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Oregon "Passionflower" #2.

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When I was taking a walk the other day, I came upon a lovely site which I had never before seen even though I have hiked there more times than I can count over the past several years. Luckily I had my camera on me. ;D There was a humongous dark purple flower, which resembled a passionflower in full bloom. I could not believe my eyes. It was gorgeous! The light wasn’t the best, because it was the middle of the day, but I snapped some photos anyway.

Oregon “Passionflower” #3


I was so excited that I went back later towards evening when the light was better to get more pictures. Lighting really made a difference. (I’ve posted both sets so you can see why it is best to take photos in the morning or the evening.) During the middle of the day the light comes down at a 90 degree angle, or close to it, causing photos to look flat and uninteresting.

Notice in photos 8, 9, and 10 how the light draws the attention to the flower rather than the background. I also makes the flower more rounded and 3 dimensional.

Oregon "Passionflower" #4

It’s a mystery to me what kind of flower this is, although I assume it is some sort of native species. It grew in almost full shade and the flower was about 6 inches or more tall. While I was out taking the second set of pictures, I bumped into the man who owns the adjacent property . He did not know what it is either, but said he used to have a bunch of them behind his garage–but pulled them out because they stink really bad. I could not smell anything and am thinking I wouldn’t mind having some in my yard a good distance from the house (just in case they DO smell LOL). Perhaps it is a relative of the skunk cabbage? I’m not sure because they grow in more marshy areas and you almost always smell those long before you see them. These were on a hill high and dry.

Oregon Passionflower #6

Oregon "Passionflower" #6

Whatever they are, apparently the reason I had never seen one despite the frequency of my walks down this particular trail is because it does not bloom very long. Less than 2 days after I took these pictures the bloom had died. Within a week the entire plant died back and the spot is now covered in morning glory instead. I’m glad I happened to take a walk down that way when my mystery flower was blossoming.

Oregon "Passionflower" #7



Several days later I went to my friend’s house for an art day again. My friend worked on some miniature sculptures, and I decided to paint a picture of my Oregon “passion flower” from memory. Working entirely from memory is one of the exercises suggested in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. For those who would like to learn to draw or increase their drawing skills, I would highly recommend getting a copy.

Oregon "Passionflower" #8

Entitled “Oregon ‘Passionflower’ Memory.” my painting is watercolor on paper 11×15.” skipping a pencil sketch, I started painting a translucent minty green glaze around the flower. I had intended to paint in the dark green foliage behind the flower as well, but liked the transparent glaze so well that I left it that way in the end. Next I painted in the fuchsia of the flower, leaving some lighter areas and adding some yellow highlights. Then I used purple for the stamen and the shading. As a finishing touch I painted the stem a minty green with fuchsia and purple shadows, repeating those colors with a light glaze in the corners.

Oregon "Passionflower" #9

Oregon "Passionflower" #10

Oregon Passionflower memory, watercolor 11X15

Oregon "Passionflower" memory, watercolor 11X15"

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Over the 4th of July my family went fishing at Gnat Creek. My part of the fishing trip was, as usual to take lots and lots of reference photos 🙂 . I noticed some really tiny little white wildflowers next to a splotchy mottled rock. It was pretty in the sunlight. I took a couple of close up photos for use later.

A couple days ago I went to a friends house to have an “art day.” Although I did look at the photos briefly to refresh my memory, I chose to put them away and paint entirely from memory. This was much more fun than trying to paint photographically, freeing me up to be more creative and play with compositional changes.

I went with purple for the shadows, and an impressionistic green and purple background. A touch of yellow highlights and also some yellow to warm up the rock tie things together. I limited the palette to brown, purple, green, yellow, and white. The purple flowers in the background were added on a bit of a whim. (Yeah, I have a weakness for purple 😉 ) splattering in paint on different area of the wet rock to create the splotchy texture was really enjoyable too. The finished painting is 9×12″


Here are the reference photos. Notice the really interesting pattern on the rock. It makes a lovely background. I’m particularly fond of the close up shot. It has a good contrast between the warm tones of the rock and the cool colors of the flowers.



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Daisy Macro #1I have to admit that although I have owned my digital camera for more than 3 years, it was not until last month that I finally tried out the macro feature on it. I’m still learning to use it. The first several pictures were pretty blurry. It is also often disorienting trying to locate my desired focal point when focusing on such a tiny area. Daisies and red moth

The first time I tried it out I had a wiggly kid in hand, so those ones did not turn out, but I tried again at the park and managed to get some of those tiny daisies that grow in the grass.

There was a really pretty red moth flitting around that I wanted a close up of. I wanted one of it in mid flight, but had a hard time getting it in the view finder on close up that quickly. Finally it landed in the middle of a clump of miniature daisies for a while.

I also got some close up shots of some buttercups in the grass. I did have some difficulty getting the camera to focus on the flowers instead of the grass when I got up as close as i wanted.buttercup macro #1

I will need to spend more time practicing with this feature. It’s been fun so far. I’d like to be able to get even more close to the flowers than these ones.

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