Saturday, April 26, 2014

Illustration Friday: Vanity



Did I ever tell you that some of my friends used to call me Ant in high school?  Ants love peonies.  So it was fate, then, that I would fall in love with the peony from the first moment I saw one years later.  Some people think peonies are too showy and flamboyant.  But I love peonies because when they start to open, they look like birds sleeping with their heads tucked in ruffly, soft feathers.  When we bought our first house with a yard back east, I planted 30 peony bushes in my bootcamp garden.  I called it bootcamp because I was a terrible gardener, and a lot of what I planted failed to thrive.  But not those bushes.  Every spring, I was heady with joy at the dozens upon dozens of enormous pink blooms which I bundled and gave away to neighbors and teachers.  I miss my peonies.  Unfortunately, they can't grow in the area I live in now.  But if I'm lucky, I will find a few bouquets at Trader Joe's.  In fact, I'm headed there now.  


Oh my stars, I drew a neck!

20 comments:

Andrea said...

I do love peonies! The top one is just beautiful with its ruffles (and ants). Love the clever peony skirt in the bottom one!

Ces Adorio said...

Oh my, the Quinceniera ballroom gown boutiques must have taken their inspiration for their gowns from peonies because I see so many gowns that look like that necked lady is wearing. You drew red ants. They can sure shred one to pieces, in fact, fire ants have been known to kill with their poison. Your enemies better watch out. Peonies peonies peonies, reminds me of peonies. :)

Ces Adorio said...

Oh my, the Quinceniera ballroom gown boutiques must have taken their inspiration for their gowns from peonies because I see so many gowns that look like that necked lady is wearing. You drew red ants. They can sure shred one to pieces, in fact, fire ants have been known to kill with their poison. Your enemies better watch out. Peonies peonies peonies, reminds me of peonies. :)

Arija said...

God must have been smiling when She made you. So much talent in one person is just indecent.
Sleeping under a peony . . . I wish! I love them too and they are almost impossible to grow here too, it is far too dry and even for the hardier tree peonies I have to totally change the soil Ph. My daughter and I just wait for them to be available at the central market. A round trip of 100 miles bit well worth it.
Whenever I get totally starved, I'll come here and take a nap under yours.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Bella,

Your illustrations are so sweet.
Love peonies and they always remind me of a fabulous ballgown - and in one of my favourite colours - pink!
I can't grow them here and often treat myself when I see them in the shops.
A happy weekend to you ... have fun!
Thanks for visiting me and your kind note about daughters tee shirts.
hugs
Carolyn

martinealison said...

Bonjour ma chère,

Je suis tout à fait en accord avec toi, ma fleur préférée est bien la pivoine qui a un parfum très subtil...
Elle est si éphémère qu'elle ne nous laisse pas beaucoup de temps pour l'apprécier grandement...
En bouquet mariée à des petits oeillets odorants blancs, c'est parfait !
Tes dessins sont divins et incomparables... Ils dégagent tant de douceur et de poésie. Ils sont toi probablement ...

Gros bisous ❀ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❀

hedwig said...

VERY beautiful! The peonies but specially your illustrations!

storygirl said...

Gorgeous illustration -very pretty

Pamela Smallcomb said...

I love them! I think the Winter From Hades might have done in my one and only peony. I might go to Trader Joe's, too. . :) xo

Mom Illustrated said...

Hi from IF! Lovely work!

Creations By Mit said...

These are both beautiful, Bella! The top one reminds me of the soft floral paintings on the antique china my mom collects. (Vases, plates, etc.) And the bottom one seems more contemporary. As always I love your characters! Didn't know peonies attract ants, though!

AnnD said...

OMG! My grandmother always had peonies. They are the softest flowers in all the world. As a little girl, I used to stand in front of those bushes in a state of heady reverence, just smelling and touching the petals.

Also . . . OMG! You drew a fabulous neck! Both girls are wonderful. I love the perfect precision of the ants, too.

Do we get to know why people in high school called you ant? :D

Tammie Lee said...

yes, a lovely neck and from a difficult angle, as it is flying through the sky. Love your tale, your love of peonies, we share, but we do not have a trader joe's....

they do grow here... i shall have to plant one, which could lead to 12 ;-)

I love both of these pieces, the flower dress is gorgeous and swinging is a joy; to do and to see in your art. The first one is so sweet too.

Cindy D. said...

Wow! I would love to see a yard with 30 peony bushes! I love your description of them like birds with their heads tucked in. I hope you were able to find some at Trader Joe's!

Gorgeous and wonderfully peaceful illustrations. Gorgeous neck. But the flowers - SO pretty with all their precise yet delicate petals!

Ted Blackman said...

That top one is just beautiful. How did you get that color and texture? Looks as subtle and sophisticated as vintage Craftsman wallpaper.
I've never seen a Peony, and I've seen a lot of grandma gardens in my days. Guess they don't do well in California. Too bad.

theartofpuro said...

Sorry to answer only now.Thanks for the comment and wishes.Hope you had a good time too. You did a lot of new illustrations,love them all.They are all so beautiful:)

Ces Adorio said...

There she is swinging, necked lady, pretty in pink. Gosh, I don't know. I think there are more obsessive ink travelers than me. Maybe I have just reached Midway Island from here. Ugh, I hope I am not in the middle of the ocean. It makes me sad that today's singers cannot match the caliber of Doris and Ella. Every word they sang I can understand because they enunciate them well. Today, modern instruments and background noise masks their vocal insufficiency. Yesterday's singers and crooners relied on their voices to cary the melody and music. Tsup! Tsup!

Amy C said...

love LOVE LOVE peonies too!
Yours are extra gorgeous, only you could do the peony justice!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Yes indeed you drew a beautiful neck. I wish I had a neck like that LOL! Let know when you go into plastic surgery he he he he he! Your illustrations are magical and magnificent. They are so dreamy and I need dreamy. I think all of us do. You had me at pink honestly. You know how much I love PINK! Pink Peonies ??? I bow before your greatness. I adore them all together. I think every girl should have pink peonies at some point in their life! Minus the ants. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. You made my day! LOVE YOU MORE THAN PINK PEONIES!

Kathy Jurek said...

Ants have great taste in flowers. I just wish they'd jump off before I bring the peonies inside. I just dug a peony plant up to give away. I wish I could've given it to you, Bella. ;)