watercolor and ink drawing of squash blossom by emily weil

daily painting | frilly squash blossoms

I came across a pad of watercolor paper and kind of fell in love with it, deciding to do a whole series using the bonus discovery (I think a giveaway last year at Blick). Back into photos of my neighbor’s lush garden! I was drawn to the pic of these squash blossoms — they seemed to be reaching and stretching up, wanting to be closer to the sky. These golden flowers felt humble and unpretentious and they appealed to me. In the midst of a day of working on a design project, cautiously poking at the idea of writing a book proposal, studying GGRO protocols for the upcoming banding season in the Marin Headlands and doing a bit of cooking, I opened up the notebook of Fabriano Aquarelle paper, pulled out my tray of paints, squeezed out fresh, gooey globs of cadmium and hansa yellow Daniel Smith watercolors and delightedly splashed away, adding stick-and-ink lines and spatters of acrylic paint. A lovely afternoon (which also included a walk near Crown Beach that yielded a treasure — a washed up baby bat ray, fully intact, dried in the sun). And the grief hoodlum hasn’t hollered at me all day.

9″ x 12″ sticks-and-ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper = $140




watercolor painting of squash blossom by emily weil

daily painting | squash blossom

Have you ever had fried squash blossoms in an upscale restaurant? They are amazingly delicate and yummy. So my taste buds got activated as I spotted this growing in a neighbor’s garden. There’s something quite beautiful and approachable about these lovely golden blooms — and they perfectly match my cadmium-yellow-medium watercolors. I was going to paint today anyways but when I came home after my farmer’s market shopping expedition (luscious dahlias and strawberries!) there was a small group of painters along the walkway outside my marina and several were creating paintings of my home, so it was great fun to say hello and be inspired by these artists (hope to join that group of sketchers in the future). If I can manage to stay only in this moment — a skill that comes and goes — there are so many pleasures to enjoy and absorb, from farmer’s market plenitude to making dinner for a sweet friend to scoping out a nearby bounteous zucchini patch to waving at the goatee’d goats (ha!) at Maker’s Farm when I whiz by on my bike to watching happy little goldfinches discover my feeder to (just now!) being visited by a young night heron just feet from me, alighting on my deck railing. Of course these are the moments that comprise one’s life, and when I can slow down my monkey brain and absorb these sparkly gifts I feel grateful and amazed.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90