Oh So Sweet Peas

As summer continues to heat up California’s Gold Country, the landscape calls out its name. The fields of gold may lead us to think plant life is at a stand still just waiting for autumn’s cooler days. But, look closely. There’s a bounty of activity going on! 

A recent jaunt around Empire Mine State Park in Nevada County, found me taking it all in and snapping a few reference photos of art possibilities.

The landscape was dotted in beautiful bright pinks and lavender as sweet peas had woven themselves among blackberry plants and the native mountain misery. After searching for wildflowers throughout the park, I was on my way to explore the blossoms on paper. A few photos can spin themselves into numerous paintings, each one taking on a different look from the previous and the one to come.

Colors, techniques and time offer endless possibilities of preserving my perception of a scene each time I pick up the brush! 

“Oh So Sweet Peas” is my tribute to those sweet pea blossoms adding their splash of nature art to the landscape of Nevada County each summer. 

Join me in adding a splash of nature art to our world! See this painting and others on my website  or visit Hindman Fine Art Print Gallery  in Sacramento’s ever-growing R Street Corridor!

Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Just Add Water!

Water it, and it will bloom! 

Watercolor painting was rekindled in my heart when I began working with kiln-formed glass. My glass art process starts while outdoors hiking and surrounded by nature. So much to take in! So much that inspires! I take photos to help preserve the memories of a scene, a flower petal, grasses against a stand of trees.

Back in the studio, with new ideas in mind, the photos become references for watercolor studies. Why watercolor? Watercolor is a medium which offers a similar transparency in its layering of color that you get when you’re working with glass.

As these studies made their way towards my glass art designs, I became more and more captivated by this medium. In a short while my watercolor paintings began to bloom into their own nature art expression!

The theme is still the same. It’s all about nature in art! But now I get to use both glass and watercolor to share my view of our beautiful world.

Join me in adding a splash of color to our world through my nature art! Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

…Together let’s add a splash of color to our world!

Anna’s glass can be found at Art Works Gallery, 113 Mill Street, Grass Valley, California.

Anna’s watercolor paintings can be found at Hindman Fine Art Print Gallery, 1021 R St, Sacramento, California.

For more available art, visit Willow Grove Hill Studio’s gallery shop

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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It’s Poppy Time!

 

Happy spring! As you travel through California during the poppy bloom, you’ll notice quite a variation in the state flower.

The poppies in Southern California are larger with thicker petals and larger “buttons” (receptacles), and they take on a shade of orange likened to a marigold.

In Northern California these wildflowers have a delicate, smaller quality to them and tend toward more of a sunflower yellow.
Perhaps this is because of an adaptation to the environment. I’d like to think of it as nature taking her artistic liberty to suit the poppies’ style to the landscape.

Despite the reasons, they sure are an inspiration for my art as spring blooms, and as such take on a look of their own.

Poppies at Beale Falls” was inspired by spring hikes in the beautiful Spenceville Wildlife Area of NorCal. The three bright orange poppies with torch worked stems were surface fused to the panel of clear glass which is filled with raku inclusions.

The blue and gold tones of the water and falls simply make the poppies pop!

Of all the design elements in this piece, my favorite is the stem with just the button left. The flower is gone, but a beauty all its own remains.

The poppy dishes which have bloomed in the studio are all about color and contrast. As an artistic representation of the state flower, they are
accented with shadowing and a burst of black at the center. They’ll definitely add a splash of color to your “landscape”.

 

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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The Journey Continues

Hey there and Happy New Year! 2017 is off to an exciting start in the studio! My art has been juried into the Art Works Gallery in historic downtown Grass Valley, California. The invite to apply for membership came shortly after visiting the gallery during the holidays, while my husband and I were on our way to see Rogue One. As a Star Wars fan in the making, I’ve been told “the force” was with me 😉

I’m so humbled and honored to be accepted into this group of more than thirty local artists with such talent in various media. Being part of the gallery is an exciting new challenge. It’s another

learning opportunity along my journey. I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues and being part of the area’s art community!

My favorite art quote certainly resonates with me today: “I am still learning.” Do you believe Michelangelo was eighty-seven when he said this? Having seen his works in Florence, Italy, I was struck mostly by his unfinished ones. I could just picture him standing in front of one of these works with skill pouring out of his hands, while his mind evolved it into new directions.

I’m always ready to take on a new challenge, try a new technique, and learn from previous trials and errors. I will always have something to learn. The art and chemistry of kiln-forming glass is humbling that way as well. Whether you’re cutting pieces or have turned them over to the kiln where they get hot, hot, hot, each piece provides its own unique learning experience. Combining all this with a new gallery opportunity is heading 2017 in a positive learning direction!

For available nature art glass, visit willowgrovehillstudio.com or take a little trip by the Art Works Gallery at 113 Mill Street, Grass Valley, California.

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Welcome to Autumn

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A cool breeze has blown autumn into my area of California. Welcome to this beautiful season!

