Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kitty Princess Painting in Progress

I'm currently doing some touch-ups on paintings I assumed were finished. I've been so inundated the past few years with the college search for my daughter that my some of my paintings didn't get tidied up quite as much as I would have liked. I simply didn't have the energy to go around.

So I'm going back to some of the work of the past two years and polishing them. The painting above is fine now, but I will post the finished product after I'm done with it. The tiger kitten head is sharper and has more contrast than the dress. I'll at least address that, and see what else grabs me. 

Finished product on the way...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Daylily Hybridizing Process

Here's how my daylily hybridizer husband makes new hybrids of daylilies. The seedling above is a cross between the flower "Harold Thomas" (named after Scott's father) and Cimarron Rose, a flower produced by Jeff Saulter. A seedling is a flower that has not yet been introduced. Introducing a daylily names it and registers it the the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS).

Scott gets up with the sun to beat the bees to the plants. He uses a cotton swab to make crosses.

In this case, he takes pollen from Cimarron Rose.


Then he places the pollen on Harold Thomas.

He then labels the tag with the pollen parent, and ties it to the base of the flower with an indication of the cross he made.

After a couple of weeks the plants develop seed pods.

 After 8 weeks or so, he harvests the seeds and saves them for planting.

He makes metal labels for the new plants with soda cans. They won't degrade or fade over time.

He makes holes in each label through which he will thread a wire stake for plugging into the ground near each plant or row of plants. 

He embosses the number of each plant on the label with a ball point pen.

He plants the seeds in rows with labels and waits 3 to 4 weeks for them to germinate.

He keeps a "stud book" of all his crosses. Only he understands the numbers and what they refer to. He has several stud books filled with pages like this!

He stores pollen in the freezer for future use.

It takes two years to see if a plant has not only a pretty face, is unique, and a consistent flower, but is a vigorous plant with a well-branched scape. Usually it takes 4-6 years to introduce a flower from the time it blooms. Out of the thousands Scott grows in our yard, he only introduces a few each year. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Art from the Heart

"Go Ask Alice"  36" x 36"  Oil on Board

This painting was auctioned off at Art From The Heart fundraiser last night, benefitting Studio by the Tracks, a working art studio for people with autism in Birmingham. I did this piece during a transition period, between my Exhibit A Alabama paintings and my current work. I was experimenting with It was purchased by Phillip and Annette Forstall, owners of Forstall Art Supply in Homewood. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Flower Power

My husband, Scott Bennett, in our backyard daylily garden. He is a hybridizer, which is explained for dummies at this link.

All the images here are this year's seedlings, except for one named one. 

Frances Busby

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Weekend in Huntsville

This past weekend Annabelle attended an Anime Convention in Huntsville, Alabama, while my friend Anne and I had a girl weekend. Annabelle dressed up and acted pretty nerdy. We hiked at Monte Sano State Park (above) and....

Went to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. (My favorite new plant, The New Jersey Tea Plant, above)

Inside the very well appointed Butterfly Garden

We also took a long walk around Big Spring Park and saw more Japanese fish (and pooping geese) than I've ever seen in my life. 
I didn't take photos of the very old hardware store or the very old feed store we visited. We also saw three movies, one each afternoon when it got hot. 

While waiting for Annabelle at the hotel, we ran into Iron Man in the parking lot. More photos of Annabelle in her costumes to come. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To Plein Air is Human

Opening this Friday!

Red Dot Gallery will host To Plein Air is Human (to work in the studio from photos is divine), an exhibit featuring the work of local artist Kristin Martin, a longtime Red Dot painting student. The exhibit will open on June 7th, 2013 through July 28th. The opening reception will be June 7th, 2013 at 5PM.

Kristin Martin has lived in several different areas of the United States, but grew up in Anniston, AL. She is a Birmingham-Southern Alumn, and spent many years working with the Birmingham Museum of Art, to which she credits much of her art world inspiration. Martin paints landscapes and abstracts, both derived from photos of local outdoor scenes and places she has visited on various travels. Her immediate, uninhibited style captures the freshness of passing moments in nature. She is influenced by landscapes when creating her abstract works. From rocks, rivers, trees, and cloudy skies evolve simple shapes, evocative color, and emotional brushwork. She has one of Red Dot’s strongest individual voices.

Kristin Martin has been painting for several years, but has been working under Dori DeCamillis since 2005. She was an art instructor at Red Dot in 2010, and has shown her work with the gallery for student shows. She has also exhibited and worked with other organized shows such as Studio by the Tracks. Kristin’s work is influenced by Matisse, and Cezanne, and the Fauvist movement.

 To Plein Air is Human will include a series of Martin’s landscape and abstract paintings. The Red Dot Gallery is located at 1001 Stuart Street Birmingham, AL 35209.