Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Plein Air at Cummins Iris Garden in Scotts Valley

"Cummins Iris Garden"
Scotts Valley
11" x 14" Watercolor
The models await 
Colorful hat among the Irises
The paintsite Chairs, Jenny and Sylvia, keep surprising us with new locations to paint. Jenny found Jim and Irene Cummins' Iris Garden on a tour of the gardens in Scotts Valley, a town in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The link will take you to an article about the garden. The couple grows Irises for love, not profit. About 20 artists carpooled to the location on a gorgeous, hot early May morning. The place is a treasure chest of historical farm implements.
An Iris bed
 Healthy riding lawnmower

The sign reads "Welcome to the Garden of Weedin"

I could paint for a year here
The gardens are large and filled with a riot of Iris hybrids. I liked the contrasting colors of  the gold and purple Irises and used three of them as my models. I like to zoom in on my subject. My paper was drying really fast, making it harder to mix color on the paper. At times I got some blooms which suggested the shapes of Irises in the background. I used negative painting around the happy accidents. The first pass appears on the paintsites blog. At my Friday critique, my group suggested I pull some purple down into the leaves and I wasn't happy with the middle Iris. I reworked these areas this morning.
The Cummins were so very friendly, spending time with us, serving us ice water, and educating us on the various hybrids. They were so delighted that we wanted to paint their garden. What a welcome!  We gathered for lunch and viewed the morning's work.



Dick painted the barn with an imaginary
antique motorcycle


CrimsonLeaves said...

I think this is my favorite of all your watercolors to date, Mary. You did an exquisitely beautiful job with this piece. The day looks so fabulous too!

hmuxo said...

LOVE, LOVE this painting, Mary!

Christiane Kingsley said...

This sounds like such a wonderful place, especially for artists. I love your irises. Really well done, Mary!

hw (hallie) farber said...

A great garden and really cool tools. Your Iris painting is really wonderful--one of your best.

Marie Theron said...

Doing your art in the garden, what fun and freedom. Mary, I truly appreciate your kind words after the loss of my husband. To know that someone else had experienced what I go through now, is giving courage for the day ahead.

Mary Paquet said...

To all my faithful blog friends, thanks for your kind comments.

Marie, thank you and I am sending hopeful thoughts daily.