Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Look of Cotton

I find I go off on tangents, quite often actually. I don't know if it's the way my brain operates or maybe I just find too many interesting things to explore. Lately, it's been cotton fields.

pencil and watercolor
I relocated to the Outer Banks from Massachusetts, land of the cranberry bogs. I found the bogs enticing with their rich colors and earthy feel plus the fact they only captured my attention during their brief harvesting season. After moving to the South, I found the cotton fields that lined the road to my island drew me in like the bogs used to. But time changes things. And now those former cotton fields have been replaced by vineyards, soybeans and rapeseed. They are beautiful in their own way. I took great pleasure in painting the bright yellow rapeseed this spring, but I miss the cotton. 

Fortunately, there are still lots of cotton fields further over on the mainland, and this year I am sated. I began researching the life of cotton and now know about bolls, bur and locks. I've been lucky that some of the fields still hold their bounty and harvesting is not yet finished, giving me a few more days to work.
One of my original sketches.

My favorite cotton field painting sold two days ago. It was a hard one to let go. But this coming Tuesday, I'm set to go sketch a family's soybean field in honor of a gentleman's passing. I know I'll find earthly beauty in that field too. It will offer its own set of greens and earth tones along with rows of promise. I love being asked to sketch someone's fields or gardens; to be able to preserve those moments for a family.

As far as my tangents, my daughter-in-law got me a book I wanted on space and my mind is whirling madly.

This was my favorite that just sold.

gesso, watercolor, pastel and acrylic

pencil and watercolor


  1. Beautiful cotton fields!! You captured them so wonderfully. I can see why they catch your fancy. I, too, was obsessed by cranberry bogs and want to stand in one, knee-deep, like in the Ocean Spray cranberry commercials. As far as I got was a visit to a bog in British Columbia once (and the berries were not ready for harvesting so not bright red everywhere. Oh, well, another time. I was recently obsessed with indigo, too, the planting, the process of dying the fabric, etc. Haven't seen a real working indigo farm but hope to, someday. It's wonderful how our minds flit around but gather such great information - always there to show and share and create new art from someday! Have a good Thanksgiving.

    1. Indigo? Hmmmmmmmmmmm. I'd like to see that too. Thanks for the lovely words. Just this week I was asked to go out and sketch some soybean fields in honor of a gentleman that has passed. The fields will soon be sold so the family wants paintings of them. Maybe it's the idea of "from seed to fulfillment" that captures my attention. But I will share those pieces too whenever I get time to do them. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Rhonda.