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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson

My friends’ Mindo garden inspired this Timeout for Art, although the true inspiration came from two forlorn vinyl “For Sale” signs that cluttered their storage room.

After scrubbing the panels with soapy water, we prepped them with a white acrylic sealer for a clean painting surface then went to the gardens for inspiration.   Contemplating the beauty of the garden plants, we set the panels near the orchids and zebra plants.  Julie watched as I drew the basic shapes.   Tiny biting insects and not-so-tiny mosquitoes prompted us to clip some of foliage for reference material and move the panels inside.

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With the panels flat on the floor, we washed the background with acrylic, let that dry and washed the yellow in the veins of the leaves.  We mixed a range of greens from very dark to yellow green and slowly built the layers of color in each leaf.  After the green areas were finished, we mixed yellows with whites and strengthened the veins of each leaf.

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Zebra Plant and Orchid (Left Panel)

Although the pigments didn’t match the color family for the orchid, we mixed reds and whites, purples, pinks and blues – some of those were cheap hobby paints – and we were pleased with the results.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough we did not finish, the studies were strong enough to hang in my friends’ home until my next visit.  Sometimes it’s  nice to bring a bit of the garden inside where it can live forever!

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Not bad for a discarded set of “For Sale ” signs, right?!

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