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.

 

 

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Old road watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Wandering Camera – Nearby Adventures

The Girl And Her Cat on the Old Road watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

The Girl and Her Cat and I had our own little adventures, right where we live.  Much to my delight, we already had a few bouts of snow this year in the mountains here in the rain-starved California.  That brought rainstorms to the lower elevations.  I promptly bundled up in my waterproof clothing and boots and headed to the park for a walk in the rain.

 

 

Rainy day walk in the park in Northern California @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

Ever since I was little, I have always loved playing in the rain, the more torrential the better.  The world gets quiet, and it’s mostly just the sound of the rain and me.  

There is an oak grove in the park.  Standing under that canopy, I listened to the rain sing as it danced on the leaf-covered ground below. 

 

 

Rainy day walk in the park in Northern California @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

This is normally a narrow and deep drainage gully, but to my imaginative mind, it might as well be a stream that I have to cross carefully.

 

 

Rainy day walk in the park in Northern California @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

I wore my big boots, so I could splash along as I continued down the rain-sodden path.

 

 

Rainy day walk in the park in Northern California @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

I have made up my own names for certain areas in the park.  I call this area Darcy Field, resembling a certain scene in the Pride And Prejudice movie.  Right around the corner, the path turns hard with rocks and tree roots jutting out of the ground.  That would be the Dinosaur Ridge.  I love running over those protrusions.

I really wanted to continue on with the rain pelting down on me.  It was getting dark though, so I reluctantly decided to turn back.

 

 

Rainy day walk in the park in Northern California @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

Rain droplets on these dry stems looked like little crystal flowers.   My camera has a rain jacket of its own, so, just like me, it stayed toasty dry.   I would have liked to get close-ups, but it would have been impossible to change lenses in that windswept rain.  Also, I had to bow to the failing light.  This is the best photo I could take with the lens I had at hand.  Hopefully you get an impression of what I saw there.

 

 

Adventure of the Girl and Her Cat

 

While my kitties stayed warm and toasty at home,  The Girl and Her Cat continued their adventure together in the snow.

 

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

 

 

 

Not to worry, they are bundled up for their snow walk.  When her cat gets cold, The Girl carries him inside her coat.

 

Wandering Pages Paintings

 

I added all the paintings shared so far about their adventure from the Wandering Pages book at the above link.  I will add to that page as we continue with their adventure together.

 

 

 

Migraing Geese Northern California Nature Journal watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

 

I will leave you with a page from my nature journal.   The day before the rainstorm came,  my husband hurriedly called me outside to see something  he thought I would love.   We saw a flock of geese flying overhead against the backdrop of a beautiful sky that only impending rain clouds can bring.  We watched them slowly dissolve the right arm completely and then recreate the V pattern as they faded to a distant shimmer.   I have never seen anything like it before.   I didn’t take a photo.  Instead, I recreated the scene in my journal.

 

I personally hand-make the journals in my studio.   You can purchase the journals here in my shop.   I have journals for both artists and non-artists.

 

Let me know which photo and/or paintings of our adventures you liked.  The Girl and her Cat, and I would love to know.

 

 

Since next week is a holiday week here in the US, I decided to move Wandering Camera one week up. 

 

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

 

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that runs on the last Thursday of every month.  If you follow me via email, you will get a reminder.

All photo and art/creative-themed posts are welcome.  You can continue to link up multiple posts.

Please add the badge or a text link back to this site on your blog, or on each post that you link up.  I look forward to seeing your photos and reading about them.

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.

 

 

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