Last Show

Fall is here, but the final blooms of zinnias and Mexican sunflowers continue in the garden, along with a tangle of scarlet runner bean and cypress vines. I’m hoping that the remaining tomatoes ripen before we get a hard frost. Perhaps there will be one more journal page to mark the end of the season. But just in case, the last of the show seems well deserving of a late season tribute.

Tips and Techniques– I could have selected only the finest remaining blooms for this sketch, but it wouldn’t have reflected the reality of the tangled mess or plants in various stages of bloom and decay that mark the October garden. So, while you may be tempted to paint a beautiful bouquet (and there’s nothing wrong with that), consider the value of marking the seasons and showing the imperfect reality that is inherent in a fall garden (and life itself).

20 thoughts on “Last Show

  1. Lovely as always, Jean, and I do like the depiction of the “reality” — mine would also have to include the powdery mildew that always seems to plague my zinnias by the end of summer.

  2. There is something especially beautiful in those final blooms and as I was selecting some zinnia today, I loved seeing a few honey bees and bumble bees working the marigolds. It is a bittersweet time of year and the gardens reflect that. I planted lantana this year and as I expected it grew to a huge plant which is really pretty when most everything else has gone to sleep. How about fried green tomates? We brought ours in and they are ripening in the cellar. Not great, but certainly as good as those in the supermarket. This is such a pretty painting.

  3. As always, your page composition is the best! As my friend, Kathy, said: “tangled beautifully”. No one does that as well as you.

    • This was an interesting page to build. I kept having to go back to the garden to add more. There are a lot of tangled vines out there and the page didn’t fall into place until it got pretty crowded. Hope you are doing some good fall sketching!

  4. Lovely chaos! I too find a level of beauty in the fading garden. I attempt to sketch it but it certainly doesn’t compare to what is actually there. You put it nicely. Thank you.

  5. Ah, zinnias have such sturdy charm, don’ they? You just reminded me that a veggie stand about 20 minutes away has a U-pick patch of them, tall, taller and tallest, and all colors. You’ve inspired me – I have to get over there! 🙂 (Love the addition of the “spent” zinnia flower and the broken one).

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