Friday, May 3, 2013

Cummins Iris Garden, May 2, 2013

After suffering through what seemed like an interminably long winter of always cold, and usually grey, paintout days, we were smacked with record high temperatures for the paintout at Jim and Irene Cummins' Iris Garden in Scotts Valley.    But what might have been a miserably hot day was pleasantly perfect as we spread out on the lawn or paths under the many shade trees overlooking the meticulously tended iris beds.     Add in the mild breeze coming up from the ocean and it was an ideal day for painting.     In addition to the thousands of iris competing for our attention with their riot of colors (every color except true red) there was an equal number of interesting farm implements, artifacts, & sculptures as well as an old barn.    Maybe best of all, our wonderfully gracious hosts said we'd be welcome to come back any time.   Jenny, who arranged for the paintout, was already thinking about when the return visit will be. 

For a 2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel article about the Cummins and their beautiful garden, see:
Also, the Cummins' garden was featured in the Monterey Bay Iris Society Newsletter - (pages 17 - 20):

Mary Paquet
I had such a lovely time painting in the private Iris gardens. I liked the contrasting colors of these Irises and used three of them as my models. I like to zoom in on my subject. My paper was drying really fast, making it harder to mix color on the paper. At times I got some blooms which suggested the shapes of Irises in the background. I used negative painting around the happy accidents.  The Cummins were so very friendly, spending time with us, serving us ice water, and  educating us on the various hybrids. They grow these gardens for love, not profit.    Mary 
Marilyn Perry

Jim and Irene Cummins's stunning iris garden is located in such a beautiful valley, that it was very important to me to show my irises ("Over the Rim" on the left and "Reckless Abandon" on the right) in their natural setting.   Jim and Irene were wonderful hosts, and Irene brought me not one, but two glasses of ice water.    Marilyn
Brad Santos
 This was one of those cases where, with an almost infinite number of perfect blooms from which to choose, I chose "Persian Berry" (1976).    I'm not sorry I did --- I only wish I could have done it more justice.     Brad
Jenny Tero
There were so many weird and wonderful artifacts to draw and paint that choosing was very difficult.  I particularly liked this row of imaginery birds, some made out of rusty iron garden implements.  You could return to this garden every week and not run out of subject matter. And as for the irises.....      Jenny

Broncha Berger
Here is one of the two pictures I did last Thursday.  I did the drawings on site and painted them at home.  The place was very special.  I loved the Irises, the rusted tools hanging around, and the welcoming proud owners.     Broncha
Sara Kahn
I stayed until 5 in the afternoon to finish the painting. This is Acrylics on Board. 16" x 20". Sara
Sylvia Waddell
I did a blind contour drawing first then hastily painted before lunch. Flowers are always such a challenge - I so admire people who paint them well.     Sylvia

Jane Saltman
 I have never seen so many varieties of Irises in one place. We definitely have to go back again next year.     Jane

Leslie Grimm
There was so much to see at this site -- incredible irises, dozens of handmade birdhouses (two occupied), and a marvelous collection of antique rusting farm tools.  We artists roamed around with our jaws dropping and cameras clicking for a good while before settling down to paint.   I couldn't choose, so here's all three in one!     Thank you Jenny for finding this site!     Leslie

Dick Zunkel
What a great place to paint!  Yes, I know I should have taken advantage of the blooming irises, but I couldn't resist the barn.  I added a little detail that is every biker's dream, a rusting old motorcycle just waiting to be found and restored aka a "barn find".    Regretfully, the cost of restoring an old motorcycle starts at about $20,000 plus the cost of the motorcycle.  Oh well, I'll just look at my painting and dream on.   Dick

1 comment:

  1. Great paintings and hope more people share their work. We had a great collection by the lunch hour. I am especially happy to see that Sara Kahn shared her finished painting. Love the acrylic work, Sara!