Walking Around The Yard

Walking around the Florida yard with my mini Moleskin, I quickly sketched a few of the plants I saw, enjoying the fine weather and sun. I came inside and added some color to my sketches, then photographed them outside, and here are my quick studies for your viewing pleasure.

Cactus flower – Moleskin sketch – pencil and marker
Oleander pod and cactus – pencil and marker
Aloe Vera – pencil, marker and pastels


feeling ferny

I was looking at a lot of ferns today. Tomorrow, we’re going to visit the Manatee Art Center, and I can’t wait.

CYNTHIA MANIGLIA – “FERNS” – watercolor, Sharpie fine point black ink, and markers on 140 lb. sketchbook paper

Fall Berries

Fall berries, C. Maniglia
Fall berries, C. Maniglia
Fall berries, C. Maniglia
Fall berries, C. Maniglia

Inspiration … WP_20151106_013 Love the colors of these berries, from my morning walk ~ a pattern is taking shape, I think, from this study. I am working on some leaves in the same colors. Later, I will import the elements into my Affinity Designer program and see where it takes me. I found out the name of this plant – these berries grow on a vine, called Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ‘Elegans’ (Variegated Porcelain Vine).

Too early for the holidays?

Do you recognize these shapes and colors? They’re from yesterday’s morning meditations. The images were done in light watercolor on newsprint. Using my Affinity Designer program, the imported shapes were isolated and arranged to create this holiday pattern. It has a sort of vintage, Shabby Chic look and feel to it. I call it “Berries and Boughs.”

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This would make a nice gift wrap pattern for the holidays.

My Victoria magazine Winter/Holiday issue arrived yesterday, filled with lit trees and scenes one usually sees in months to come. I’ll be in Florida this winter, so I won’t see a snowy winter for the first time in my life. That’s going to be strange.

Morning Meditations

watercolor on newsprint CYNTHIA MANIGLIA
Some things I collected on my walk this morning. Even with the frost on the grass, some flowers still remain and nice red berries are popping up. watercolor on newsprint CYNTHIA MANIGLIA


After my morning walk, toast and coffee, I painted some botanicals I collected. I was reading a great article online about the difference between fall in the U.S. and fall in the U.K. That article totally influenced my choice of study this morning. Can you tell me how/why? (Hint: You’ll know if you check out the online article, which I promise you is VERY interesting.)

Watercolor on newsprint.WP_20151019_007

Imagined Garden

Imagined Garden by Cynthia Maniglia
Imagined Garden by Cynthia Maniglia

Mixed media: gesso, dried leaves, flower petal, stem, watercolor, marker, metallic ink.

I like to use Gesso in my journal to “refinish” pages that, because the paper is thin, have paint that has seeped through the other side and render the reverse page “unusable.” Sometimes, I doodle over the seeped through paint and try to use it in a design. On two pages in my journal I had pressed flowers glued to the pages that were turning brown and flaking off. So I gessoed over them, and then because I didn’t let the wet pages dry enough, they stuck together. I tried to rip the pages apart and ended up with what I considered a good “ground” for a new abstract experiment. Last night, I worked with the glued-together-torn-apart page in watercolor, marker and metallic ink.

If look close you will see the remnants of the pressed leaves, a petal, and folded/glued paper creating unusual contours. Since I just made up the leaves and shapes without looking at anything, creating from memory, I call this “Imagined Garden.”

One more seed harvesting: Clematis

One more “harvesting” – the Clematis seed. Clematis grows on a vine. This shows the flower, leaves,
the seed with its furry “tail” and an unopened flower bud. If the unopened bud dries up and never flowers, what would have been the curly yellow center of the bloom would be a giant seed pod. The furry ends on the seed would have matured into the yellow furls you see at the center of the flower.

Clematis in watercolor journal - C. Maniglia, 2015
Clematis in watercolor journal – C. Maniglia, 2015

A Good Place To Rest My Brush

Leaves in watercolor journal - C. Maniglia, 2015
A bed of leaves ~ good to paint and a good place to rest my paint brush
Fallen Leaves in watercolor journal - C. Maniglia, 2015
Fallen Leaves in watercolor journal – C. Maniglia, 2015


The most colorful fall leaves, it seems, are not in the trees where I am in PA this time of year; they’re on the ground. I picked up the more colorful ones I came across on my morning walk and painted them up in my watercolor journal. Mine painted leaves are even more colorful; but they are inspired by nature. And so I rest my brush. Have a good day!