Summer Flower Paintings

Monday, August 5, 2019

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

The studio has been a busy place this summer as I have been working on a new collection of paintings along with commissioned works. 

One particularly rewarding creative project I recently completed for a client remodeling her master bedroom presented the challenge of painting two decorative floral arrangements from my imagination without relying on an actual arrangement of flowers for reference.

The buyer, who is an avid collector of purple Depression glass, selected two favorite pedestal vases from her lovely collection for me to photograph, then I began sketching and designing a pair of painted floral arrangements that would fit the vases and complement the colors of her beautiful new bedroom!

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

Many of the flowers included in the paintings are varieties grown in our garden over the years except for the pink peonies which I was lucky enough to find at the market.  Predominantly old fashioned flowers were selected to fuse with the antique style of the vases and the elegant, traditional bedroom decor.

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

Hydrangeas, roses and peonies arranged in a decorative design are painted in thin layers of acrylic paint to capture the dimensional quality of the flowers and the range of colors.  It was especially fun to paint the petals of these blooms glazed by light.

Summer Flower Paintings- www.gildedbloom.com

It is always a joy to paint home grown flowers as it makes the rewards of working in the garden more permanent.  Soon I will be planting a fall flower garden and as I plan the varieties of flowers, I'm always thinking of the future paintings they may become...

Spring Garden Floral

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

The early spring garden is now dressed in shades of pink and white as our cymbidium orchids, anemones and camellias take the stage.  They are lovely in the landscape but also make beautiful cut flowers for arranging!

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

This design began with a pedestal planter and a smaller glass vase of water set inside to hold the fresh flowers.  Then a garland of faux greenery was wrapped around the vase to fill in the gap between the containers.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

A series of garden flowers and a few filler flowers from the market were added to the glass vase, which created an unstructured floral design.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

These raspberry colored cymbidium orchids were arranged first and then surrounded with blush carnations to hold them in place.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

Fragrant sprigs of stock and a few black and white anemones were woven into the design.


Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

White camellias placed near the bottom of the arrangement were encircled with carnations and filler foliage.

.Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

For texture, a few fluffy budding tulips were added to the mix.

Spring Garden Floral- www.gildedbloom.com

Providing the final touch, fluttery petals of the white anemones contrast the sculptural shape of the orchids and add interest to the design.

When I brought this arrangement inside to use as a centerpiece for the Easter table. it felt like spring had truly arrived!

Styling an Easter Table

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Its almost time for Easter! The garden is filled with fresh flowers and the days are warm and beautiful.  I'm now styling an Easter table and have used a palette of soft greens and shades of white to complement the floral centerpiece made from garden blooms.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

A few thematic objects like this white glass bunny and bird salt and pepper shakers were chosen for the center of the table to reflect the colors of the floral arrangement and blend in with the dishes and linens.  Next a lightweight crinkled ribbon runner was strewn down the center of the table.  This is an easy way to add color.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

The charming toile bunny dishes were layered with white dinner plates and accented with majolica cabbage bowls in a different shade of green.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Simple linen placemats in a neutral flax color with white cotton embroidered napkins to complement the printed plates were added to complete the design.

Styling an Easter Table- www.gildedbloom.com

Styling a table for Easter, or another spring holiday, is easy and fun and can be done with whatever dishes you have on hand and just a few seasonal additions.  I chose bunny dishes and spring green to give this table an Easter theme, but any seasonal accent plates or objects will do.  The important part is to be creative and have fun!

Flower Spotlight: Ranunculus

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Ranunculus flowers, also called Persian Buttercups, provide stunning blooms in early spring when the weather is still chilly and moist. Boasting a mass of chiffon-like petals, the multicolored flowers are always a favorite for spring weddings and floral arrangements.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

These beautiful stems were brought to me by a sweet neighbor who knows how much I enjoy the art of flowers. They were grown by Kelley Flower Farm , and I am dazzled by the quality and color of these unique ranunculus varieties- so dazzled in fact, that I've been researching how to grow them in my own home garden next spring!  In my efforts to learn more, I found some excellent ranunculus resources to share.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Every fall,  I usually purchase a few new varieties of flower bulbs to try in the garden from Erin Benzakien's Floret Flower Farm in Washington.  In addition to many amazing varieties of flowers, she also provides extensive educational resources on her website, like this tutorial about how to grow ranunculus.  She is also the author of Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden, which is reviewed in this post.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

Another great resource is Garden Design's post How to Grow Your Own Ranunculus which includes a buying guide, planting tips and ideas for using ranunculus in the garden and in floral arrangements.

Flower Spotlight:  Ranunculus - www.gildedbloom.com

The Gardenista website also adds an interesting twist to the discussion of this flower by including background on its mythology in the post "Ranunculus:  The Little Frog".   Apparently, ranunculus means "little frog" in Latin as it often grows near bodies of water.  According to Gardenista, legend also has it that the original Asian myth (upon which the Western fairy tale of the Frog Prince was based) stated that the prince was turned into a ranunculus instead of a frog.  Fascinating...


Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas- www.gildedbloom.com

The winter months are quiet as I prepare the garden for spring and await the first blooms of the season.  It is always a challenge to keep the vases filled until the garden starts to produce flowers for cutting, so I often use dried or artificial flowers this time of year.

Winter Decorating with Dried Hydrangeas- www.gildedbloom.com

Dried hydrangeas are elegant when placed in wide vases or bowls and provide soft color and texture.  They are simple to preserve during the summer by cutting the blooms and placing them in a vase of water until the water evaporates and the flowers start to dry. 

Fresh blooms, as shown in the photo below, can also be made into wreaths which will dry and last through the winter.  See the post about  "How to Make a Hydrangea Wreath" for instructions.  I have used them for centerpieces as well as wall decor.

Season's Greetings

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Season's Greetings- www.gildedbloom.com

Wishing you all a happy holiday season filled with peace and joy... 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Fall Gardens at Filoli

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

Fall is a beautiful time of year to tour Filoli in Woodside, CA as the gardens are still in bloom and the  trees are beginning to change color.  We visited there recently since two of my paintings are featured in the current art show, "Fall Landscapes of the Golden State".  We were dazzled by the beauty of the estate and still spectacular gardens in October.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

The flower beds throughout the grounds were filled with colorful blooms.  A combination of orange and purple flowers defined the central garden and was stunning.  Layers of zinnias, dahlias and salvia grew in beds lined with boxwood for a lovely autumn display.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

The formal garden design at Filoli provides dramatic viewpoints throughout the property.  Many are highlighted with elegant garden sculpture and wrought iron filigree gates.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

The rose gardens were in bloom and filled the air with a sweet perfume.  There are many beautiful varieties, which are labelled for the convenience of visitors.  As a gardener, I always appreciate this educational detail, as I look forward to adding my favorites to our garden at home.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

There are also extensive cutting gardens at Filoli and these were filled with zinnias, cosmos, strawflowers and a multitude of other fall-blooming beauties.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

It was fascinating to see the rows of different flowers and autumn hued foliage plants which would surely look stunning in floral designs.

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

The dahlias were also blooming in gorgeous vibrant colors.   It was certainly a day filled with garden inspiration!

Fall Gardens at Filoli- www.gildedbloom.com

If you'd like to visit Filoli this season, the current "Golden Harvest" celebration features orchard tours, fall events, an art show, and a display of antique farm equipment through November 4th.  For more information please see the official website.




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