Wildflower Wednesday: Some pages from my sketchbook

This month I’ve collected a few flowers and sketched them in my studio. Hope you enjoy!

Artist's studio table with some wildflowers and art supplies.

A view of my drawing table with a small bouquet of New Mexico wildflowers waiting to be sketched in watercolor.

Purple prairie clover blooms in June and July in New Mexico's high desert. Its scientific name is Dalea purpurea.

Finding the right mix of pink and purple to match the neon magenta color of purple prairie clover was a challenge!


A watercolor and colored pencil sketch of a Mexican Hat wildflower.

Ratibida columnifera is the scientific name for Mexican hat, a coneflower relative.


Portrait of a pear: Introducing my Society 6 shop


A botanical art watercolor of a Bartlett pear.

“Portrait of a Pear,” 8.5″ x 11″ watercolor on hot-press Fabriano Artistico paper, by Wren M. Allen

I’m so excited and proud to announce that my first print is now available at Society6! Here’s the story behind this simple portrait of a pear:

Last week I spied the first pears of the season at the grocery store. I sat down this weekend and painted this Bartlett pear on Saturday morning. The angled stem and dried leaves added to the character of the petite fruit.

To increase the challenge, I restricted my palette to three colors: cadmium yellow lemon, cobalt blue and alizarin crimson. Instead of stippling, I stamped the tips of a mostly dry flat brush onto the paper to add the freckled texture of the pear’s skin.

Purples, blues, greens and browns mixed from just red yellow and blue watercolor paint.

All these colors were achieved using only cadmium lemon, cobalt blue and alizarin crimson!

Please let me know what you think in the comments!

Monday Inspirations: A trip to the garden center

A swallowtail butterfly on an orange dahlia in a green house in Santa Fe NM

This fabulous butterfly is (probably) a two-tailed swallowtail that I discovered wafting about the greenhouse at Payne’s Nursery on Friday afternoon. I was searching for some container plants for our portal, but quickly forgot about my errand when this beauty floated by.

This weekend I started reading Lilla Roger’s I Just Like to Make Things, a book of career information and creative exercises for artists who would like to find a market for their art, illustration and design. The first exercise in the book is to record everything the reader finds inspirational for one week. I thought I might list my inspirations this week here on the blog.

Friday’s inspirations:

  • The butterfly!
  • The arrival of the book, I Just Like to Make Things

Saturday’s inspirations:

  • Painting a picture of a pear using only red, yellow and blue
  • Watching Slaying the Badger, an ESPN documentary about the rivalry between Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault, culminating in Lemond’s victory over Hinault in the 1986 Tour de France. Even though I saw original broadcasts of Lemond’s races and wins on TV in the ’80s, this movie offered a lot of interesting detail about the two men’s relationship and characters.

Sunday’s inspirations:

  • Walking the dogs in the early morning.

Did you bump into anything inspiring this weekend?

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