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Busy Inside and Outside the Studio

June 25, 2010

“Haiku 69″ – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8 x 8 x 2”

Work in the studio is slow. I want to be painting, but I also want to tend my garden. Here is another finished piece from the ongoing Haiku series. I will have to get back on these before I have more to show you.

Gardening is in full swing, but I am so completely OK with all of it. Everything in its season. We are starting to get lots of cucumbers now, so I’m making pickles. Here is a quart of sweet pickle chips, a recipe I’m trying out on us before I decide that it’s a keeper. Pay no attention to the used spaghetti sauce jar. These weren’t put up for storage — just for eating!

I’ve always wanted to grow sunflowers, so this spring I dedicated a little fence corner for them. Now that they are rewarding me with their beautiful blooms, I know I will have more next season. Notice that beautiful bumblebee visiting this bloom. We have honeybees and bumblebees everywhere, which is a joy to see.

And there are the tomatoes. They are huge and just keep growing bigger. Some of my neighbor’s two heirloom varieties, the seeds of which I saved and planted, are huge  but still not turning red yet.  The ones shown below are another heirloom variety, Italian Heart. Anna West, an artist friend in New York, mailed me five seeds and I ended up with four nice, robust plants. She tells me these tomatoes will be the size of a human heart.

We have several types of sweet peppers. I don’t know what they all are yet.  They came from a six-variety-pack that we bought at the nursery. But this bush has nice big green ones. Others have funny shapes. I hope some are banana peppers.

And on top of that, we started a huge project out front. Years of erosion in the front yard, coupled with some mature maple trees, gave us an area of nothing but roots and moss. We had a load of topsoil red clay dumped there, and are spreading it under the trees for some shade plants. But that is slow going. We are able to work only an hour or so in the mornings before it gets too hot. Then we are pretty well wiped out the rest of the day.

All of these are wonderful creative outlets for me. Art and gardening are finally seamless in my life.

We have several types of sweet peppers. I don’t know what they all are yet, but this bush has nice big green ones.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 10:39 am

    Wow! I love Haiku 69. I didn’t see it listed on your website…yet…will it be up there for sale?

  2. June 25, 2010 11:37 am

    Thank you so much, Mandi. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing with these pieces. They are intended for galleries some time in the future. But while I have them here, they are for sale. If you’re interested, send me an email to

    Thanks again!

  3. June 25, 2010 1:40 pm

    Very awesome Haiku Martha!!

    The colors remind me of a monotype print versus a painting. I like the long tall skinny alien type characters in the middle too! This is very inspirational to me for some reason…but then most of your work makes me want to create like mad. 🙂

    Wow! Your garden plants look very healthy and happy! You’ve really made me think about doing at least some container gardening.

    As always…thanks for the inspiration!

    • June 25, 2010 5:02 pm

      Thank you, Itaya! Many of my pieces are semi-monotypes anyway. I often offset paint smears from another surface onto the painting surface. Then I might do it again, and again.

      Glad you like the garden shots. Container gardening is always an option. It’s amazing what you can grow in a small amount of dirt.

      PS – Look what somebody on Twitter mentioned today. I love these!

      I think I’ll put these in Saturday finds too.

      • June 25, 2010 6:21 pm

        Wow! Love the little woolly pocket thingies! This is truly the wave of the future I think. It’s made of recycled materials and it’s light and durable!

        One could even make their own I think. When I see something like this that I like, I always try and figure out how to make it myself. 🙂

        I worked at a JoAnn’s craft store at the fabric counter and we would cut many yards of the felt material that you could use for making this. Lots of times it’s on sale and it comes in 72″ wide bolts! Not that I need another creative project or anything. LOL Just so long as you figure out what to put in the bottom that would be waterproof you’d be set.

      • June 26, 2010 11:57 am

        Itaya, I am sure there’s a fairly easy way to make these! They are kind of pricey, but I love the idea.

  4. June 25, 2010 7:00 pm

    hum…I’ve been neglecting reading and writing when it comes to blogs lately. I wish I had your green thumb…mine must be brown.

    • June 26, 2010 11:59 am

      Cheryl, all these years I thought I didn’t have a green thumb. I found out that it’s a function of having time to devote to it. Since our move I’ve shed a lot of obligations and busy work and am thrilled to find out I can actually grow something.

  5. June 25, 2010 9:36 pm

    Oh, I love the sunflowers…I have only one plant almost ready to bloom, but my zinna’s are looking great just in time for the 4th. Didn’t get the tomatoes in soon enough…plus the Jack Russel eats them raw!!! So I’m waiting for the ones on the upper branches to bloom…!!! Really like the Haiku. I refereed a student to your website….she is taking my class and wants to work in Acrylic…and really wants to learn more about surfaces…she is realistic now, but you might change that …she is young just out of school a few years…nice kid.

    • June 26, 2010 12:01 pm

      Toni that is toooo funny! My dogs all three love tomatoes and I wondered if they’d figure out that’s what’s out there growing. Then I laughed at myself for thinking that, but now you’ve got me worried!! 🙂

      Hey thanks for pointing your student to my work. Maybe she can come up with realism and texture in the same painting. That would be fun!

  6. June 25, 2010 9:38 pm

    PS…if you come up with a good pickle recipe let me know….I’ll grow some cukes next year…haven’t done them here yet. I want to see that tomato as big as the human heart….take a pic with a hand in it so we can see!!!

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