Texas Spring à la Monet

The words are Monet’s. The flowers — Bluebonnets, Toadflax, Phlox, Butterweed, Old Plainsman, Indian Paintbrush — are typically Texan.
 “Paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see; not the object isolated as in a test tube, but the object enveloped in sunlight and atmosphere, with the blue dome of Heaven reflected in the shadows.”
“For me, the subject is of secondary importance: I want to convey what is alive between me and the subject.”
“I am chasing a dream, I want the unattainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat; and that’s the end. They’ve finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat; the beauty of the air in which these objects are located; and that is nothing short of impossible. If only I could satisfy myself with what is possible!”
“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”
“When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you.”
The light constantly changes, and that alters the atmosphere and beauty of things every minute.”

 

Comments always are welcome.

My Favorite White Delight

A just-opened White Prickly Poppy

The beauty of bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush-filled fields can’t be denied, but a more widespread if less well-publicized native flower always makes me smile. The White Prickly Poppy (Argemone albiflora) blooms for weeks across wide swaths of Texas: not always in dense colonies, but equally lovely in isolated stands. I found at least a few near every stopping point on the weekend of April 9 and 10.

I once had the pleasure of watching one of these poppy buds open; it took less time than drinking my cup of coffee. While I’ve missed that sight this year, the still-crinkled flower in the first photo recalled that experience, while spreading petals of more mature blooms glowed against a background of bluebonnets and phlox.

That said, little compares to the sight of these flowers, wind-blown and delicate above their otherwise prickly buds, stems, and leaves, shining against a blue Texas sky.

 

Comments always are welcome.

Red and Blue ~ Those Texas Hues

Indian Paintbrush

Perhaps a true appreciation for Texas’s size requires leaving its cities and taking  time to roam among its unincorporated areas and settlements. Many places carry names even most Texans never have heard and, depending on your chosen spot to roam, the appearance of the land can vary wildly.

Last weekend, I chose to roam north and somewhat west of home, in the territory generally referred to by coastal dwellers as North of I-10.  Among its unfamiliar settlements — Burleigh, Sunny Side, Monaville — unbroken swaths of familiar wildflowers covered the land, unseen by flower-seekers cruising the primary highways. Sometimes, red Indian paintbrush served as the primary attraction; elsewhere, bluebonnets held sway. Occasionally, the flowers combined in a single field, creating an extraordinary sight.

Even the most skilled photographers can’t truly capture the glow of these flowers, or the bluebonnets’ fragrance. But if you enlarge each photo, you may get a glimpse of their wondrous beauty; I wish you had been there to see it.

Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets with perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne)

 

Comments always are welcome.