Painting with Fresh Roses

The most amazing smell of roses filled my little studio today, as I was ‘painting’ with roses.  Gently prying them apart or manipulating them into an arrangement for the newest card I am working on for Mother’s Day.

After weeks of working late into the night at my easel, painting on canvas, it was incredibly rewarding to work with this new medium.  

A slightly wilting rose is beautiful in a way that is hard to explain – there is an instant patina and texture, it reminds you how fleeting the delicate petals are, yet this is when we finally get to see the hidden beauty at the core.  I wanted to capture this in the arrangement of the petals and buds in the shape of a heart, not the cliche Valentine arrangement in usually brings to mind, but something slightly more ephemeral and imperfectly perfect.  If that makes sense 🙂

I must confess I cannot say that ‘no roses where hurt in the process of making this card’, but there were some lucky survivors that made it into a vase after the shoot.  I collected a nice big bag of petals now waiting in my fridge to be dried using a new method I am going to try in the microwave – later to be used in a painting, which I will post if/when it works out.

Going over the photos from the shoot this evening I was quite pleased with the results.  On to turning all of this into a story with animation …

Earth Day is Tuesday 22 April

Earth Day is this Tuesday April 22.  To show our support of this global initiative I have created a card inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote and we are making this card free for everyone to send along with our other Earth Day ecards all year long.
The card is part of our new series of Notes, for quick and easy sending, with full mobile support.  And best of all it features two of my favorite flowers, roses and peonies, all hand painted with loving detail!
Earth Day inspired ecard for Ojolie of Roses and Peonies

Simple Stunning Flowers

photo by yellowgoatdesign on flickr – creative commons license

If you have a little extra money to splurge, my favorite choice is peonies. A few blooms will making an amazing display. But if you are on a tighter budget you can still making some very tasteful arrangements using everyday flowers from the grocery store.

photo by tanakawho on flickr – creative commons license

A simple bouquet of yellow solidagos and blue statice can make a stunning, but inexpensive and very full display. And the best part is that they dry really beautifully – in fact the blue statice will not fade and looks stunning against the mellow dried solidagos.

The solidagos and blue statice are set in a inexpensive rustic vase I found at a local rummage store

The same concept can be applied to other inexpensive flowers. As long as you avoid the mixed bouquets which are often rather tacky and opt for one big splash of color by using only one or two types of flower, even those who claim they don’t know how to arrange flowers can make a fancy looking arrangement.

Use unconventional containers as vases, such as small colorful glass bottles for a simple arrangement in the bathroom or even canning jars for – GASP – baby’s breath 🙂 Baby’s breath will actually look charming as long as you don’t use it with a mixed bouquet or roses.

Sometimes flower arranging is about thinking outside of the box and stretching the budget to go a little further.

This Mum LOVES these Mums

Some girls have a thing for shoes, some have a thing for the sparkly … and some like me can go totally nuts for flowers. “I LOVE FLOWERS” is an understatement, so of course I need to regularly go and drool at the huge, local flower market. This usually leads to lots of indecision about what to spend my weekly budget for cut flowers on (the equivalent of $3, which I almost NEVER seem to be able to stick to … he, he).

But this week there was no indecision, because when I spotted these gorgeous chrysanthemums I was sold. I can see why these flowers reign supreme in Asian brush paintings. In addition to the bamboo, plum blossoms and orchid it is called the “Four Gentlemen” in Sumi-e and Chinese ink painting. They represent an exalted place in Oriental culture, representing dignity, grace and strength.

Speaking of orchids, Taiwan is the world’s largest grower and exporter of orchids, so the flower market provides plenty of temptation. Costing between $3-10 for most common orchids, they really are not much more expensive than cut flowers, but provide months and months of blooms. I have been meaning to do an e-card about orchids for some time, hmmm, another excuse to go and do a little ‘research’ 🙂