Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Gardenia Story

"The Gardenia" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Years ago, when I was in high school, my boyfriend (now husband) brought me a beautiful bright white gardenia blossom that he plucked from his mother's flowering bush. Of course, I loved it. So did my mother who later took the then fading flower and worked to root it. That root eventually grew into a new gardenia bush in my parents' yard.

A few years later, Mother brought me some fresh gardenia flowers she had cut from her bush. Although I definitely have a brown thumb, I was successful in rooting one of those flower cuttings which eventually grew into the huge gardenia bush that now lives by our back door.

When spring comes and blossoms fill our bush, I think of both of our mothers. From one special little
©Mary Montague Sikes
gift, many flowers have blossomed. Perhaps eventually more bushes will flower from cuttings grown in other gardens.

That is the gardenia story.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

In My Studio - A Journey to Discover

"In My Studio" ©Mary Montague Sikes
This Covid-19 experience has brought me more time in my artist studio. I sometimes call my special retreat, "Angel View Studio", because the most important view I have there is through the three overhead skylights. There are clouds during the day and stars at night unless they are blurred out by the nearby street light. The art studio view is quiet different from the dozens of trees and the creek and marshland I see from my writing studio window. I am thankful for the views I have from both studios.

Besides the many cold wax paintings I have in various stages of finish, I also have five acrylic paintings underway. Acrylics are a special love of mine. I often enjoy making a pastel painting first, then using it as my working drawing for a larger, much showier piece of art work. Right now, I have the intense Robert Doak watercolors at the ready to use on Yupo. So much to do while I have this unusual opportunity of not going out for meetings and for Wellness classes.

"Studio, Street View" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Eventually, I will need to spend time inside my studio closet where many treasures are secured. I enjoy the forgotten surprises I sometimes find hidden there. An archival storage box for work on paper holds figurative watercolors and a treasure trove of pastel drawings. At one time, I planned to write a second hotels book--More Hotels to Remember--and the paintings for it lie hidden in a drawer. The research for the stories for my book fill bags and filing cabinets in my writing studio. Where did I ever think I would find the time to put all that work together?

"Studio Closet" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Being in my studio is magic. So much to discover. So much to create in my fantasy journey to Xanadu.