Category Archives: Peony


June 2014 Art Journal - Page 69 WATERMARK

I walk into Trader Joe’s & inhale the scent of peony flowers for sale by the door.  It’s that time of year again when I will find excuses to return to shop so I can have the pleasure of inhaling the peony flowers as I enter & exit the store.  I’m going to have to start coming here with a list of things to buy, because the instant I walk up to the front of the store & see the peony flowers, my mind empties of everything.  What did I come here to get?  I wonder if others have this same problem of the flowers making them forget to go home with the butter, but buy everything else instead.  Of course, we won’t forget to put the peonies in our grocery cart!

After cutting the peony

my mind seems emptied —




The flower bouquets start out as tightly closed buds & within a day or two the flowers open into ballerina dress of pink & fuchsia silk.  Recently, San Diego had a heat wave & the flowers really opened up before anyone could even buy them.  They were breathtaking.  It’s like a peony garden for sale.

Peony flowers practice 6-5-2014 - 6 WATERMARK

Peony flowers don’t grow in San Diego’s climate so it’s quite miraculous to have Trader Joe’s sell these beauties & for only $6.99 a bouquet.  No florist shop price here.  (I know I sound like I work for Trader Joe’s, but I don’t.  I just love everything about this grocery store.  The quality food with few additives, apples that smell & taste like the apples of my childhood, the ambiance of a health food market without the price, employees who seem happy when they say hello & chat.  I’m just so impressed by Trader Joe’s, even when they don’t sell peonies)!

Peony flowers practice 6-5-2014 - 2 WATERMARK

Lovely, ethereal posies for sale to take home & fill my house with perfume.  Mostly though, these flower bouquets will serve as inspiration for practice paintings.  I love peony perfume, but my sinuses don’t so I quickly paint & sketch & then put the bouquet out on the patio or give the flowers to a friend to enjoy.  It is clear to me that I am not meant to live the life of a bee as the flowers make my eyes water & make me sneeze & sneeze.  Oh well, I can still love them & enjoy them for a short while.

How reluctantly

the bee emerges from the deep

within the peony. 

–       Basho



Peonies & Butterfly on practice paper 4-25-2014 WATERMARK

Pink Peonies with yellow butterflies painted on Chinese calligraphy practice paper, which is very “bleedy”.  There is a watermark on this practice paper of a wagon with horses.  I sort of like the way the wheel of the carriage shows up through the peony petals.  Japanese brush painting.