There’s something so energizing about this time of year. For me personally, it calls towards my love of fall colors, hearty soups simmering on the stove, the aroma of fresh baked bread, and wonderful leaf-trailed hikes.

It’s the time of the year when the kiln begins to add a comforting warmth to the studio.

Within a few days, surely summer weather will temporarily return to the area, hours of daylight will be noticeably lessened and pumpkin-spice-everything will have become even more overdone haha.

Meanwhile, I’ll be basking in all the inspiration the new season is bringing my way!0144dt5w-copy

In the studio shades of golds, greens and warm reds abound. But, you’ll also spot bright aqua blue. I just love the contrast that color provides to my painted maple leaf pieces!

Autumn began to hint at its arrival several weeks ago as subtle changes in the landscape began to take place.

0146bt8w-copyThis bowl, aptly named Signs of Autumn, reflects the dried flower buds and changing leaves I began to spot along the way.

Take a stroll through my website, and you’ll be sure to spot more signs of autumn and new pieces of glass art!

How does the season of autumn call to you?

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

 

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Embracing Simplicity

california poppy simplicity sophistication DaVinci wildflower

As I’m surrounded by poppies and reviewing photos for new art pieces, my mind is taking me to a frequent creative conflict—incorporating lots of detail versus a more abstract portrayal of the subject.

The California poppy may offer some insight into this.

California poppies antelope valley mojave desert wildflowersIt’s such a simple flower. The prominent feature of the poppy is its characteristic marigold-like splash of color.

Visible off in the distance, it sure makes a bold statement from afar, doesn’t it? But, when you look at it closely, all the parts of the flower itself are sometimes the same color.

I’ve attempted to embrace the simplicity of the poppy. In doing so, it 0119DT3whas provided a bit of an art lesson.

Its shape does vary as the petals begin to age and take on the elements. Lighting can provide some tonal variations. But, all in all, there’s a beautiful simplicity w0131DT1which can make it a challenging subject.

MaW-0004-1wybe capturing the essence of its simplicity is what nature intended when it gave us the California poppy?

I’ll continue to explore this thought as new pieces of nature art make their way into the studio.

 

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list .

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Signs of Harmony

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Does harmony begin within us and affect our surroundings, or are we only in harmony when our surroundings all fall into a harmonious groove?

A few months ago I was invited to participate in a unique art event in an unlikely location. Arts & Parts was held last weekend. This event which included art and airplane memorabilia, was sponsored by Recover Your Cub in Tehachapi, California. What a fun experience to be part of this first event of its kind for a community nestled in the mountains of the Mojave Desert!

After the show, I was reflecting upon what left me so fullfilled. Granted, it was my first art show, but there was something more to it than that.

Was it the sponsor support? How wonderful of Ken & Della at Recover Your Cub to sponsor this event. They brainstormed Arts & Parts. They believe in their community and put great effort into enhancing it.

Was it the0119DT2w community support? How great of the people of Tehachapi to come out in support of this first event of its kind! What a thrill sharing the glass art process I’ve been cultivating for the past several years with so many wonderful and genuinely interested folks.
Was it the hope of inspiring children toward creativity? Of course there’s nothing like seeing a look of fascination in children’s eyes or hearing their great questions and comments.

Was it the thrill of the art collector? How exciting it is to see the smile on the face of persons so happy to add a piece of your art to their collection. What an honor getting to meet those who have been gifted a piece of your art to come by to say hi and add another to their collection.

IMG_3430Was it the cohesiveness amongst the artists? It was definitely huge getting to spend time with other creatives. What a fun opportunity of sharing our process, challenges, and victories.

Was it the observation of inspiration in action? During the set up for the event, several of the pilots gathered with a collection of antique propellers. Before we knew it, they had created quite the abstract hanging masterpiece. They were art inspired!

Was it the surroundings? While all the action was going on inside the hangar, folks were checking out airplanes outdoors and even taking to the sky. To top that off, the hills across the airport runway were blanketed in wildflowers.

It was all the above.

Each of these contributed to what was definitely a presence of harmony. Perhaps it began within, allowing me to then see how all else was set into a positive harmonious motion. What an awesome experience!

The next Arts & Parts is in the works, so stay tuned!

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list .

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Wildflowers, Art & Airplanes

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It’s an ART event and an AIRPLANE event all in one!

If you’re in the SoCal area on Saturday, fly in or drive on over to Hangar 51 at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport for Arts & Parts!

I’ll be joining other artists and airplane enthusiasts to share my glass art process and gallery items at this unique art and airplane memorabilia show.

While you’re in the area, check out the wildflowers! The hills along Highway 58 are blanketed in purple, pink and yellow. Further west in the Caliente area, the California poppies are splashing the hillsides in their spectacular orange!

0112DT6Stop by and say hi, and get some nature art on this weekend!

 

 

 

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

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Saturday, April 2nd — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

314 N Hayes Street, Hangar 51, Tehachapi Municipal Airport

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Lessons from a Wildflower

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Do you ever want something done quickly and become impatient with yourself in the process? Well, I certainly do. And it’s a proven fact that telling me to relax will only elicit “the look”—hahaha.

