Tag Archives: weed

Bittersweet Nightshade Watercolor Sketch


I found this beautiful weed climbing on a friend’s fence. Beautiful but rather toxic. While not as poisonous as its cousin, Deadly Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade should not be consumed.

On this particular vine, the berries were in every stage of color. The berries start green and are most toxic during this state. Next, the berries ripen into an orange color, until they reach their final deep red color.

But what attracts me the most are those purple and yellow flowers….the pre-berry stage. And so it did as a child, attracted me to them. It’s a fond childhood memory of mine, finding these tiny flowers pop all over chain link fences.

In Thessalonians we are reminded to be thankful in all circumstances.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being that this is a weed, but so beautiful, I can be thankful for weeds. On that thought, what about the things in life that we can’t see a silver lining for? Can we still be thankful then? For example, when you are without something you need or when someone back stabs you…can you still find a reason to be thankful?
Oh, now that’s difficult!  But that’s what we are lovingly instructed to do. Why?

I found myself upset about a personal situation. I thought about it for many hours, how I was unjustly wronged. But in this moment, I had two choices…..

  1. Dwell on it and be upset, causing me to be in a negative mood and affect other areas in my life.
  2. Be thankful for something, ANYTHING in that situation and meditate on positive thoughts.

In reading the New Testament, I am reminded of Christ’s example. While hanging on the Cross he said, “Father, please forgive them, they know not what they do.

How’s that for finding the positive?

While I can’t come close to living like Christ, I can try to follow in His direction. And how good it feels to be set free like that! Even if it doesn’t seem like it…these bizarre life hacks (to find the positive in all situations) are for our own wellness. To give us life and hope.


What am I? Weed Watercolor Sketch


I am mesmerized by the most ordinary things sometimes…a simple weed…but then I think, there’s nothing really ordinary about this beautiful specimen.

It’s an opportunistic, being the first to attack disturbed ground, it moved right in. From where? I haven’t a clue. It’s Popeye the Sailor strong, I almost couldn’t tear off a sample. It makes its presence known, immediately emitting a pugnant aroma…one of force and energy… a pleasant scent not putrid… almost minty.

I’m sure it’s probably common, I have so many around, but I do not know what it it. Here is a photo:


Does anyone know the name of this weed?

Do you feel ordinary?
Well, you are not. You are loved. You are loved by the One that gives life…so creatively He gives life. He chose to take His own life away, for you. I pray you will discover and grow closer to Christ who is waiting…

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9

Winter Queen Anne’s Lace


Snow on Queen Anne watercolor

As a child, I grew up next to a small empty lot in the city. It was my special “field” where I spent much time exploring. I use to think it was so gigantic (it’s really not). I would walk around studying plants in my field and my all time favorite was Queen Anne’s Lace, an invasive weed. I still love it today, invasive and all.

This painting was inspired by the Queen Anne’s Lace I found while on a winter hike at Bullfrog Lake. I just love the shape of the curled weed, reminds me of a bird’s nest. I also was fascinated by the dried up leaves hanging down. What an awesome thing to paint!


detail close up

I wanted to incorporate many colors on my Queen Anne’s Lace. Even though I found it on a dreary winter day, you can still see colors if you look close.


Here is the original photo from last week. Yes, this Queen Anne’s Lace has passed its prime, but it is still important enough to study from and will forever be immortal in the form of a fine art painting.

“Snow on Queen Anne”
no frame
no mat

click here to purchase original (it will take you to the available wc page)
click here to purchase cards or prints

Weeds are sometimes the most fascinating plants to draw or paint and can be quite a challenge. Why not try it? Let’s grow in 2011.

Let’s Paint Pokeberry Poison!

On the Little Red Schoolhouse trail, I found Pokeberry! Pokeberry is a weed that has a hypnotic bright fuchsia stem and beautiful berries, but do note that Pokeberry = poison to mammals so do not eat!!! The toxins found in the leaves, stem and seeds can cause death…which is why our painting will be called, Pokeberry Poison.

Here is a picture of the plant:

It may be hard to see against the background, but our pokeberry plant has intriguing autumn leaves, holes and all.

Let’s paint it:

Step 1: Make a sketch with 01 Black Micron Pen. Be loose, keep your lines open, don’t enclose every shape…it just looks better and makes your painting lighter.

Step 2: I’m using Derwent Inktense Pencils, a permanent watercolor pigment in the form of pencils, activated by water. Today we only need a few colors; apple green, deep indigo, violet, fuchsia, sherbet lemon, and sun yellow. Remember when you were a kid and played with those painting coloring books, where all you needed was a cheap brush and some water? This is similar, but you have to make the picture now.
Hot dog! How much fun!

Step 3: Filling in with some more color, remember to leave some white space for breathing room. The Pokeberry plant was really intense with color, so don’t skimp out on pure bright pigment for this painting. Most of the time using such colors together would make you nauseous, but for this time of year it is fitting.

Finally, the fun part! Add water with a clean brush. Make sure to clean your brush every time you move to the next color, so you don’t create mud. Keep your colors fresh! I also took a 05 Black Micron pen and made some more defining lines around some leaves and berries.
I also want to talk about the importance of bug holes. Bug holes keeps it real. Nobody is perfect and our imperfections makes us unique. Perfect people are scary because you know something is not right…nobody is perfect. An imperfection tells a story and everybody has an interesting story. Don’t leave imperfections out of your painting!

This original watercolor painting, Pokeberry Poison is 4.5×6.5 and is matted (antique white) to fit a 8×10 frame.

It is available for $40 plus free shipping.
Click here to purchase. You do not need a pay-pal account.

I hope you enjoyed this demonstration!

Gotta Paint that Weed!


I have no idea what this is. The good thing is, I don’t need to know what it is to paint it! Painting a subject is my way of studying it. You become familiar and intimate with something when you slowly look it over inch by inch…that’s what I do when I’m preparing to paint. I know that the pods have tiny hairs on them and almost transparent skins, the leaves are serrated, and the stem is a yellowish green where as the the leaves are more of a bluish green.

Here is a close up. If any person can identify what this is, please leave a comment. The flower has a deep burgundy center and only lasts about one day. It is located under a thistle feeder where many goldfinches and house finches visit daily. This climate is zone 5 on the gardening scale. I don’t know if that helps any?

Well I couldn’t resist I had to paint it, or should I say, sketch it! When sketching, I came up with a code I like to use everytime: d= date, t= time, c= weather conditions, and a= area of subject. One other thing I find helpful is to always write what day of the week it is next to the date. Years from now when you look back in your sketch book, you will have no idea what day it was only looking at the date. This picture was done with micron black pens and Winsor & Newton travel watercolors.