Poetry Challenge – Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Poetry Challenge
Waiting for Lunch – watercolour on www.RunningWithBrushes

It’s been a week now since my paintings were the subject of a poetry challenge on the website, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

I was intrigued by the website name of this community of 20 poets until I realised that the members of the group are referred to as the toads (although I’m still not entirely sure why).

Being selected as a muse for the group was a strangely humbling experience. The poetry challenge was live for one week.  I’m thrilled and honoured to have been invited. There really wasn’t anything for me to do. Group representative, Mary Grace Guevara really did it all. From making contact to ask whether I was up for having my images used as inspiration, to getting the post done and keeping me in the loop, she was the epitome of efficiency.

Over the course of the week I dipped in from time to time to read emerging works. I’m conscious that my images evoke words beyond the capabilities of my imagination. And I am grateful to the toads for their creativity and wordcraft.

The entries in the poetry challenge are listed at the bottom of their website.

I’ve also added them here under the paintings selected by each particular poet.

Doug's Watch (watercolour 10 x 10 cm)
Doug’s Watch (watercolour 10 x 10 cm)


VMW045 Sky Study Pink
Sky Study Pink
What lies beneath
What lies beneath
Sunshine on the Field
Sunshine on the Field
Suzie's Shoes
Suzie’s Shoes
Facing East (watercolour painting)
Facing East (watercolour – 46 x 51cm)
Crossroads (Watercolour 27.5 x 26 cm) Artist: Vandy Massey
Crossroads (Watercolour 27.5 x 26 cm)


Dark Pleasure from RunningWithBrushes.com
Dark Pleasure from RunningWithBrushes.com
Dappled light on water (watercolour)
Dappled light on water (watercolour)

I’m beyond thrilled that so many poems have been written about my paintings. Thank you to the Real Toads for adding a new dimension to my work with their poetry challenge.

the imaginary garden with real toads
Click this little guy to go to their website.

Watercolour Landscape: Autumn River

Watercolour landscape: Autumn River (watercolour 10 x 15cm)
Autumn River (watercolour 10 x 15cm)

Just like yesterday’s post, the view from my window over the weekend was the inspiration for this watercolour landscape, only this time I used artists licence and changed the season from winter to Autumn so that I could use some lovely gold and rust colours to give the painting some warmth.

This is Day 21 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge and it too is for sale at Running with Brushes in aid of Care for Casualties.

Other  small watercolour landscape paintings on Running With Brushes:

Waiting for the cows to come home

Little Red Farmhouse


All available landscapes from Running With Brushes.

I’m off to see a film about Megan Boyd this evening. Isn’t it amazing where painting leads you – I love these serendipitous discoveries.

Tree in Watercolour: Old Man of the River

Tree in Watercolour. Old Man of the River (10 x 15 cm)
Old Man of the River (watercolour 10 x 15 cm)

Inspiration for today’s tree in watercolour came from outside my window where a majestic old tree leaned gently over the little weir on the river.  I rather liked the seemingly protective angle of the old trunk over the water, and the knotty evidence of it’s longevity progressing upward towards the branches which gradually bent further and further towards the surface of the river.

This painting is Number 20 of the 30 Painting in 30 Days challenge, and is for sale on the Running With Brushes website.

More tree in watercolour paintings

Painting Trees With No Green

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Blooming Jacaranda

Day 14: Damsel Fly in Watercolour

Damsel Fly in watercolour (15 x 10cm)
Damsel Fly (watercolour 15 x 10cm)

Yesterday, I had no thoughts of painting a damsel fly in watercolour. There are times when I have no idea where the inspiration for the day’s painting will strike.

Why paint a damsel fly in watercolour?

I’ve been working through an 0nline course on watercolour glazing which was a offered in to early birds in return for a review. (I’ve not written my review yet because I’ve not gone through the whole course.)

I already know a lot of what’s been covered so far, but there are some great exercises on mark-making with different brushes. I watched the session on round brushes yesterday in which one little demo was of a damsel fly with wings spread. That’s when I thought I would try the exercise, but with the damsel fly in a different position. This is a common blue damsel fly, and the painting is going to Running With Brushes. It’s also my Day 14 painting for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.

And strangely enough, my inspiration to paint a damsel fly led me on to an idea for a series I’ll start posting tomorrow.




Another tree painting: Blooming Jacaranda

Tree painting:  Blooming Jacaranda (watercolour 17 x 13 cm)
Blooming Jacaranda (watercolour 17 x 13 cm)

The latest in the series of tree painting is the 13th painting in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.

Growing up in Johannesburg meant seeing streets lined with Jacaranda trees which burst into a profusion of blooms every summer. The colour is unmistakeable – a beautiful mauve blue that makes the city look like one big blue  arboretum.

Tree Painting

I’m taking a break from my tree painting series for a while now, but I will be back to it some time in the future. Trees make such wonderful painting subjects, they are too good to ignore.

Tree Painting: Spring, Summer, Autumn

Spring, Summer, Autumn (watercolour tree painting 15 x 10 cm)
Spring, Summer, Autumn (watercolour painting 15 x 10 cm)

Day 12 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Day challenge is another tree study (I’m in tree painting mode these days so expect a few more before we’ve done).

This little watercolour painting is available to buy on the Running With Brushes website. The message in the image is about progress. Regular readers will notice (I hope) a change to my website. In my view, there is little point in repeating exactly the same activity over and over with no discernible change. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repeat something – the key is in the ‘no discernible change’ part of that sentence.

So, when it comes to my website, I’m embarking on a programme of improving it’s efficiency. I already pre-write and auto-schedule posts on the weekend for the weekdays. Now I’m working on other time savers.

Tree painting

Having posted my tree painting using no green paint yesterday, I’ve decided to stick with trees for a while, but work on treating every one differently. This tree painting definitely had a few dollops of green paint, but they were painted entirely with one 2cm flat brush.

Tomorrow’s tree is shaping up quite nicely already.