Monthly Archives: July 2015

Large-Scale, Late Summer Botanicals Begin

Queen Anne's Lace, 2015 - Michaela Harlow - Graphite, Charcoal and Pastel on 30" x 48" Paper Queen Anne’s Lace, 2015 – Graphite, Charcoal and Pastel on 30″ x 48″ Paper

I was struck low by a terrible migraine this week. Headaches are not normal for me, let alone migraines, but I could barely move on Monday and Tuesday I was a complete zombie. It’s been quite hot, and perhaps the muggy conditions are playing a role.

Fortunately, yesterday afternoon I began to perk back up. And that’s a good thing because I had a slew of errands to run and the next two weeks are a little bit crazy with exhibits coming down and going back up. Next week I’ll be in Boston quite a bit and there will be little time for drawing.

I finished up my first large-scale botanical drawing this morning while the air was still cool and I am eager to carry on with the next.

Queen Anne's Lace - Michaela Harlow - Large Scale Botanical Drawing Working on large-scale drawings and catching whatever breeze kicks up in the dogtrot entryway

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Late Peonies

 Late Peonies, 2015. Graphite, Charcoal and Chalk Pastel on 14″ x 10.5″ Paper

This is the last of the smaller drawings for now. Scaling up in paper size, but sticking with graphite, charcoal and pastel to keep things loose.

                        Late Peonies in Process 

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Peonies, Early White

 Peonies, Early White, 2015 – Graphite Pencil, Charcoal and Chalk Pastel on 14″ x 10.5″ Paper

After working these botanical ideas for a little more than a week, I feel ready to move up in scale and loosen the approach even further. The complexity, diversity and symbolic power of flowers in art is fascinating to me at the moment.

At the moment I am particularly inspired by some of the sculptural installations —work by Regine Ramseier and Rebecca Louise Law and other three-dimensional artists— that I’ve explored online and would like to experience in person.

This Week’s Review

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Spider Dahlias

 Spider Dahlias, 2015 – Graphite Pencil, Chalk Pastel & Charcoal on 14″ x 10.5″ Paper

Dahlias and their close cousins, Chrysanthemums, are the peonies of late summer: big, bold, bodacious beauties. I have my favorites, of course. I prefer subtle hues paired with wild forms. Dark, velvety maroon always seduces my eye, but I am equally smitten by the pale, spiked petals of Spider Dahlias.

Andy Warhol had his way with Dahlias. So did Mondrian. Both have been whispering in my ear.

Shadow and Light on Spiky Petals. Dreaming Large. Sketching Small

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