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 Comments 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. Especially pretty….last of the colorful flowers….and “tangled” beautifully. 👏👏🌻

  3. 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.

    • Thanks Dawn- yes, it is a bittersweet time, isn’t it. I plan to leave the tomatoes on and hope that I can pull them in before a frost and then let them ripen on the window sill. There aren’t many left.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    • Thanks Erica. If I just drew exactly what is there, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. I like this approach of pulling out what best represents this moment in the garden.

  6. 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).

    • Hope you bought a few of the last blooms. Mine are better appreciated at a distance and seem to last longer than when I bring them in. Colors are are fabulous this week!

  7. Marvellous! I regret now not sketching the last zinnias. But I’ve been obsessed with bean sketches. 😄 These composed pieces are really great!

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