Blunders & Absurdities

Have you ever missed a deadline? Well, I did. I have three paintings started, none of which are far enough along to finish in time for a show I planned to enter. In the Spring I get caught up in the search for just the right flowers for my yard. A good and fun example of Spring Fever. Wait ’til you see what I found!


Art & A Useful Discipline

A while back I needed a painting for a workshop I was taking with Gwen Fox, one of my favorite artists/instructors in Sante Fe. I woke early thinking of “subdued colors”. Our assignment was to use only primary colors, black, and white. Gwen suggested Turquoise Phthalo (for blue), Quinacridone Magenta (for red), Quinacridone Gold (for yellow), and White. Instead of using black from a tube/bottle, I decided to mix that as well, with equal parts of the three primary colors.

If you have been painting for any length of time you are probably familiar with this process. You can create any color, except white, with the three primary colors. You can also create any hue of those colors by altering the amount of each primary color. To make a tint of a color, add white. To make a shade of a color, add black. If you are wanting to dull down a color, add the color opposite of that color on a color wheel.

If you don’t have a lot of space for painting or if you like to travel to paint this is a great way to cut back on the number of colors you need to have on hand. Saving money is also a benny. This also helps you to learn what colors to add If you can’t find a particular color. Questions? Just ask, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. To follow is the painting I did for the class.

“Whispers” Acrylics on canvas: 12”x9”.


Spring Fever Has Struck

As the sun rises higher in the sky this morning it willingly will pour its light over the uprise of weeds and vines in the woods. The sunlight highlights the delicate new leaves awakening from their winter slumber. (I adore the fresh color of green.) On the screened porch the sunbeams will soon shed their light on me as I sit sipping my steaming cup of tea.

Over the winter there was no snow in this area of Georgia nor many years prior. The fragrant winter rain ushers in the beginning delights of Spring. Branches begin to show signs of delicate new beginnings as early as mid-February, their buds . . . a sign of gifts yet to come.

Three large manicured shrubs no longer block my view of the woods, nor will I need to trim them. The white dogwood tree planted two years ago is filled with budding leaves and flowers. Two new additions were added to my wooded area last week, white dogwood trees. I am so pleased. Now I’m contemplating what I might enjoy looking at where the over-grown shrubs were. Of course, the poison ivy will need to be cleared first. Ugh!

Dogwood Buds Opening      Dogwood Tree in Full Bloom

The woods is also home to some elegant black raspberry bushes. The long slender arching branches have clusters of delicate five-petaled white blossoms that will soon be followed by red berries which mature to black. Through my research, I found its name is rubus occidentalis.

Working the flowerbeds on the north side of the house is an ongoing project. I add a few things each year. The new additions this year are Brilliant Autumn Ferns. The ferns have joined the lily-of-the-valley, hostas and my hydrangea which is filling out nicely.

When I began my plantings my intent was to put stones around the plants to keep weeds to a minimum. This spring I am so pleased with the way the moss has filled in that I intend to leave the moss. It has such a lovely woodsy feel and the grass that pops up is easily pulled.

Pansies usually survive the winters in Georgia but they definitely won’t make it through the stifling summer heat. When I moved into the little cottage I planted them in the spring, silly me. As a neighbor walking by saw my most recent treasures she said, “Those won’t make it through the summer here.” She was right. Lesson learned. Last fall was the first year I planted pansies in the winter. They’re a lovely greeting when I open my front door during the winter and spring.

What I thought was a double daffodil on my last visit to Gibbs Gardens may also be known as a Narcissus Cheerfulness. Who would have guessed that this magnificent beauty was a narcissus! It sure cheered me up to find it!

Here’s to letting go of blunders and absurdities and succumbing to Spring Fever. Wishing you an awesome Spring!

I am grateful for your uplifting support of my art and this newsletter.




4 comments to Blunders & Absurdities

  • Mickey

    May 1, 2022 at 2:10 PM
    DeAnne D.

    Didn’t go using other address.

    Dearest Mickey-mickilous,
    You brought early Spring to my mountains. What a joy to follow your cottage landscape and planting plans. I miss you sweetheart.
    I have an old East Texas memory of seeing a white flowering dogwood, shining like a star through the tangle of thin saplings and vines in the center of dark woods.
    Much love,

  • Mickey

    Mickey Baxter-Spade
    Mon, May 2, 11:15 PM

    to DeAnne

    Oh De, what fun to hear from you, again. I love finding my plantings but I find digging with a pick and shovel through the red Georgia clay and gravel a bit tiring. I actually had some really nice help with the trees and shrubs. The results are nearly always worth the effort.

    I’m sending a pic of a painting I did last year. Your last sentence reminded me of it. Big, big hugs and lots of love to you!

  • Comment on Facebook from an elementary classmate
    Jim M

    Your newsletters are written beautifully! Can’t imagine Horace Mann teaching was responsible for that level of writing fluency…kudos, classmate.

  • Jim McCoskey well, Jim, you certainly made my day. Thank you! Hopefully we’ve all learned a few things since our Horace Mann days. Thanks so much for commenting.

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