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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once everything dried, I used watercolour pencils to add the details and shadows to the butterfly, and the painting was done.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Sandee October 12, 2022 at 07:07
So beautiful. I wish I were crafty. Love the flowers and the sailboat too.
Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.
Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday and rest of the week. ♥
Janine @ Rainbow Hare October 9, 2022 at 14:15
I love the Fairy lantern flower and your pictures of it are beautiful. I don’t seem to get emailed when you post anymore so I have resubscribed…I hope you are keeping well :)
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs October 9, 2022 at 09:01
Absolutely stunning work again Soma! I love your interpretation of the golden fairy lantern and how you have incorporated it into different projects. Beautiful! x
RachelSwirl October 8, 2022 at 13:35
Such stunning artwork, I especially adore the daffodils. Thanks so much for linking up and for sharing with #MySundaySnapshot.
Sarah MumofThree World October 7, 2022 at 23:31
I love the you found a way to make your painting work. I love the colours of the little flower. The colour really reminds me of my favourite daffodils.
Sue October 7, 2022 at 18:39
What a beautiful little flower Soma, it is interesting to se your painting progress and methods.
Nikki - Notes of Life October 7, 2022 at 06:26
This is beautiful and I love the different mediums you’ve produced from just one image.
Alison Hall October 6, 2022 at 10:48
What a stunning little flower!
Your artwork and carving is clever and beautiful too Soma.
Peabea October 5, 2022 at 19:44
I can see how you would be smitten. You art craft is so dainty and beautiful. Love the bookmark as well.
Sallie (FullTime-Life) October 5, 2022 at 12:49
No wonder you were smitten — this little gem of a flower is a perfect inspiration for your talent.
handmade by amalia October 5, 2022 at 06:15
You’ve translated this pretty flower so well onto the page, Soma. Well done.
Lillian October 4, 2022 at 12:23
Wow, so amazing!
Debbie October 4, 2022 at 08:00
oh so pretty soma, i really enjoy your drawings, and reading about your inspiration. the carving, i know, requires a lot of time and patience, the final product is quite rewarding!! i’m not sure i have ever seen this flower, it is quite lovely, you are so talented!!
Sharon Wagner October 4, 2022 at 07:32
What a perfect little petal. Your art is inspired today.
Veronica Lee October 3, 2022 at 23:14
Your artwork is gorgeous as always, Soma.
image-in-ing weekly photo linky October 3, 2022 at 13:32
Gosh you’re talented! I took a watercolor class the other day and it looked like a first grader’s effort.
Thank you for sharing at
Susan October 3, 2022 at 12:37
I love the stamped flowers as much as I do the painted flowers. Both are just lovely to look at.
Ruth@playworkeatrepeat October 3, 2022 at 05:55
I am just in awe of your amazing talent! The flowers and the colours that you have used are absolutely beautiful!
maggie fellow October 3, 2022 at 05:20
beautiful – so impressed
Kim Carberry October 3, 2022 at 02:07
The Golden Fairy Lantern flower is beautiful. Your art work is stunning. x
Life Images by Jill October 2, 2022 at 23:33
Oh my goodness, I loved every part of this post – I so enjoyed seeing and reading your thought processes and different paintings with different tools. They all looked so wonderful to me. I think I could never do block carving, though a friend of mine does – I am too impatient. You have inspired me to try more with my watercolour paints. Thank yo for sharing. I will be back to visit again. I am joining you today at Mosaic Monday. Stay safe and enjoy your week.
Angie October 2, 2022 at 21:58
P.S. Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday, with this post and all the others in the past. Your support has been much appreciated.
Eileen October 2, 2022 at 12:02
Your art work is all gorgeous, well done. The flower is beautiful. Thanks for linking up and sharing your post.
Take care, have a great new week!
Breathtaking October 2, 2022 at 05:01
Hello :=) When I saw your artwork ,I was totally entranced by it’s beauty. You are a very gifted lady and my admiration for the great detail in the small but lovely flower knows no bounds.
