It feels like things have been slow-going in the studio for the last month or so, but I actually accomplished quite a bit. I guess my heart just wants to be finishing a new piece of art every day, even if that's totally unrealistic.
One thing I did finally get around to was the "Gems of Summer" drawing. This will be the last piece in my Gems of the Seasons series for now, or it will at least complete the actual seasons themselves. I have more ideas for more paintings in this same series, but for now I have to move on to other things.
I actually started this piece last summer when I initially sketched it in my sketchbook (pictured). I was getting ready for Dragon*Con then and while I finished "Gems of Winter" in time for D*C, I didn't have time to work on the Summer and Spring pieces I had already sketched.
I worked on and finished Gems of Spring in January, and set Summer aside to work on once the weather was more, well... appropriate.
Sometimes it's funny working on these pieces. Seasonal art has to be finished far in advance of the actual season so that print files and other items are ready on time. So this month I have to work on summer art, and next month I'll be starting on Halloween.
I feel like this piece has wound up on the back burner many times since it was sketched, so it was a relief to finally finish it. Summer is fast approaching here in Georgia, even if it doesn't feel like it lately since we've had so much rain. It won't be long before all the butterflies and moths depicted in this painting - hummingbird moths, gulf fritillaries, and tiger swallowtails - will be back in my garden. And even though I do sometimes tire of the intense summer heat and humidity, I miss all these critters and the sound of cicadas all winter long.
I didn't grow up here in the South, and the first time I visited I was shocked at how loud the cicadas were. Now I am shocked by how quiet it is in the winter time. The first time it gets cold outside and I open the front door to silence is honestly kind of sad for me. I don't mind being sweaty all the time if it comes with fireflies and "chickadas".
Lately I've been keeping my drawing tools in this silver tray. I kept dropping things on the floor or having my pencils roll away from me, but this inexpensive yard sale find solved all my problems. Well, maybe not all. It turns out I use a lot of pencils regularly, so "just my favorites" is still too much to fit in the tray.