Suddenly Smitten

Golden Fairy Lantern painting yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

Hi Everyone!  Early Spring I came across the Golden Fairy Lantern wildflower and was instantly smitten by it.  Photographing these little flowers took me on an unexpected creative journey.  I painted them, made block prints, and hand bound books. Along the way I learned a lot about trying new ways when things do not work out as expected.  I love to experiment and play, so I was completely in my element.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

The Golden Fairy Lantern is a flower that is endemic to Northern California.  These flowers are no larger than 0.5″.  I had to play with the camera settings a LOT before I could capture a few sharp photos of this beautiful little flower.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern drawing yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

There are little green butterflies that I also see on the trail, the same kind that flutter around in our garden as well.  They are so sweet, I love watching them.  After coming home, I drew this picture of a butterfly with two Fairy Lantern flowers and set to painting it.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern painting yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

Then I ran into a little problem.  I could not paint them to my satisfaction using watercolours.   There was nothing wrong with them per se, but I was looking for something different than what I got on paper.  After painting a few flowers with unsatisfactory results, it was time to change course. 

I pulled out my markers, Inktense pencils and my FW acrylic inks.  I painted little areas on this sketch with each kind first to observe the behaviour.  I really liked the markers, but unfortunately the colours bled to the back of the paper.  So, I used the the FW inks instead.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern painting yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

This was one of the unsuccessful paintings.  Instead of throwing it away, I cut the part out that was alright and tried a few new things on it. It was great not to have to worry about lines and shapes here, but simply play with paint.  Then I pasted it on to one of my scrap book binding covers and it became a bookmark.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern painting yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

The FW inks worked a lot better for the painting, but there was something still missing.  Then I realised that I was trying very hard to copy the shadows from my reference photo and making a mess in the process. 

With “Let go, Luke” from Star Wars in my head, I put the photo away and started painting following my instincts.  It worked.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern painting yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

Once everything dried, I used watercolour pencils to add the details and shadows to the butterfly, and the painting was done.

 

 

 

Golden Fairy Lantern drawing yellow Northern California Wildflower @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

However, the idea for a block carving was already stirring in my head.  I made another line drawing in my larger sketchbook.  I spent a lot of time smoothing out those curves in the drawing.  I decided not to ink the master copy in case an accidental nudge of the hand derailed the pen from the line.  I apologise for the faded photo, I draw with a light hand.

 

 

 

Handmade Everyday Journals with Fairy Lanterns Lino Print @ Inktorrents.com by Soma

 

 

You know the rest.  The block was carved.  

Since I didn’t purchase sharpening supplies early,  one of my old tools had gone dull beyond sharpening and also got notched.   I decided to recreate the edge of the tool. 

I had never done this before, so of course I mucked up a few times and had to restart from the grinding-down step.  I finally found the right angle, and it clicked.  It was a long process. 

 

 

 

Lino print on Japanese rice paper @ Inktorrents.com by Soma

 

 

During the printing process my roller bid me adieu and applied ink unevenly on the board.  Get new roller, clean block, wait till it dries, repeat printing.

I played with printing on different kinds of paper,  both heavy paper and Japanese rice paper. 

 

 

 

Handmade Everyday Journals @ Inktorrents.com by Soma

 

 

I made bullet journals with the print on the cover.   I am using the blue journal for my Japanese studies.  A few of the others have also found new homes.  The journals are available in my shop.

 

 

Printing And Bookbinding – A Perfect Pair

You can read about the carving and book binding here. 

 

 

 

 

 

As I get bored very easily when working on repetitive things, I very rarely work on multiple things with the  exact same picture.   However, I was smitten by these little flowers and I delved more and more into the world of creativity centering around them.  Each one was different enough and they tossed me a few challenges along the way.  It was fun to play along.

I hope you will also find something that piques your interest, and try something new and fun!

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.   They are always a source of new inspirations.  Please pay them a visit.

 

 

Leave a comment

 

Wolf watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Wandering Camera – Curiosity and Creativity

Wolf watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

Hi Everyone! I needed to take a break last week, so I moved Wandering Camera to this week. This month the photos are a mixed bag. I took a few photos of the lunar eclipse through a telescope. The Girl and Her Cat are continuing their adventures in the north while I continue to work in my atelier.

 

 

Lunar Eclipse May 2022 Photos @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I had intended to use my telescope for the lunar eclipse, so I got everything set up the night before.  The forecast had also called for clear skies, so I thought I was all set.  Then the not-so-proverbial clouds rolled in the next day.  Nevertheless, we decided to spend the evening in the garden and hope for the best. 

Time went by and then, very suddenly, my husband spotted the moon.  I have been watching and photographing lunar eclipses for a while now, and this one was particularly dark.  We could barely see it.  Even a thin layer of cloud made it completely invisible.  It came out  just long enough for me to take this photo of totality, then it went into hiding behind the clouds again.  

 

 

Lunar Eclipse May 2022 Photos @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I almost gave up hope of  seeing the exit which I find most interesting.   However,  just when the exit started, the clouds parted to reveal a crystal clear moon.    During the entry and exit phases, Earth’s Ozone layer scatters red light.  It also lets through some blue light which is otherwise filtered out by the atmosphere.  The blue band along with Earth’s shadow cast over the moon are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

I am looking forward to spending a lot more time under the stars, browsing the sky with my telescope.  I love the blend of curiosity and creativity they evoke in me.

 

I have been keeping a very short ( no more than 5-7 items) play-list to stay focused and fulfill my curiosity.  I like calling it a play-list instead of a to-do list because I much prefer a playground over a classroom.  This certainly was at the top of that list.

Finished –

  • Photograph lunar eclipse photos
  • Sow seeds for plants that I can use for dye or ink making – planted madder
  • Block print – Small one to learn new tools

New and In Progress –

  • Indigo leaves printing
  • Hand bind my sketchbooks – Made progress
  • Sew flower blocks for Garden Path quilt – 5 – No progress
  • Kitty blankets – Made progress
  • Block print carving – Made progress

 

 

Block Printing

 

Fairy Lanterns Northern California Yellow Wildflower Art @ inktorrents.com by Soma

 

Getting acquainted with the new tools my husband got for me on a small piece before I start working on a large project.  I couldn’t pass up a chance of taking a b&w photo before starting on the large project.

 

 

Fairy Lanterns Northern California Yellow Wildflower Art @ inktorrents.com by Soma

 

The large one is almost finished.  I will share more of my process and something very special next week.

 

 

Distant Pages

 

In the meantime The Girl and Her Cat have ventured further into the stories of the north.   This blue book of paintings was inspired by my love of all things north, specially mythology and stories.

Please click on the image thumbnails to see the pictures and read about their wanderings –

 

 

 

The Shepherd

 

Wolf watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I would have loved to hear the stories of ancient voyages the shepherd is telling them, but those stories are for their ears only.

 

Not only did my husband and I have a week of anxiety (it’s all fine now), but lately there is also nothing but grimness everywhere.   I needed a break to curl in within my own world that only resides in my head.  I do hope these posts give you some joy.  I am looking forward to sharing more creative and curious adventures with you soon.

 

I look forward to seeing your photos and reading about them.

 

Wandering Camera art and photo linky party @ InkTorrents.com by Soma Acharya

 

Wandering Camera starts on the last Thursday of every month.  Photos, art and creative-themed posts, including other linky parties are all welcome.

You can continue to link up multiple posts.  

Please add a link back to this website. 

Have fun!!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Leave a comment

 

Enter your email to receive new inspirations, product reviews and pro-tips
error: Content is protected !!