The Garden Page – Art Journal

Art Journal | Garden Page | 9-28-16 | Sand Salt Moon.jpg
The Garden Page | Art Journal | Sand Salt Moon

This is something a little new to me, art journaling. It’s not so much compositionally focused, but more an exploration. This page was madeĀ using collage, watercolor, dip pen and ink, markers, and chalk paint. The three pots of herbs I painted from my imagination the other day, and the yellow flower bud in the right corner is from my garden. The garden, outdoors, and nature are a never-ending source of inspiration.

Three’s a Crowd

Three's a Crowd | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon.jpg
“Three’s a Crowd” | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

I had a little time to paint tonight, so I did this. I call it “Three’s a Crowd.” It’s based on a photo I took of our neighbor’s ducks in the little pond that’sĀ down our driveway on the way to the mailbox. In the photo, there were four ducks. But I only painted three. I used the photo mainly for the shapes of the ducks and their reflections in the water.Ā I am pretty pleased with how my little painting turned out for several reasons, one of which is the variation of brush strokes which helps keepĀ the eye movingĀ around the painting and the composition interesting and lively.

Three's a Crowd | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon (1)

Another aspect of this piece I enjoyed creating is theĀ achieved aĀ variation of textures using several differentĀ brushesĀ and tools. (Remembering how many times have I tried to paint something when I started out with just one brush.) This time, I even used a sponge and scraped the paintĀ in the background where the edge of the pond meets the vegetation using the tip of my handy dandy glass dip pen. Feeling satisfied, mission accomplished today, and happy to say I have my ducks all in a row.


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 andĀ 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 …

Bees in Pen and Ink

“Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name?” ~
Helen Hunt Jackson

Playing around with my new glass dip pen and Dr. Ph. Martin Bombay Indian inks. August Bees ~ this is my first time using the pen and new inks. Fun!August Bees | Sand Salt Moon.jpg

Here’s what theĀ glass dip pen looks like! To use the pen for this drawing, I simply dipped the glass tip about two-thirds of the way down into the ink, straight from the container. I tap the tip against the container to get rid of excess and then twirl the pen around a little as I draw to control the flow. It’s fun to play with thick or thin lines, which you can create depending on how loaded with ink the tip is. If I made a big blotch of ink by mistake due to having too much ink on the pen, I spread the area out with the unloaded pen tip. I also used a fine tip sable brush to add small hints of watercolor.

August Bees | Sand Salt Moon | Bee Paper Company Sketchbook and Dr. Ph. Martin Ink.jpgNow I need to paint a big Owl to put on the glass sliding doors of my Artist’s Loft as a couple of birds have flown right into the glass lately and we need to prevent that from happening again.

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.