Impulse buy

I went to the store to get an ice scraper and ended up with a Christmas cactus in my shopping cart. The plant was so tropical, so exuberant in its blooms and so very unlike the reality of the blustery day outside that I had to bring it home. I’m not that good with houseplants so I thought it might be a good idea to paint it immediately in case the flowers start dropping off. Painted in a Handbook watercolour journal, 10″ x 8″, using a lot of Quinacridone Rose for the blossoms.


61 Comments on “Impulse buy”

  1. Carol Ellrott says:

    You brighten my day with your posts.
    Thank you Merry Christmas and the best for the New Year .

  2. Lovly painting. My deceased wife always had two or three of these and she babbied them. Sometimes getting it to bloom around Easter too.

  3. Gaelle1947 says:

    Lovely and such a nice vibrant pink! Well, whether or not your plant survives, you’ve now rendered it immortal! I wish you a Merry Christmas and continued joy of sketching in 2017!

  4. Christine Brown says:

    It so evokes the chaotic joy that a Christmas cactus means to me. Good work capturing it.

  5. Louise says:

    So well done Shari.
    I did a painting of this type of plant too, and love to see how you simplified the watercolor, and still get such a rich and artistic result.

  6. karim waked says:

    Shari ch?rie,

    Si tu ne veux pas n?cessairement la garder, Can I have it? Or a good reproduction?

    Merci tant! Love


    ***Karimobile 514 9944433

  7. barb says:

    very lovely Shari. They don,t like wet feet at all so water sparsely , a little more when flowering though Let them dry well between waterings and if you want flowers next Christmas dont water them at all in October ( or for easter or for birthdays etc just give them a dry month. Should a piece fall off leave it for a fewdays before inserting it into the soil then water it It will be huge for next year . and if youdon’t over water it now itwill flowerfor several months..
    oh yes you can treat it to a nice bright spot (not direct sun) for the summer buon chance and happy holidays thanks for all your sharings Barb d

    • Thanks so much for the good advice Barb. We like this one so much that we went out and bought two more, so your tips will come in very handy. I just have to remember what to do when October rolls around.

  8. It’s funny how things just jump into our shopping carts! Beautiful capture! Merry Christmas, and I hope you can stay warm this winter! I am staying aware of the weather since my sister lives in Montreal. And, of course, my memories are there as well!

  9. Dee Ludwig says:

    Love it!

  10. Bernadette says:

    And I was given a large poinsettia plant recently. I studied it and had thoughts of making a quick watercolor study. In my mind I painted but I did not pick up a brush.
    I am not very good with plants so I better take action before it wilts. Your lovely watercolors always inspire me. Tomorrow, I will bring out the paints, paper and brushes. Thank you for sharing so much of your gift for spontaneous art making.

    • Hi Bernadette, I hope you took the time to sketch your poinsettia. I have one too but the cactus is so much more frivolous and fun to draw.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment all year long. It means a lot to me.

  11. Rita Palazzo says:

    It’s lovely, the vibrant colors are what we need in our homes to cheer us up to help us through the winter.
    Thank you for sharing

  12. Dianne says:

    Oh my goodness, the painting evokes the magic of Christmas.

  13. Daphne Boder says:

    I love love the cleanness of your paintings. Each one is fresh and delightful. Merry Christmas to you and those you love.

  14. Gorgeous. i love the way you rendered the leaves. Follow Barb’s advice on culture and you could have it to paint for another year or many more.

  15. Garry Hamilton says:

    Great painting and great background story. Love your painting and your writing.

  16. What a lovely sketch. I’ll do anything, ish, for a chance to squeeze out some QRose…off to the store I go 😀

  17. This is lovely…I love the bright colors to brighten up this dismal day. Good idea to paint it right away. I usually wait and then whatever flowers I planned to paint are so droopy. This has so much life to it!

  18. Jeff Gold says:

    I’ll be brief this time. It’s just plain beautiful.

