Our prompt this week at Scibble Picnic is "lantern" and I'm sure when you see or hear the word "lantern" your first thought would conjure a lantern that might look like this (although I think you might say this is an oil lamp not an oil lantern). Anyhoo, after I took this picture I had a decidedly different idea for where I wanted to go with the theme this week.
It's been very cold for March here and all weekend long the weather prognosticators were warning of a possible March blizzard this week. Some of our spring plants were teased into blooming the last two weeks with the mild temps we'd been having. I felt sorry for them. HWNSNBP had just started some seeds and there were still seed catalogs laying about which sparked the thought of a Chinese Lantern plan. I believe that my grandfather had one of these plants growing in his garden outside our childhood home. They always fascinated me.
I used a combination of some watercolor pencils and Koi watercolors for these. I've been using a sketchbook with 65 lb. paper and I'm finding that it's buckling a lot with watercoloring. And it looks as though there's some kind of watermark in the paper also - or it's just poor quality. In any case, I think I'm going to have to scare up either a watercolor sketch or mixed media in the future.
Looking at reference photos on line, sometimes the pods appeared to have concave segments and other times they appeared convex. This leads me to believe that when the pods first appear they are very full and then, as they dry out, they become more concave. Eventually the pods will skeletonize and the red fruit inside them will be visible.
I kind of wish now that I had thought about this before HWNSNBP put in his seed order. Maybe next year. Until then, as the blizzard bombed out leaving us with only 6 3/4" of heavy snow, I got to enjoy the sunlight illuminating the orchids this morning on our second snow day. We didn't have school yesterday as "Stella" promised to drop 18-24" on us. Today, because the storm ended late in the afternoon, side roads and sidewalks needed to be attended to so they cancelled school again.
I purposely kept myself from looking at the other lanterns before I posted mine this time, so I'd better head over there and start making my visits. You can check it out too by clicking here.