Friday, May 1, 2015

Art and Garden Update

Yesterday it was sunny so at lunch time I strolled down to the Montlake Cut, where preparations were underway for opening day of the boating season (which is Saturday).  Lots and lots of boats chugging along the canal, and crews out practicing for the races.

I decided to sketch the Montlake drawbridge.  Even though I'm not fond of drawing manmade objects, I do find older buildings and structures attractive.  My drawing pad was just 3x5" and so I put what I could in -- you'll probably notice the bridge seems to tilt a more than it ought to towards the right...perspective is not my strong suit.  I used water-soluble colored pencils instead of watercolor this time -- that often works better if the subject is complex, as it allows for more control.  Also, if I tried to paint this with watercolor, I'd have to let some sections dry before tackling the next, and on a one-hour lunch break, that isn't possible.

With water-soluble colored pencils, I can simply place the color exactly where I want it, and then add water (with the handy waterbrush) to turn it painterly, working from light-colored areas to darker ones.  Works pretty well, all in all.

Garden Update:  stuff is blooming away!

First up, the pansy violets are taking over a small flower bed.  In the background you should be able to pick out the meadow rue.

The False Solomon Seal is a volunteer plant that is a lovely accent -- it seems to prefer to be up against the fence or next to a tree, and is a reliable bloomer every Spring.

The Snowball Viburnum is also a nice Spring bloomer:

And finally, a mystery see, I buy perennials every year and toss them in wherever I can find room, and I never put the little tags that identify them in the ground nearby because Truman will just dig them up.  Because I have so many plants, when these things bloom, I don't always remember what's what.  Probably I should try making charts of the garden, though it's rather complicated.  Anyway, this plant started blooming this week, and I like it a lot.  But I have no idea what it is!

I do know that I planted penstemmon and monarda recently.  Also lupines but those I know well (they're not blooming yet).  And I have several other mystery plants in this same area. We shall wait and see what they look like -- it's like having a garden full of surprises!


  1. That's probably monarda. The leaves look right. If they smell vaguely lemony and vaguely minty, that increases the odds of its being monarda.


  2. I like the bridge and your garden is gorgeous - don't you just love spring?? Enjoy your surprises!