More Diary Than Art


We all have doubts. Taking a few pages of my sketchbook with an attempt to be more illustrative, this is more diary than art. On the big page, I wanted to depict some perks from my day, but then being a little disappointed in my results, I “blogged” about it in the smaller sketchbook. I almost never write or try to do any lettering in my artwork, but I’d like to branch out and do that. There’s another artist whose work I admire very much who is an absolute pro at what she does illustratively and decoratively: (August Wren). Then I went to bed, only to find out today that someone bought two more items from my Society6 shop, and that buoyed me. I may not be August Wren or Auguste Renoir, but I am me. And that’s quite fine.

A Map of My Garden

FirstYearGarden 2016 with ID

I updated the map of my little garden with the names of the plants. The perspective for the pavers isn’t right … but it’s a pretty accurate representation of what I’ve got in this little garden that’s about 15′ x 15′ – give or take a bit. In my garden I have: two different types of purslane, marigolds that haven’t flowered yet (started from seed), a Plumbago shrub, purple Mexican Heather, Angelonia Serenita (a beautiful purple perennial), two sunflowers I started from seed that are fairly established and growing, a calamondin lime tree, a dwarf pomegranate tree, two ponytail palms, several varieties of cacti, and that’s not all. I only started this garden in May, and it’s already getting crowded! I am moving the pavers and getting more, and I am painting all the paves blue in the fall or late summer.

Here’s what it looks like in real life …

Florida Garden 2016.jpg


Bougainvillea – Before Bedtime & In The Morning

This started as a pencil and watercolor study before bedtime. I agreed with Shawn’s comment, it was too light – I darkened it all up in the morning. It was an accomplishment for me just to do “something” yesterday. It was supposed to be a rest day but I wound up doing a lot around the house. And working a little on this in the morning today gives me a good start to my day. Going to have coffee and go for my morning walk. Enjoy your day!WP_20151203_005.jpgWP_20151202_006WP_20151202_016

Pot of Cactus

Micron Brush black ink and watercolor – Cynthia Maniglia

A quick sketch and paint after dinner and before it got dark while sitting outside on the patio. Today I did a lot of weeding outside. Sweated a lot. I also took a nice long walk. Always good to find time to draw and paint, makes my day feel more complete.

En Plein Lanai


Chloe, our Bichon Frise

Painting on the lanai with our Bichon Frise, Chloe, this afternoon.

Horse grazing in palm-filled pasture outside the lanai

Later in the afternoon, we visited the Manatee Art Center, where they had wonderful art on exhibit, and I found out about some great classes being offered there. We met the executive director of the center, Carla Nierman, who was very friendly and helpful, filling us in on the many offerings, opportunities, and exciting events there. There’s a beautiful ceramic bamboo sculpture that you see greeting us at the center’s front entrance.


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

Pale, shimmer, shine

Blue Orchid – art print available on Society6 by C. Maniglia – watercolor


This watercolor was inspired by a beautiful, exotic orchid I saw in the flower shop the other day. While I had a photo of the bloom on my cell phone, I painted from memory. I didn’t use any yellow in my abstract rendering, although the flower, as you can see in the photograph, does have yellow in its center.

This next piece was painted with shimmery, metallic watercolors and regular watercolors with a beach-y feel. The starfish shapes and pale pearlescent whites remind me of the seashore.

This next piece was done in neutral shades of shimmery gray and brown/greens. I want to call it “Nature” or “Camp,” for some reason.WP_20151028_008Finally, this last piece is just a little study of evergreen leaves and berries. I love the pale blue/green with tinges of purple in the berries. They have a sheer, shimmery feel to them.WP_20151027_013

We’ll have just about everything packed and ready to go by Friday/Saturday.

Thanks for all of your well wishes for our move to Florida! It’s going to be quite the adventure.

The Street With The Yellow Trees

The Street With The Yellow Trees, C. Maniglia 2015 - watercolor in journal
The Street With The Yellow Trees, C. Maniglia 2015 – watercolor in journal

The street famous in my mind forever for its yellow leaved trees every fall peaked in color last week, and it’s only a matter of days I think before all the sunny foliage is on the ground or scooped into brown bags and thrown away. These trees have elegant branches. They are Hickory Trees.

P.S. I started this painting with the blue sky. Ultramarine blue. It was the first time I really “saw” the negative blue space to paint between the clouds in a watercolor fashion than ever before. Center left is a small patch of phthalo blue sky. I’ve looked at clouds from both sides  now, lol! I just had to add that lyric from an old, many decades ago song.

Back to Watercolor ~ Fall Flowers

Fall flowers - C. Maniglia 2015 journal, watercolor
Fall flowers – C. Maniglia 2015 journal, watercolor

It may be fall in Pennsylvania, but … this tiny flowers growing outside as we speak caught my eye. They have the most delicate little buds that stem from saw-tooth edge leaves. The bud before it flowers is round and has teensy little pink “French Knots” (an embroidery stitch) at the center. And this plant even has round green berries that turn into the “French Knot” bud. An interesting flowering plant, but I don’t know it’s name. I made it my focal point in my watercolor journal this afternoon, surrounded by a variety of mums in harmonious hues. You can see the actual flower whose name I do not know floating in water in a little crystal cup next to my initial watercolor. Do you know the name of this flowering plant? If so, I’d love to know!