Paris, The Latin Quarter at night

Watercolor journal - Paris, the Latin Quarter at night. Cynthia Maniglia, 2015
Watercolor journal – Paris, the Latin Quarter at night. Cynthia Maniglia, 2015

I went to Paris in 2010 and am revisiting it in my watercolor journal. (P.S. Jill Kuhn and Charlie Doodlewash both just posted scenes with a table setting – and maybe it’s on our minds since Thanksgiving is coming up?)

Watercolor and graphite


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!

Harvesting Seeds Part III ~ Hibiscus

Hibiscus botanical watercolor in journal ~ C. Maniglia, 2015
Hibiscus botanical watercolor in journal ~ C. Maniglia, 2015
Hibiscus - close-up photo. C. Maniglia, 2015
Hibiscus – close-up photo. C. Maniglia, 2015

Well, I have plenty of seeds now to bring with me to Florida. This was a fun 2-day project. (You can see Part 1 and Part 2 here and here.) I don’t profess to be a plant expert, but this is a good way to learn about plants and their names. I sure learned a lot by really taking an intimate look at these plants.

Seed Harvesting Part II

botanical drawing, C. Mangilia 2015 - cana plant

Last night, I did three drawings in my watercolor journal as a little record of seeds that I harvested earlier in the day, which I plan to bring with me when I move to Florida this November. The red flower is cana. The vine is Sweatpea, I think. I was getting tired when I did these two last night so this morning, I would like to add a little more detail on the brown cana pod while I have coffee and before I go on my bike ride. Kerfe left a comment on Seed Harvesting Part I and said this looked like a fun project from start to finish – Kerfe, it was, it was!!

botanical drawing, C. Mangilia 2015 - sweatpea

Seed Harvesting

This is the first of three journal pages I’m doing tonight to record seeds I harvested from my walks today. I’m bringing these seeds with me to Florida. Who knows what the name of this plant is? A type of Morning Glory? I’m just starting to learn the names of flowers, the more I do these kinds of botanical drawings. And if you’re harvesting seeds too this time of year, here’s another interesting post on the topic.WP_20150920_019 (1)

Newtown, PA ~ Doing That Urban Sketching/Doodlewash Thing


Quickie in Newtown, PA.
WP_20150918_014 Here you can see my gear: Travel watercolor set (newly refilled), Starbucks plastic cup with water,
and my favorite round brush.

WP_20150918_020Had to go and visit my Mom and Dad, so sat on their patio and tried to finish this up.

At home, in my “studio” (table by the window), I added a little more this and that. And here’s where it’s landing, in my watercolor journal. I finished it up with a little watercolor pencil.

WP_20150918_023Newtown, PA is a scenic town, and this was along the main street where the Starbucks shop is. I was across from the Starbucks, on a bench in front of the flower shop, and this was my view from the bench turning to my left. Love those big urns filled with leaves and flowers. The little flowers in the foreground are pink begonias. It’s not a painting, just a little practice piece. This side of the street still feels end of summer to me. Fall hasn’t hit it … yet. And my Dad tells me we’re not expected to get a spectacular fall foliage display of colors this year. Tis a shame. Oh, well – we artists can always embellish and add color as needed, right? (wink, wink)