Lilacs and the relentless march of spring

Lilacs in a glass cup, oil on panel, 8"x10", by Shannon Reynolds
Lilacs in a glass cup, oil on panel, 8" x 10"
The spring blossoms continue their relentless march. Magnolia, crabapple, serviceberry, and redbud--all finished. Daffodils and muscari long gone, and even the latest of the late tulips starting to drop their petals. The Siberian iris blossoms unfurl only to curl themselves up the very next day.  But the spectacular white tree peony at least is in full-blown bloom.  It's planted along the sidewalk where its scent and the almost obscene extravagance of its flowers stop passers by in their tracks.  Dogwoods, spirea in bloom, mock orange almost.  The season unfolds far too quickly.  I feel this way every year. Spring is the season I most wish I could draw out.  But today we have a forecast temperature of 30 degrees and the first heat alert of the year; the studio is sweltering, and towering white clouds, promising late day thunderstorms, are half crowding the blue sky out of my skylight windows, so it's futile. 

Still, I had to make some small attempt to arrest the season with a painting of lilacs clipped from the new tree (shrub really) I planted last week.  It's called Wedgwood Blue and its bracts smell like childhood adventures in untended gardens around the houses of great aunts.  But even now, the cut blooms are browning in their cup and the few I left on the tree are almost done. I'm already longing for next spring.

The egg-run

Farm sketch by Shannon Reynolds

About once a week I drive to a gorgeous family farm to pick up eggs and greens and various items of seasonal bounty they offer at their farm store.  It's a bucolic place and always makes me feel fortunate to live in an area where the mixed family farm is still flourishing.

The standoff, graphite in sketchbook, byt Shannon Reynolds
The last time I was there this dog and cat were having a standoff.  The dog seemed to want to play, but the cat was having none of it.


Recent life drawings

Leaves are on the trees and suddenly the world is transformed.  I hope to be out sketching land and cityscapes in addition to life drawing very soon. In the meantime, here are some life drawings and portrait studies, mostly in charcoal and chalk, from the past month.

Eden, portrait in chalk and charcoal by Shannon Reynolds
Eden, charcoal and chalk on gessoed paper, 12" x 14"
Govan, charcoal and chalk pastel study by Shannon Reynolds
Govan, charcoal and chalk on painted board, 11" x 12"
Sean, charcoal and chalk study by Shannon Reynolds
Sean, charcoal and chalk on gessoed board, 8 1/2" x 11 1/2"
Eden, charcoal and chalk on gessoed paper by Shannon Reynolds
Eden, charcoal and chalk on gessoed paper, 11 1/2" x 15"
Eden, charcoal and chalk on gessoed paper 9 1/2" x 14"
Rachel, charcoal on gessoed paper by Shannon Reynolds
Rachel, charcoal and chalk on gessoed paper, 15" x 22"