Not far from our house, is the Liberty Loop path! Located in Pine Island, NY, it is our go-to place for a walk. It is also part of the Appalachian Trail, but completely flat terrain. A hit with walkers (zombies included), this area is also popular among bird watchers and bird photographers, as it is a wildlife refuge with abundant waterfowl habitat. I hope to one day see the Northern Pintail Duck, which can be found here.
Rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) is a classic spring blooming herbaceous perennial, which is native to the woodlands of eastern North America. In early spring, this delicate looking plant pops up in beautiful patches, as it pokes through decaying leaves from season’s past. It is hard not to notice this gem as one walks in the woods. It later occurred to me that Rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) is not the only early spring plant that looks the way it does.
In fact, at this point, I believe that the photo I used to paint this plant is actually False Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum) because it tends have white flowers, unlike the typically pinkish sepals of Rue-anemone. Both species are true spring ephemerals as they fade away in the summer. Either way, the delicate beauty of this plant (and it’s lookalike) made its way into my day dreams of early spring wildflowers, during what has been, a cold and icy winter so far. But, I am not complaining. I like it when winter feels like winter in eastern North America.
Here are some photos of the painting process. I used masking fluid to save the whites of the flowers, while I paint over everything else.
Usually sometime in January, I start dreaming of native wildflowers and the many pollinators that visit them. One of my favorite native herbaceous plants is Monarda fistolusa aka Wild Bergamot or Bee Balm. This plant is in the mint family and smells similar to the bergamot used in earl gray tea. In this painting, a skipper butterfly is having a nectar/pollen snack on Wild Bergamot. Not sure what type of skipper it is, but my guess is – Zabulon Skipper.
This 77-foot waterfall, located in Paterson, New Jersey was formed by the latest glaciation event, which also carved Glacial Lake Passaic. During the industrial revolution, the power of these falls was harnessed to power manufacturing companies and locomotives. Today, this area is preserved for its beauty and history. I decided to paint this waterfall not because of its history or size, but because of an idea I had for a sepia style silhouette light effect.
This painting is available on Etsy as a print or original.
As a family, we love adventuring to Blooming Hill Farm. It is an organic farm located in South Blooming Grove, NY. Salad greens and root veggies are always available there in the middle of winter. The folks that run the place are the best! There are also these old rusty trucks laying around on the property. I’m not sure what the story is, but I’m pretty sure they don’t run anymore. One thing is for sure – they make an excellent subject matter for a watercolor painting!
Here is another old rusty truck painting from Blooming Hill Farm. This painting found a home with our friends Jordan and Miranda.