  19. ChesapkLady says:

    LOVE the exuberance of the painting, AND the plant!! Here’s the key to these plants. . . DyouO NOT turn them, as the buds and blossoms are determined to orient themselves to sunlight “JUST SO.” The buds will drop off if you turn them because the connection is “determined.” Also, don’t over water. Also, admire and love them. My sister has one that is from three generations ago. . . no wait, four generations. They are lovely, and Shari, you have captured this beauty just exactly as I would want to, and your painting encourages me to try this. THANK YOU!
    And Merry Christmas, Joyous and Successful New Year, and WARMEST wishes for all good things to come!

    • Thanks so much for this good advice. I don’t know if you’ve read all the comments for this post but I have plenty of good advice. Don’t overwater! Don’t turn the plant! Let them go dry in October! Let’s see if I can manage to keep it alive.
      And happy, happy holidays to you too!

  20. Evelyn says:

    So pretty. Thank you for sharing your sketches and paintings, I so look forward to your posts. I too cannot pass up some of these sort of impulse buys but it is good to treat yourself too.

  21. DiniAlice says:

    Shari, thanks for sharing the beautiful painting and the inspiration. My cactus is actually blooming at Christmas for the first time in several years. Thanks to those who gave hints on how to care for it. For the lady with the poinsettia, it will soon drop its leaves, but keep it around. Eventually it will produce many new little green leaves. You can plant it outside and have a wonderful plant all summer. One year my outside plants actually produced more red flowers (leaves) in the spring. A blessed Christmas to all.

  22. Suzanne says:

    I smile when I see in your blog that you took the time to paint a part of your everyday life, and of course that you are always equipped and ready to paint. I want to cross that divide from, Oh maybe another time to I’m going to capture this memory now! You are a good example to me!
    Joyeux Noël et bonne et heureuse année 2017 Shari!!

  23. M. L. Kappa says:

    Good idea to paint immediately, Shari, all my house plants drop their blossoms upon entering the house, I’m the opposite of a green thumb! Lovely sketch! Have a very happy holiday 🎁🎄🎉

  24. Judy Sopher says:

    One of my favorite plants. Had one for years-don’t think it survived all of our moves . Seeing your painting, I need another. I am rather late in commenting and so I can only add how lovely this is, as always.

    • One of my favourites too Judy. I had one for years and then I killed it. But I have lots of good advice on how to keep it alive, so we’ll see if I can succeed. Maybe you’ll have more luck too.

  25. Monique says:

    I think I commented on IG:) It’s beautiful..Barb above summed them up well.
    but they are much easier than you think..they do like light but don’t have to be in direct sunlight,,and they will get big and heavy..and some branches do break off..just like Barb said stick it back in..I do fertilize mine..when I think of rarely..mine bloom twice..they start around Nov 1rst..still profusely blooming..the flowers dry and fall off..sometimes I pick them off..and yes not too much water..and again the bloom April-May.
    You can tell when it needs water..the branches look sof..when hydrated enough they are crisp:)

  26. It is interesting to know that this plant is called a Christmas cactus. Here in Brazil, we call it the flower of May, because it blooms in the months of May to July. Beautiful Watercolor.

  27. Pam Aylmer says:

    Hi Shari, this post cracked me up: “I’m not good with houseplants, so I’d better paint it before the flowers drop off…” I identified with this sentiment, as I struggle to keep my poinsettias alive for Christmas…thanks for the cheer 8-).

  28. Three of this plants life in my office and every year around christmas they start to bloom. A little miracle for me:-) And every year I sketch them too… not as marvellous as yours but I do my very best:-)

  29. thestepmomma says:

    my Christmas cactus is 1 year old now and has only bloomed once. I’m glad to see this painted picture, as a reminder of what will come again some day ❤ i love my cactus.

    • There’s lots of good advice in the comments section about how to get these to bloom. I will be following all of it myself, and if I sketch this again next year, you’ll know I was successful.

  30. Frida says:

    Those are lovely creatures… hard to kill.

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