Louise (Fundy Blue) October 1, 2022 at 19:22
It was fascinating to watch your creative process, Soma! The Golden Fairy Lantern is a new flower to me. It is exquisite. Happy creating!
Lavender Dreams October 1, 2022 at 13:00
You are so talented! Everything you make is simply stunning!
Su-sieee! Mac October 1, 2022 at 09:57
Wowza, Soma! Thank you for sharing your thought and work processes. It encourages and inspires me. I love all the different creative ways you showcase the fairy flower. I hope I’ll come across one someday. Cheers!
Andree October 1, 2022 at 06:01
I hate to say it, loving nature as I do, but your art perfects nature. It is beyond stunning. Thank you for sharing the process. <3
Linda October 1, 2022 at 04:39
I love the little fairy flower and also am “smitten” with the little butterfly. Your carving fascinates me. Thank you for sharing with us at To Do Tuesday!
Connie Griffin September 30, 2022 at 20:04
That is a beautiful and sweet flower, I just love both the way you watercolored and used markers on the flowers, they are just wonderful! Such a pretty touch adding a butterfly with them.
Your block turned out very pretty too, pretty lines in there to give them such great details. So lovely on the rice papers, lovely combo of them and your stamping!
Carola Bartz September 30, 2022 at 16:48
The Fairy Lantern is such a sweet wildflower and it comes to life fully in your creation. I simply love this, Soma.
Michelle September 30, 2022 at 15:09
All of your renditions of this lovely little flower are amazing, Soma! I can see why you were smitten. So delicate and cheery.
Andrea Priebe September 30, 2022 at 14:27
Oh sigh … how I love the little Fairy Lantern Wildflowers … so beautiful. I can understand how you took such pains to recreate their beauty in several different ways. Your talents are mind boggling … love it all, Soma :)
Andrea @ From the Sol
LA Paylor September 30, 2022 at 08:36
love the print making process…. going to see more from your link
The Joyful Quilter September 30, 2022 at 07:09
Beautiful collection of work, Soma!!
gillena September 30, 2022 at 05:53
I think wildflowers are amazing and i luv what you did with this one.
Thanks for dropping by my blog and linking to Art For Fun Friday
Amy Johnson September 30, 2022 at 04:42
I can see why you were smitten by this flower. It has such a delicate beauty. I love all the artwork created about it.
Carol September 30, 2022 at 03:32
I’m not familiar with the little flower but it’s so beautiful. Your art as usual is amazing!
Angie September 29, 2022 at 22:22
Soma – it is so interesting to follow your creative process, and how you learned and adapted along the way. And you did not give up! Have a wonderful weekend!
Erika N September 29, 2022 at 16:50
The golden fairy lantern is quire a handsome flower, and I can understand why you’d be smitten with them. Your hand carved stamp with them is so amazing. IT really makes a nice clear image. I’m guessing you didn’t stamp your pretty painted piece either? Thanks for sharing these pretty flowers. Happy end of the week. hugs-Erika
NatureFootstep September 29, 2022 at 15:06
wow, beautiful painting and all you creted with it. So simple, colorful and elegant. Wonderful!
Valerie -Jael September 29, 2022 at 13:49
Fabulous art, as. Alsays, and I love how you follow your ideas through and create such beautiful projects. Hugs, Valerie
Joanne September 29, 2022 at 12:29
All of your art is so lovely! The flowers pop so well against the black background of your bookmark. I can see why you are so smitten with those amazing flowers.
Dixie @ Arranged Words September 29, 2022 at 09:48
Wonderful artwork of such a gorgeous little flower.
A ShutterBug Explores September 29, 2022 at 09:45
Divine art work as always ~ you have a special talent ~ Xo
Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Nicole/DVArtist September 29, 2022 at 09:24
I am so impressed with your art. The photo, the painting, the carving. Just brilliant. Have a very nice day today.
Mary September 29, 2022 at 08:27
I love ready about your process and persistence!!! You have accomplished such beautiful pieces from your efforts. He detail in your photo, considering the flower is so tiny, is incredible. Well done! Eager to see where you go from here.