I’ll get an art idea from a photo I’ve taken, like the one above, and my mind starts spinning on colors, design, shape. Before I know it, three glass art pieces have been perfectly created, yeah, in my mind. Quickly, that mindset shifts to wanting the real deal created immediately…and now, not just the one piece, but all the others too.

Glass art is a humbling art form, and let me tell you how the wildflowers of California are quickly becoming my little role models. They have a simple plan, yet so many potential stresses and extraneous factors that prevent the immediate reward. They go to seed in hopes to flourish in the coming year.

At times winters are so dry there isn’t enough precipitation to germinate those seeds. Sometimes several years go by. Then WOW! a showing like what’s going on right now in the Mojave Desert!

Making glass art requires a similar patience. When we bake cookies, for example, we set the oven to a certain temperature and bake the dough. Because glass goes through several phases as it’s heated and cooled, kiln-firing involves a complex series of “baking” schedules for one firing. To top it off, making certain pieces requires multiple kiln-firings.

Glass is easily stressed and can crack. Bubbles can form, ruining the Home - Slider 2
integrity of the piece. Introducing patience to the process by slowing down the firing process and altering temperatures through the phases, minimizes stress in the glass. It may take more time, but wow, the results can be spectacular!

Sounds like patience does actually reward, and stress is a natural occurrence…but if we work with it, we can embrace the journey as the reward.

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list .

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Super Bloom the Impossible

mojave desert gold wildflower death valley california Lailah Gifty Akita quote impossible possible grace dare flowers

It sure was an epiphany moment when I realized that autumn may not be my favorite season after all. Winter came and the fascination was still there. Then the Southern California desert began to bloom. Spring is on its way! Yup, I’m just an all-around nature addict, lover of all seasons!

notch-leaf phacelia
notch-leaf phacelia

A recent trip to Death Valley National Park clinched this. It also solidified the meaningfulness nature has to life. Aside from the fact that it was our first time back since family camping trips as the kids were growing up, it was a spiritual journey of a different sort. It was my first time visiting the area at this time of year, and seeing the wildflowers.

During the hike I was hopping among the flowers with my camera capturing as many shots as possible to take home to savor. These were also to become inspirations for my art. But at the moment, I was taking it all in. Just look at this desert. It’s an arid landscape, yet now it’s transforming itself into a wondrous display of color. Death Valley has been waiting for this super bloom since 2005!

What a message loud and clear that anything is possible! In a world where we’re used to instant results and instant gratification, these wildflowers are a wonderful example that some things just take time. Not all things happen overnight, yet they can happen. With perseverance, hard work and patience those efforts can turn into a reality of things, and with some amazing results.

desert five-spot
desert five-spot

Like these wildflowers, art takes time. Much planning goes into making an idea a reality, one that’s truly your own. Then there’s the process. My glass pieces go into the kiln, then I wait. Sometimes it’s a 24-hour period before that piece is ready to be removed so it can go onto the next step in the kiln-formed process. I add another layer of glass or set up the piece for its final shaping. Then back into the kiln it goes for the next firing. And I wait. My perspective on making things possible has certainly now changed a bit.

Join me on the nature art journey. Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my websiteand be sure to subscribe to my email list .

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

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Desert wildflower references I’ve found useful:

Mojave Desert Wildflower List

Desert USA

Death Valley Plants

Audobon Wildflowers California Field Guide App (there’s one for birds too!)

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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Welcome to Willow Grove Hill Studio!

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Hey there, I’m Anna, and this is my journey. It’s a journey of adding a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world. Where’d you come up with that one, you ask? Well, for starters, at the same time I was beginning to reach out with my art, I made the observation that there can be some less than uplifting stuff on social media. I’ve seen the not so pretty side of life, and I’ve made the decision to change the direction of how I help others. Life is way too short and full of bumps along the way. My nature-inspired art is my chance to help others see the positive glimpses in everyday life that make each day worthwhile.

When I saw the tab on my Word Press site that read “blog” I thought, “Me, write a blog? Helllllll no!” Then I reminded myself, “Part of the reason why you made the web design switch, was to have that tab”. Those of you who know me, know I’m not at a loss for opinions, but at the same time, I do remain pretty quiet with them on social media. Well, that’s about to change…Just kidding!…I’m not here for that. Instead, I’m here to share an adventure of creativity and positivity which is inspired step by step along the way by the beautiful exploration of nature.

I’m a true believer in the journey being the reward. It’s about finding something positive in each experience and appreciating the ongoing learning process life has to offer.

Join me on the nature art journey! Check out more nature inspiration photos and artwork on my website, and be sure to subscribe to my email list.

…Together let’s add a splash of color and some good positive stuff to our world!

ANNA

ANNA

Anna DelBon Masucci - California artist and owner of Willow Grove Hill Studio whose adventures are nurtured into nature art as kiln-formed glass and watercolor paintings.
ANNA

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