A couple of days ago, I went outside and found a handful of things I could paint little pictures of.  As it is mid-July, there was a lot of plant life involved.  At first, my plan was to paint some still-lifes.  Why? Because it’s really fun.  But as I went along, my plans evolved.  Here is what happened:

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The interesting objects in the foreground are the fruits of the hop hornbeam tree.  They are so beautiful, and at first I wasn’t sure why they looked Japanese to me.  Then I remembered a book of Japanese crafts from the library, which shows you how to make a silk pouch that looks a lot like these fruits.  The book, by Kumiko Sudo, is called Omiyage, which means, “the giving of gifts.”  The pouch in the book is actually called a “pine-cone pouch,” though the tree is called a hop hornbeam because the fruit looks like hops.  So I guess there are similarities between hops and pinecones, too.

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While I was painting the hop hornbeam fruits, I decided to throw in a rose-breasted grosbeak, for color.  We saw one just the other day.  So gorgeous.

Then, who knows why, I decided to throw in someone relaxing on a chaise lounge.  All summery things.  Everyone is momentarily still, so I called it “Very Still Life.”

Then I just couldn’t resist painting some raspberries.  They’re all over the place.  So delicious.  If I had to forage for my existence, I would never survive, unless it was a day in mid-July when the raspberries are ripe.

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I call this one “Self-portrait with Raspberries.”  It was the only way I could paint it, as I have never seen a bush of raspberries that my hand was not reaching into.

I didn’t paint the radicchio or the wild peas.  Or the very cool spindle of orange and white striped string I had just bought.  Time to get back to my longer term projects.  But it was a fruitful interlude. (ha!)