"Los Tulipanes"

"Los Tulipanes"
48 X 48, oil on panel

Thursday, April 28, 2011

caring for cut tulips

I love having fresh tulips inside to enjoy. I love watching them bloom and grow (yes, tulips continue to grow even after they are cut- an inch or so is typical). I love to photograph them and paint them. This is a photo I took of a tulip I have been enjoying that I recently cut from our yard.

I often hear complaints about tulips just not lasting very long, especially cut tulips.
Tulip paintings and prints last super long... but so can your cut tulips, I have some great tips to help:

1. Select tulips that have a tight or nearly closed bloom.
2. Remove any green leaves that would be submerged in the water. The stems will also die back first- remove them as soon as they begin to wilt.
3. Trim the stem at an angle with sharp scissors or a knife (do this while the stem is wet and do not allow it to dry out before being put in the vase) Trim the stems a little more each day.
4. Change the water in your vase at least once a day. I like to use cold water, I even add ice chips sometimes. (tulips like to be cold- that is why they thrive in colder climates and early spring)
6. Display your tulips in a cool place free from direct sunlight or draft from the heater vent.
5. Put your tulips in the fridge at night (this will give them the same cold treatment they would get outside in the ground and it prolongs the life of the bloom) I know it sounds silly, but it will really make them last a lot longer.

I can keep tulips going inside for around 2 weeks using all of these tulip tips.

Oh, and one more tip: Because tulips grow after they are cut- they tend to conform to the shape of the vase and the stems become curvy. If you want to straighten them, you can wrap a few layers of damp newspaper around them for a few hours (keep them in the vase while you do this)

Enjoy your cut tulips!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Tulip Festival Poster

This is the poster for The 2011 Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. (available in the garden gift shop)

I painted it last year in the children's garden.
I brought it back into my studio recently and made a couple of changes. I added the rainbow.

I think I'm calling it "Symbols of Promise" or " Symbols of Hope"

For the past several I have spent my spring days in the gardens at Thanksgiving Point enveloped in the beauty of the tulip festival painting and talking with the others who have also come to enjoy the beauty. Thousands upon thousands are drawn to the gardens to see the tulips.

Just as the rainbow is a symbol of promise, a symbol of hope, so are the tulips. People come because the hope and happiness that the tulips symbolize. The tulips awaken and bloom and beckon the rest of nature to dawn her colors. They symbolize hope and rebirth, an end of cold and beginning of warmth, an invitation to grow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When will the tulips bloom?

There are many factors that contribute to when tulips bloom, like the weather, how much sun they get, how deep they are planted and what type of tulips they are.
There are actually thousands of different types of tulips, and they are broken down into 15 specific classifications. I am focusing on 3 basic variations for this post: early, middle, and late.

Early tulips generally bloom in late March to early April. They tend to be about 8 to 15 inches in height. Early tulips begin blooming while daffodils and crocus are still in bloom.

Middle tulips bloom 5 to 10 days after the early tulips and tend to be a little taller than the early ones, and a little hardier and more suited to cutting and bringing inside to enjoy.

Late tulips are truly elegant, they tend to have long sturdy stems and large blooms and include the parrot varieties. Many tulip festival patrons miss out on these beauties because they bloom so much later- 5 to 10 days more after the middle tulips, often blooming well into June and the crowds at the gardens tend to dramatically taper after the advertised days of the Tulip Festival have passed. The tulips are still there, just not the venders live music and such.

I hope this information is helpful in getting the most enjoyment out of tulip season this year, I still think a membership to the gardens is a great way to go and then go a few times so you get to see more varieties of tulips.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

how to know when to go to the tulip festival

I am frequently asked when is the best time to go to the tulip festival.
I think the best thing to do is go as many days as you can, but I realize that I may be a bit more fanatic about tulips than the average person, so here are some more practical tips:

First of all, I think you should plant some tulips in your own yard, then you will see them growing and have an idea of what to expect (and if you don't have any tulips in your yard, check out the tulips in your neighborhood and around town, and that will give you some idea) This photo is of tulips in our yard tonight. Things are looking good- lots of green, some tulips are in bloom, but the majority are not there yet.

Another great way to know what to expect at the gardens is to use this link and go to the live web cam at The Thanksgiving Point Gardens. Look at each of the individual gardens, and you will begin to see more and more color. This is also a great way to check the weather before you go.

By the way, I will be on the KUTV channel 2 news on Monday morning (April 18th) around 6:30 a.m. for a live broadcast at The Tulip Festival.

a bitter sweet realization

Yesterday, my 3 year old wanted this little paint set as a reward for some good behavior. She was so excited about it... until she tried to use it.
She is accustomed to higher quality paint.

Friday, April 8, 2011

We all come with the ability to draw

Frequently when I meet people and they learn that I am an artist, they tell me they can't draw, or they only draw "stick people". It's probably the same way I look at nurses and I tell them I can't imagine doing what they do.
Think about it though, think of yourself when you were 3 or 4 or 5, or any kid you know at that age, if you ask them to draw themselves or their families or really anything, they will. They quickly begin, without hesitation or any regard for how anyone else will perceive what they draw. Little children are not inhibited, and not only do they come with the ability to visually express themselves, but the desire, and they enjoy it.
So, what happens?
My 3 year old was asked to draw something that begins with the letter B, so she drew her cousin Berkley. (and a tulip beside her, she is my daughter after all). She is 100% confident that this is an accurate rendering of her cousin, she had fun drawing it and is proud of her results. I love it, I think it is wonderful and I want to nurture that confidence, it is so valuable to her and her success, not only as an artist, but in life in general.
Most children want to please their parents and teachers, so when these adults either do not show any confidence or regard for art, children will mirror them. By the time many children are 7 or 8, they have quit drawing their own cute people, and they start drawing the bathroom sign style stick people that the adults around them draw. It breaks my heart to see their people gone replaced by generic "stick people." Ask the same group of people that eagerly drew at age 4 to draw the same thing as an adult, and many will draw "stick people", decline or say they can't draw altogether.
My advice:
If you are a parent or teacher, don't draw stick people. You may be thinking "that's all I can draw." I say you can do better! A great solution is to draw the people your children draw, copy them, they are much better to copy than to have them copy you. Keep your drawing fresh, don't draw the same thing the same way every time- so that your child doesn't think there is only one way to draw one thing- a symbol, instead look at something real and observe it together.
Try to be like a child instead of the child trying to be like you. You'll both start producing better art.
(These are my daughter's drawings before, during and post pregnancy)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Conference weekend special

This weekend Deseret Book has a great price on some of my artwork- each of these are $25.00 (framed- in a small size- other sizes are also available)
What a great deal!
They also have a whole wall filled with my paintings at the downtown Salt Lake store.