Although I developed an interest for art at a young age, it lay dormant for way too many years. About twelve years ago I decided there was no time like the present to nuture a latent interest. Mainly self taught, I plunged into classes, workshops, books and anything I could get my hands on to learn as much as I could about my favorite medium, watercolor.
It's been work but the rewards and pleasure of creation have been worth it. Those first few paintings do not even come close to what I am proud of today. My genre style developed into close up, sometimes semi-abstractions of flowers. Through my Mother's love of flowers, I've found these wonderous beauties of nature calling me. But it's the drama created when the sun kisses their petals that I become entranced and feel the urge to create.
I've written a book, "Artist's Projects You Can Paint - 10 Floral Watercolors", been published in several art books and now have the privilege of teaching workshops in such wonderful places as Palm Springs, CA; The Dordogne Region in Southwest France and in Canyon de Chelly, AZ.
Visit my web at www.kathydunham.com
One of the beauties of living in the desert is the spectacle we get this time of year when the Palo Verde trees bloom. Spanish for "Green Stick", these unique trees adapt to drought conditions by dropping their small leaves and photosynthesising through the bark, which is green. A favorite of humming birds as well as honey bees, these trees add wild splashes of yellow across the desert when in bloom since the entire tree is usually covered with these tiny yellow blossoms.
I live in an area with a wide variety of agriculture. Dates, grapes, artichokes, strawberries, basil and other herbs, okra and lots of citrus. The development I live in is also loaded with lots of citrus trees, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and lots of lemons. All free for the picking.
Even though it's 100 degrees today we still have spring blossoms. These Ocotillo buds were growing in a wash in the Anza-Borrego desert. In dry conditions these tall, spindly plants look like a bunch of dead sticks loaded with thorns. But when it rains they sprout little green leaves all over their branches and get these red-orange blossoms on the tips.
We've had problems with ducks claiming the community pool as their own. Everything has been tried to discourage them but to no avail. I was out of town for the weekend (I had no wifi so was unable to send the blog) and when I came home today I discovered that our duck population has grown by ten. They are so cute when little and I hope they'll fly north as soon as they're able.
While taking a walking tour in Guadalajara, Mexico, I came upon this simple centerpiece at a local courtyard restaurant. I think it's the bright colors that attracted me. They are so happy and festive.
I found these at a local nursery and was intrigued by the name. This native of the Southeast is basically a water iris, these beardless members of the iris family are evergreen and do well in extremely wet soil (if you don't have a pond to plant them in).
These South American plants, that occur mostly in the Andes, have made it big time in North America. Used mostly in floral arrangements as filler flowers, they are actually quite beautiful and easy to grow.
This patch of gazanias was a delight to the eye as I was driving down a local street. So much so that I had to stop and take pictures. I learned a long time ago to always carry my camera as I never know when a photo op will appear.
I'm having a luncheon tomorrow for the gals who are joining me at my watercolor workshop in France next month. A little meet and greet before we go and to talk over last minute details. Next month about this time I'll be able to post the real picture of Monet's Garden. I've gotten permission to paint there and really excited to walk in his footsteps.
This photo is actually at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.
While enjoying a pre-dinner drink at a local pub in Victoria, B.C., I noticed the late afternoon light was being reflected off the windows on the building across the street. The rays hit the flower on the table and created this unusual lighting.