After Gardening

Painting the backyard after gardening, Cynthia Maniglia.jpg

I’ve been thinking of signing up for a watercolor class at a local botanical garden, as well as volunteering there. After gardening in our own yard, I decided to sit down with a glass of water in the living room and paint what I saw looking out of the lanai and into the backyard. No need to go anywhere special to paint, I thought. It’s not where or what I paint, it’s how I paint it. This is done in watercolor with an expressionistic style. The colors evoke the feel of fall in Florida, for me. I used my Reeves travel pan set and the brush that came with it, although I find it best to use different brushes when painting. This was a good exercise in trying to shape a scene and composition using different kinds of brush strokes. A quick 15 minute exercise.


Double Purple Angel’s Trumpet


This Double Purple Angel’s Trumpet is also known as the Purple Hindu Datura, Devil’s Trumpet, and Horn of Plenty. The plant with its uniquely colored cornucopia-like blooms is a highly toxic member of the Nightshade family. Handle with care! Micro pen, watercolor, glass dip pen and ink for the flowers. Watercolor and marker for the background.


WP_20160821_001.jpgMy sweetie and I went to the grocery store this morning, and when I got in the car, he handed this to me. “Did you see this?” I said, “Yes.” “Do you know where it came from?” I said, “I do.” It’s the flower from a grass-like plant near our garage. We did our grocery shopping, and this afternoon, when I went out to the garden to paint, I brought the little sprig from the plant by the garage with me.


I painted a little pattern, using watercolor in my sketchbook. After dinner, I took the sketchbook up to my studio in the loft to paint some more details and darken it up a bit.WP_20160821_032.jpg

Enjoying the process and wanting to explore some more, I drew the same subject in pencil in a smaller sketchbook …WP_20160821_036.jpg

And then I reworked it so it looked like this …WP_20160821_047.jpg

It feels fulfilling to have sketchbooks open to these two pages, and I look forward to seeing them when I go up there again tomorrow. WP_20160821_044.jpg

This is why I love to draw and paint. This is why I love art. The pictures say something words just can not express. And it happens just like this …

Purple Prose

Before I go to bed tonight … watercolor in my sketchbook.
“Purple Prose” ‪
#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ ‪

Purple Prose - watercolor sketchbook - Cynthia Maniglia
Purple Prose – watercolor sketchbook – Cynthia Maniglia

Nothing Serious

#WorldWatercolorMonth Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon
#WorldWatercolorMonth Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

Just doodling in my garden … watercolor (student grade quality) on sketchbook paper. ‪#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ My garden is still relatively new and the plants aren’t really big. The main attraction in the center is a colorful purslane plant. But there are some cool cacti and two pony tail palms, along with a mini rose bush, a big container of mint, and numerous other plants to be seen. I also have baby sunflowers I’ve grown from seed working their way up.

#WorldWatercolorMonth Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon
#WorldWatercolorMonth Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

In other painting news, I’m excited – I just ordered Dr. Phil Martin’s watercolor inks from – can’t wait to experiment with them. My friend, Barry Comer on WordPress, uses them all the time and has given me some fabulous tips. But I still haven’t found a reasonably priced, multi-page, heavy-weight watercolor journal that I like to use – any suggestions?