Fruit and Flowers

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Artwork by Sand Salt Moon’s Cynthia Maniglia

Tangerines and Star Fruit

Tangerines and Star Fruit.jpg

How lucky we are to have such generous neighbors who share the bounty of their gardens with us! The other morning, a simple chat over a wooden fence with my neighbor in the morning while I was out walking my dog resulted in my coming home with a large bag of fruit. The tangerines had fallen from the trees due to the heavy winds from a recent storm. Would I like some? But of course! The star fruit need a little more ripening. “Just put them in a bowl and let them sit a while on the counter. They will be ready when they’re more of a yellow color. The yellower, the better.” They’re still ripening.

My painting is a little off kilter. The coffee mug is a little crooked – but I like when there’s a slight shift of perspective in a painting that is not meant to be photorealistic but rather more impressionistic and stylistic. I drew and painted it in two nightly sessions.

Meyer Lemon


Colored pencil and gouache.

Have you ever had a Meyer Lemon? How is it different from a “regular” lemon?”

Well, the Meyer Lemon is a seasonal, winter citrus available December through May here in Florida, and it is thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. Meyer lemons don’t have the same tang as regular lemons; they’re much sweeter. Their rinds have a spicy bergamot fragrance that resembles an herb or a spice.

Dwarf Pomegranate Fruit

Dwarf Pomegranate Fruit | Watercolor | Sand Salt Moon | Cynthia ManigliaOur dwarf pomegranate trees are finally starting to show fruit but I plucked off these two before they were mature because they looked good enough to paint. Alas, they are not good enough to eat and perhaps are slightly blighted. Pencil first then watercolor in my Bee Paper Company sketchbook.


Nectarines - watercolor journal
Pigma Archival “Brush” ink, watercolor and water-soluble wax pastels in my journal on gessoed paper. Cynthia Maniglia, 2015

Today, the Philadelphia Watercolor Society liked my Sand Salt Moon Facebook page, so I guess I need to start painting and posting some “serious” watercolor art to try and impress them, lol. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite summertime fruit. I thought this looked very “childish” whilst I was drawing it in my watercolor journal, but then after I photographed it I thought the skin on the fruit looks rather lifelike. That’s the point of a journal sketchbook – to experiment and try things out, even if it’s not a “painting.” From this little exercise in my journal, I explored color. These nectarines were colored from memory, without looking at the fruit. I’ve eaten so many in my lifetime and love them so much, I feel confident just getting out my reds, yellows and oranges and having at it.

Happy Summer!

An Apple Today

My apple. I ate half and painted the whole thing first. I love my apple. It is a shop-worn subject for artists, since Adam and Eve days. What I love about my apple is I didn’t trace it or copy it. I noticed the skin – looked at it really close. It looks like God painted it in the orchard. I didn’t work from a photograph. I worked from real life. On 140 lb paper. Paper was stretched on Masonite (using a thin strip of Elmer’s glue around the outer edge of the paper). When it was done and dry, I cut it off the board with an Exacto knife. That was kind of scary. First time I ever used this method of stretching paper. Good news – the finished piece looks better in real life than when photographed or scanned at 300 dpi with a billion colors. And that’s a first too for me. so far. (I usually think the photos look better than the real life piece!)