Be The Best You Can Be

 

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“Shrub Rose,” 5×5, Acrylic, ©June Rollins

Shrub Rose Auction Details

She is not hybrid tea rose status, but what an amazing little shrub rose I’m tending in my flower garden 🙂

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My Rose Westerland Shrub, an undemanding diva with her generous, ever-changing, spicy, fragrant blooms inspires me to be the best I can be.

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If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
 Be a scrub in the valley — but be
 The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
 Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.



If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
 And some highway happier make;
 If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass —
 But the liveliest bass in the lake!



We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
 There’s something for all of us here,
 There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
 And the task you must do is the near.



If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
 If you can’t be the sun be a star;
 It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
 Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglass Malloch (1877-1938) American Poet, Short Story Writer

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We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.

-Mary Dunbar

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Wishing you amazing, little shrub rose, discoveries today.

Dead Center

bee balm blooming web

Bee Balm, Monarda, is currently blooming in our yard. I saved this purple, low growing variety from Lowe’s clearance rack a couple of years ago.

bee balm sketch 2

It smells wonderful and is a fun subject to sketch and watercolor.

Bee Balm 5x7 2

Happy with this watercolor study.

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Decided to make more complex…

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Why didn’t somebody tell me about the bloom that is almost dead center?

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Today’s life lesson has reminded me of something I either read or heard in a workshop some years ago. The instructor told us,

Unless we consciously and deliberately choose not to put a subject/focal point in the center of our composition, we will.

First thing this artist did was put a small “x” in the center of her paper as a reminder.

I think I’ll begin doing the same 😉

It’s not what we know. It’s what we do. 

Sometimes It’s Okay To Force The Issue

When it comes to certain flower bulbs, like Paperwhites and Hyacinths!

Forcing bulbs to bloom will provide fresh flowers, fragrance and inspiration for painting this winter. Have an ongoing supply by staggering over the next few months.

I love seeing newly emerging green this time of year. It gives me hope to visualize all the bulbs dreaming and growing, hidden under the snow. Want to try? Another grand choice are Amaryllis. Here’s more info: Forcing Flower Bulbs

I don’t think Rob will mind, do you 😉

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Force The Issue! Create Beauty!

Autumn Beginnings

No one can tell me Autumn is just about endings, unless you believe that in every ending, there is a beginning. Gardeners and people of deep faith know this. Maybe they are one in the same. I know my hands digging in rich dirt and my heart rejoicing over tender green shoots is for me a spiritual exchange.

Newly planted Iris building energy for glory awakening Spring 2015.

Newly planted Iris building energy for Spring 2015 glory awakening. Those small, emerging side shoots give me all kinds of hope to hold onto through the winter.

Dare I be so bold to name this experience, “Co-creating.” Even though I have heard my husband pronounce confidently from the pulpit, “We are all co-creators with God.”

Whatever it is, it nourishes my soul beyond words and I am overjoyed  to be planting this Autumn, hoping through Winter and envisioning next Spring’s glory.

Remembering earlier Iris I've grown that were models for all About Iris Series.

Remembering earlier Iris I’ve grown that became models for all About Iris Series.

Above blooming iris photo from earlier post, Become A Better Artist…

Iris No. 18 10x14, Watercolor © June Rollins

Iris No. 18
10×14, Watercolor
© June Rollins

See more Iris paintings, All About Iris

Plans are being made now for me to teach techniques used to create All About Iris Series, Spring 2015 at Tri-County Community College, Murphy, NC.

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Now, to tell Rob his other birthday gift was 200 Daffodil bulbs 🙂

When The Subject Chooses Us…

There’s Usually Something To Learn.

For two years, this reference photo was in a lucite stand near my art table, patiently waiting to be painted. Each time I walked by it, I would wonder why I was drawn to it. Not a particularly interesting composition, even though I was the one who had taken the photo 🙂

I think what drew me was the story behind these hollyhocks…

I had grown from seed.

In 2011, I was a most avid, beginning gardener, enraptured with growing things from seed. To increase my rate of seed growing success, I chose those with the shortest germination times. The back of the seed packet told me hollyhocks germinated in 10-14 days. These healthy, little seedlings appeared as promised!

But something went wrong. The entire first year, I had tall, strong, lime green hollyhock stalks filled with fluffy, lime green hollyhock foliage, but no hollyhock blooms. Not the right location? Not the right soil? Not enough Miracle-Gro? I re-read the seed packet back. Sure enough, 10-14 days to germination. But along beside that…

365 Days To Bloom

Ever had a project you poured yourself into that took longer than expected? How long is this going to take? Is it ever going to happen? Should I give-up? What were these hollyhocks trying to teach me? I googled hollyhocks to find out more:

Most hollyhocks are biennials, that is, they grow only foliage the first year, flower the second, and die that fall. However, if you establish a stand of hollyhocks, they’ll reseed each year so there will always be plenty blooming. Interestingly, the flowers open from the bottom to the top of the spike throughout the summer.

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Lessons Learned From Hollyhock 101

1. Take time to work quietly and patiently underground before going public.

2. When you do have that first exhibition, give it all you’ve got as if it were your one and only  chance to shine.

3. Have many other works in progress for new life to emerge from the ground up in the future.

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Last Hurrah Watercolor, 9x15 Dreamscaping With June Rollins®

Last Hurrah
Watercolor, 9×15
Dreamscaping With June Rollins®

Teach us to number our days…Psalm 90:12

 See some of the painting process of Last Hurrah at June Rollins ART (June 14, 2014)

 

Entering Into Lent

I took this photo of Lenten Roses last week at John C. Campbell Folk School.

I would like to say I was reflectively, meandering around with my 35mm Canon seeking and receiving nature’s gifts. Something that has always renewed and restored my spirit at a deep, core level.

But, I wasn’t. I was rushing by, my mind racing ahead of me, already on the next task at hand. It was more of a yearning tug than a low lying blur of magenta that made me stop. I hesitated, debating. Did I have time to look closer? The tug was beseeching, compelling me to turn around and go back. I knelt down and was immediately taken in. This infusing feeling of connection I experience in nature, I’ve missed it so.

The above quick photo taken with my iPhone, attempts to share the experience.

Entering into this season of Lent, I want to stop, turn around and go back.

Have Never Been So Thankful For A Rose Of Sharon

With a relocation comes a dangling, uprooted feeling.

The familiar is gone.

The flowers, the beauty, I have tended and photographed and painted aren’t outside my door any more. Some may be arriving in containers soon…

But, in the meantime, this has been the visual joy to greet me every morning when I take out Clyde, my toy poodle.

It’s on the edge of the yard of an empty house beside the parsonage at the end of our shared driveway. I was aware of some Christian symbolism attached to this enduring, flowering shrub, so, I googled it this morning. Rose Of Sharon

Now, its Enduring Presence means even more.

 

Message Sent. Message Received.