en plein neighborhood

red zinnia from cap hill (2).jpg

My daughter and I set out for Capitol Hill yesterday in the late afternoon, she to walk and me to draw.  Someone has a beautiful garden right off East Capitol Street, full of zinnias.  I had noticed the flowers on a previous walk.  So I tossed the old aluminum easel into the back of the pickup, assembled some oil pastels and off we went.

The mosquitoes didn’t start biting until really near twilight so I wasn’t munched too much.  However I was concentrating so much on my drawing — how hard do YOU concentrate on your tasks? —  that the whole bottom of my right leg was soaking wet before I realized that the gardener’s sprinkler was reaching my location.  Is that concentration or what?  Maybe it’s possible to concentrate a bit too much.  A little less concentration and I might have avoided the soaking …

That discovery seemed like a good cue to switch motifs.

yellow zinnias from cap hill (2)

I drew the yellow ones until the mosquitoes started dining.  Then it was clearly time to quit.  We took a bit of a walk afterwards for exercise, my daughter and I, and I staked out some more locations to draw.

Capitol Hill residents are assiduous gardeners.  There’s many lovely places to choose from — almost too many — it makes the choices harder.

These are drawings I may use in something or other, but I make them just to be outdoors drawing.  I have been buying flowers for still life.  And I have some lovely fake ones that I use also.  Sometimes I take a flower from a photograph or an old master image.  It’s fun to mix it up.

If I decide to do dog portraits, Capitol Hill residents are prosperous in that department too.  While I was drawing, every manner of canine imaginable was being walked in a kind of impromptu, nightly, canine parade.  That would be fun — not sure the owners would have the patience to wait for a full portrait though …

Flowers, on the other hand, are very patient.

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