura Hollick’s Soul Art Day. Layer after layer, I continued to paint without a preconceived idea of where I wanted the work to go.


In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
Deepak Chopra


Not sure why the word chaos came to me when thinking of a title for this post. The only chaos was the unrestrained creative activity. The free-flowing mark making.


We live in a rainbow of chaos.
Paul Cezanne



First layers.

First layers.


Watercolor dripping and staining the paper. Wine, yellow, orange, fuchsia, rust. Acrylic stamping with wood and rubber. Stenciling gone wrong, paint too wet. Do more “wrong” stenciling in different areas. Use a dropper to add more yellow acrylic. Mist water on top and watch the paint spread in jagged blooming fingers. More yellow marks with a twig.


It seems like the chaos of this world is accelerating,
but so is the beauty
in the consciousness of more and more people.
Anthony Kiedis



Detail 1.

Detail 1.

White acrylic scribbles and swirls. Some of the watercolor mixes in and softens the bright here and there. White repeating texture. Some strong, some fading. Some becomes soft yellow when paint accidentally mixes.

Wine dipped dry brush tapped on the paper. Marks become like feathers. Thinking flight. Freedom. Spirit.  Jagged marks with watercolor pencil. Swirling scribble line to cover the page.



Detail 2.

Detail 2.

Dark splatters in watercolor and acrylic. Cover almost all with watery white acrylic. Layering in patches. Use the same square brush that made the feather marks.

Outline Seussical shapes with black marker until it runs dry. Continue with thick wine watercolor. Cover black marker with the same. Soft diluted splatters finish it off like sprinkles on frosting.


Art is the triumph over chaos.
John Cheever


A few tools.

A few tools.


When we submit our work to the Soul Art Gallery, Laura asks about our process, what the day means to us, and what insight we gained from taking part. The insight was slow in coming. Maybe I just was not focused on that.

That inner nagging voice told me that this wasn’t about creating a pretty picture. Maybe I took a wrong turn and missed the path to enlightenment. Maybe I was stupid for worrying and being too serious.

Maybe it did not HAVE to be deep, to be meaningful.

It wasn’t until the last layer of whitewash that it came to me. A single, simple thought. I know. Not very original or deep. But a message just the same.


Bloom where you are planted. 








This Could Bee The One



Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.

Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)


Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.

Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.






  1. Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.

  2. Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
  3. I beefed up her back and rear as well.  Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
  4. It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
  5. I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.

It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.


Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado


 Additional Design Elements

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.

I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.

Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)

I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.

Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.


So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.

I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!



Bee Bloomers Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.


There it was.
My design challenge entry.

I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.




So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.


No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are. 



  • All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
  • 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
  • The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
  • 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
  • Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
  • In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • 04/11/2017: Submissions open
  • 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
  • 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
  • 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
  • 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner


See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.






Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!



Butterflies, original artwork. 4 x6 approx., pencil, pen and gouache. Carol Edan. 2017

Butterflies, original artwork. 4 x 6 approx., pencil, pen and gouache. Carol Edan. 2017



That was me when the mail came. I had no idea this sweet card would be there waiting for me. An original piece of art from Carol!! All the way from Israel! Oh JOY!!! I have followed Carol’s Journey for I don’t know how long. LOVE your work Carol! I LOVE this card!!

The image above is a photo, not a scan. Doesn’t do justice. But take a look at all that wonderful texture!! So soft and moody. A little mini-break for my soul. Breathe in, breathe out. Ahhh. This is a just-because card. Not part of LYA, and why it was such a surprise.

I guessed on the materials. You will have to correct me if I am wrong Carol. Your card did find me well. And left me in exaltation! Thank you my friend! You are a treasure!

Oh shoot, now I have done it. Christmas is in my head. But that works too. This IS “An Original Caroled”. Former choir girl here needs a fix.



I’m a dork, I admit it. I could listen to Christmas music all year long. OK, just one more…. start your day off with a shimmy and a shake!



But wait, there’s more!

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:16

Not only was I blessed with Carol’s beautiful card, but I also received a surprise from Kat Sloma. I knew it was coming, but I sort of forgot. Sometimes brain farts aren’t so bad ‘ey?

As part of the LYA 2017 blog hop, Kat had a giveaway for a 6 x 9 print, and 10 packs of postcards. Seems the artists were super generous with their “extras” for Kat’s helpers. I was blessed with a gorgeous group of cards.

Kat's LYA 2017 giveaway gift pack.

Kat’s LYA 2017 giveaway gift pack.

Kat included one of her cards too!

"Imminent Downfall", Kat Sloma, 2014.

“Imminent Downfall”, Kat Sloma, 2014.

Artists included:

PJ Lawrence (TN), Louise Mamet (France), Sea Dean (Canada), Janice Darby (CA), ndvest, Lynda Stone, Linda Ursin (Norway), Therese Misner (OR), Laura Summer, Sarah Robinson, Catie Porter (WA), Ron Leunissen (Netherlands).

Thank you Kat for this wonderful and generous gift! And thank you to all the generous artists who shared their art! Each of these is a treasure! Yay! Thank you!



Pretty in Pink Pomegranates. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Pretty in Pink Pomegranates. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

For my LYA friends who may have missed it:

Spoonflower’s design challenge this week – Whimsical Watercolor Fruit. The top ten winners each week will take home a Spoonflower credit and a Skillshare Premium subscription. All submissions into May’s design challenges are automatically entered to win the grand prize full of design goodies worth over $1000!

A super opportunity to learn and grow my pattern presence on Spoonflower, and why I am so grateful for your vote!

Read more about my entry  here.












Something Silly This Way Comes



Something Silly Made. Mixed media. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Something Silly Made. Mixed media. 2017 Sheila Delgado

In her recent newsletter, Carla Sonheim invited us to follow her lead and make something. Sitting next to me on the desk were the watercolors I painted for the Seaing is Believing surface design. I reached for my scissors, and a few minutes later I had a wonky bouquet.

I glued the pieces on the back of a failed painting. Added some stems, a bit of patchy sky. I scanned it into the computer, and added outlines digitally. I was hoping the shadows from each piece would be visible. Proof of the “made”.


I don’t have a Wacom, and trying to draw with the mouse is a chore. The lines came out crooked and I had to start over a few times. But they suit the silly and imperfect arrangement. Check out Carla’s 30-day blog project for some mid-week inspiration.



Question mark. Kathy McIntire’s colorful card arrived, and made me panic for a minute, wondering if I had sent one in return. Whew! I did. Checked my list.

Kathy McIntire LYA side swap.

Kathy McIntire LYA side swap.

Kathy shared a mini gallery of her work. I’m not sure, but I think the flower is a felted piece. Isn’t this card fun? On the back Kathy shared a bit of her story. Wife, mother, grandmother, friend, volunteer, beach lover and artist. She loves sharing art with others, whether it is mail art, swapping, teaching or selling. She works in glass, clay, textiles and mixed media assemblage. So lucky that Kathy shared her art with me!

Kathy is part of The International Union of Mail Artist’s. Take a look at her Facebook page for some really fabulous postcards. Kathy is also doing some wonderful work for adults with disabilities. So awesome Kathy! And that leads to a connection with Kathy. I worked with United Cerebral Palsy in San Diego. Just a little something. I miss that job, and the people!

Thanks so much Kathy for sharing your thoughts and fabulous art with me! I wish you the best of luck with your inspirational “‘lil bizness”! Such a gift for your community!