For the flowers I used gouache. I haven’t worked with gouache much. I need to play with it more. Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Transparent watercolor allows you to see the “white” of the paper through the paint. Gouache paint can be applied in solid colors. This allows artists to paint in layers from dark to light.
The flowers of the Prickly Pear look waxy and are translucent. So gouache was not the right medium for them. Lesson learned. I was hoping to capture the vivid colors. I will try again. Won’t that be fun! Here is a terrific video showing different cacti flowers. If you watch to the end, it gives the names of each.
This strange plant looks like it was brought here from the forbidden plant. It is a type of agave. Some are called century plants because it takes them nearly 40 years to bloom. Once they do, the plant begins to die. The leaves at the base often form a perfectly round “ball” shape. As the flower stalk grows, the leaves start to wither and fade, laying down like stacked papers. The stalk uses nutrition from the leaves.
The plants often develope little “pups”, offshoots around the base as well. The bloom stalk can grow as tall as 30 feet. Some agave have clumps of yellow flowers. A tasty treat for hummingbirds and bees. I can’t help finding them fascinating.
Day 23, Prickly Pear cactus. Flubbed this one big time. Ruined the sky. Tried to fix it and lost my cloud shapes. Ended up with blue clouds. Haha. Flubbed the sand. This is sand after a windstorm. Twigs and debris everywhere. Haha. I picked that up from the stormy, weird weather shows I had on. Flubbed the cacti. It just wasn’t working last night. So I gave up. Walked away defeated. Haha. I lost some of my pencil lines and had to fake it.
I came back this morning, surprise! It’s not as awful as I thought. Not quite.
Maybe it is just a sign. My mojo has left the building. I pushed through last night. But today, when I had a handful of pads to finish and ALL those spines… it was like dragging a five-year-old to the dentist. So I am calling it done. Calling it won.
Rain, rain, come our way…
Yesterday was cloudy and mucky, and wonderful. Mostly light drizzle, but for a few minutes, we had hail (tiny). The storm came from the south. At one point, I looked out and it seemed as if Mingus had been chopped to pieces.
Afterward, it cleared. Sunny and bright. Then the sky turned a weird shade of yellow. Mingus vanished in a misty sort of fog. A solid wall. That’s when the rainbow appeared.
Today is partly cloudy, and teasing rain. Mingus had snow overnight!
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. Langston Hughes
Rain hangs about the place, like a friendly ghost. If it’s not coming down in delicate droplets, then it’s in buckets; and if neither, it tends to lurk suspiciously in the atmosphere. Barbara Acton-Bond