Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter, interrupted

 I've been trying to get started on my "reverse" drawing for Illustration Friday, but the weather in the Santa Clara Valley has been too distractingly warm and sunny.  This valley was once called "The Valley of the Heart's Delight"...isn't that a wonderful name? (Much better than "Silicon Valley" which is what most people call it these days.) When I moved here in 1979, a person driving through San Jose would pass busy, viable orchards on many major avenues.  Today, most are gone, within the city itself, but we still reap the benefits of the temperate valley climate.

Every year, when the fruit trees and shrubs start to flower, I admire my neighbor's flowering quince and vow to plant one in my yard.  Well, that still hasn't happened, but she always urges me to come over and cut as much as I like.  I decided not to include the blossoms in this drawing, because I just love the plump buds, sitting there waiting to explode.  When I started the drawing, I quickly rendered the petal areas first, and I'm awfully glad that I did - when I returned to finish it the next day, they were almost all in full bloom! The subtle shadows don't show up very well in this scan; this drawing is definitely one that might photograph better than it scans. I'll let you know when I get to playing around with that.  Now, back to thinking about "reverse"...


  1. so nice Sarah, the bud's colors and you really captured the smoothness and color of the twig bark. I love quince bushes too.

  2. Quince holds wonderful color memories for me. After bleak winters the quince would defy the black and gray of wet twigs with that neon blast.
    Love the artwork! That's the color!

  3. Sarah - wonderful! I haven't visited your blog in a while....but I see now I'm going need to spend a good while poring over all your incredible illustrations, you truly are a wonder. But as much as like your drawings I love your thoughts and stories that go with them too! I am also a huge fan of blossoms, and blossom buds and all the feelings they conjure up...for me it is spring breezes, childhood games, raining petals and 'snow drift' piles of petals...they never cease to get a response out of me.

  4. I'm certainly a late comer, but I just found your blog and I am admiring your awesome work! But, I'm finding connections with some of your pieces - I recognize the flowering quince here as I too have admired it along a trail in south San Jose in the spring. The intense color of the buds that I have found have really caught my eye as we emerge from winter.