February Instant Garden: Heart Abloom

Hello, friends, it’s Marcella here!

It might be a week later than I intended, but HEY, I have a NEW digital stamp set, which actually popped onto the scene last week! Introducing a rich and wondrous illustration, Heart Abloom. In case you haven’t caught a glimpse yet of this one, you’re in for a treat...

Cards by Christine Okken (top left), Nancy Sheads (top right), Marcella Hawley (bottom left) and Stacy Morgan (bottom right).

This highly detailed image was a true labor of love, and it is filled with flowers that make my heart sing! Hellebores, Daffodils, Trout Lilies, and get this, I’ve added unexpected little Blueberry sprigs for young little bursts of sweetness. A friendly snail has stopped by, as well. In real life, I would have plucked the snail off of the leaf, because I am a gardener, and snails are a bit of a bane of my existence. BUT THEY’RE SO CUTE! So this one can stay.

I envisioned Heart Abloom working beautifully with my Color Story theme for this year’s Instant Garden digital stamps. Each one is created with a grouping of flowers, fauna, insects, birds, or little objects that can help you deepen your color palette experience. Last month we introduced Rosé All Day with pinks and blushes. This month we’re going in to cooler territory... with flowers that (in nature at least) lend themselves to cooler tones like blue, purple, magenta, chartreuse, yellow... There are a LOT of directions you can go with these babies. This was my inspiration photo, which I found a few years ago in the Instagram feed of British flower design shop Swallow and Damsons. I just knew I wanted to do something with it someday!

While my image did not come out quite as dark, I did try to emulate the rich, dark, mysterious hellebores with some depth by adding brown/blue dirt in the background of my heart:

The set Heart Abloom comes with several images — you get the large heart-shaped flower illustration both with AND without the lettering in the center. As you can see in my watercolor/gouache painting above, I’ve used the handlettered HELLO version and just watercolored that lettering in. The set ALSO comes with a single, very detailed Hellebore image, which could practically be a stamp set on its own! But I’ve tucked it in here for those times you don’t feel like coloring the entire heart. A few examples of the flowers you’ll find in this bouquet... 

Trout Lilies photo by Amy Sanderson Flowers.
Hellebores at the Missouri Botanical Garden (my photo). 
Small-cupped Daffodil ‘Barrett Browning’ taken last year with bluebells in my garden.
A chartreuse-green-eyed Daffodils (again, with the small cup, or corona) in my mother’s garden. Keep your options open when coloring Daffodils and Jonquils — they come in a surprising range of colors!
I love the nodding heads of the Hellebores! (my photo).
Ripening blueberries on the vine... look at all of the amazing color changes they go through to become that intense, marvelous blue! I took so many pictures of them a few summers ago at the MO Botanical Garden and now I've misplaced them on my computer... will have to settle for these beauties from the grower's website.
A photo of my computer monitor as I was putting the finishing touches on this illustration in Photoshop.

I had GREAT FUN creating this arrangement of favorite flowers for Heart Abloom, and I hope YOU have just as exciting of a time coloring them as I did. I will not lie, it took me three days to finish my painted piece. But it was right before I started radiation, and it was highly soothing to my soul!

Drop in with our Bloomies & Gardeners to see their incredible works-in-progress coming to life, on their blogs and on Instagram:

Many, many thanks for sharing this time with us, I hope you love every minute of it! Talk soon,


Lisa said...

This is a gorgeous image! I love the detail and mixture of flowers!

Stunning job as always!

aussie aNNie said...

Marcella, this is just stunning...x💖[aNNie' blog]

Heidi MyLittleStampingBlog said...

Wow, this is so pretty! Love hellebores and the blueberries are a fun surprise addition!

Berina RGA said...

Such a beautiful image! I love that you have added a single Hellebore image as well :)

Lisa K said...

Beautiful flowers! I have two sisters, both are diagnosed with breast cancer, like you. One has been through 4 chemo treatments and is finished with chemo. Next for her is radiation. The other has been through the lumpectomy and will begin radiation soon. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone in this journey. I will be praying for you as you deal with the radiation and getting back to a sort of normal. Hugs!

Corinne said...

I had so much fun with this image... I absolutely LOVE it..
thank you so much for sharing your talent with all of us...

Sarah Biswabic said...

Stunning and beautiful! I love it!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Marcella. Thank You so very much for the picture of the Bluebells and the "Barrett Browning" Daffodil. It brought back some wonderful memories of my artist mother, and the frequent "discussions" we had on colour. She was a Wife and Mom in the "June Cleaver" era...when the only "career" was "FAMILY". The "Housewife" was a Painter in Watercolours, Oils and Pastels, during her High School Days, and routinely won prizes. This lady ended up with a Husband, and two children: A son, who "Aced" Mechanical Drawing....sketching car engines as delicate as lace, and a daughter who must have been hit by a colour wheel before birth. This daughter grew up during the Psychodelic Era, when parents were routinely worried about drugs. My mom had a HORROR of Peter Max, and the colours of PURPLE and CHARTREUSE meant "ACID". (She was scared about a "Hullaballoo" style outfit of a purple skirt and a lime green and purple Tee shirt, that I had drawn) We talked about "drugs" and things, and walked around our back yard. Finally, we got to my "inspiration"...the family Violet Patch. (who needs 'acid' when they can see into the heart of a VIOLET.) Sadly, we never got to Paint together, because she had Alzheimers..., and her daughter is a Senior of 65. I enjoy doing Mandalas, (they're great for learning to control a tremor in the hand) (my media are finepoint colour pens, and the "PRISMACOLOR PREMIER 150 pencils) Thank You so much for the photos of the flowers... As long as we have that beauty, we shall ENDURE.