A glimpse of spring

I had a little taste of spring last week when I was teaching in South Carolina. Unlike Montreal where it’s still evenly grey outside, there are flowers blooming and green buds popping out on trees.

For our lesson in sketching flowers, one of my participants cut some azaleas from her garden. It’s too cold to grow these where I live, but in the south they are everywhere. I sketched these outrageous beauties in a Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, which has thinner paper than the Beta book I’ve used in the past. I like the way it takes the paint, almost like a thin hot press paper.

I also couldn’t resist painting a tiny thimbleful of violets on the table in front of me. Like Bleeding Hearts and Lilies of the Valley, they say spring to me like no other flowers.

While I was there, I also had a chance to exhibit some of my recent watercolours at an evening reception. I brought along a selection of half and quarter sheets, painted on location in Florida, Montreal, France and Cape Ann, as well as a few paintings inspired by recent travels to Mexico and Sun Valley. I was happy to have a chance to talk to people about my work, and honoured that quite a few of these will be gracing the walls of local residents.

14 Comments on “A glimpse of spring”

  1. mcammeehan says:

    thank you for the inspiration!


  2. mjsjs8384 says:

    How lovely Shari … you always lift my spirits. The exhibition was wonderful too ,,, wish I could have been here.


  3. Hi Shari

    I have the same Velcro panels and never know how best to exhibit matted, unframed art work. Can you PLEASE tell me how you do this. What are the clips and where can they be purchased?

    Many thanks from a huge fan, Sally



    • Hi Sally, This system was supplied by the community. It’s not my system, but I can tell you that it is fantastic! It’s vertical rods with clips that move up and down to accommodate the size of the mat. And what is fantastic is that they are just perfect for unframed work. I bought the mats and so these watercolours had no glass on them. Perfect and portable for display. I bet if you look around on the internet you will find this system that will work with your Velcro panels.


  4. Barb says:

    Beautiful, Shari. As usual. Thanks for brightening our rather bleak shelter-at-home days!
    Barb DC


  5. Ghislaine Gargaro says:

    I love all of them. Thank you for posting!




  6. joantav says:

    Ah…this is where spring has been hiding. Lovely!!! I needed a little burst of color so I stopped and bought some colorful flowers today that I hope to paint as nicely as these.


  7. Denise says:

    We can all use some “spring” in our steps right now! Thank you for bringing some peace and calm to our day.


  8. Susan says:

    Just lovely. I would have loved to see the pictures that you had brought along one at a time. Inspires me to keep sketching and painting.


  9. Jasmine says:

    Hi Shari, love your work! Covid-19 oblige, more time to sketch and think about hanging our works…
    I have the same question as Sally Bookman’s: where can I find the hanging mechanism you experienced in SC. I search on the Internet without success… Does anyone had more success than me? Thanks!


  10. Nice flowers. I really like the Spring Island Azalea.


  11. Betsy says:

    Oh, fabulous! I’m self-isolating too. This is great to see! Would you mind saying what are your blues and purples in these flowers? And WHAT is that granulating pigment in your swashy background to the azalea blossoms?


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