Plants and flowers move. When you work, as I do, on form, color and detail of a particular subject, you are certain to be surprised. Buds open too soon. Flowers turn toward the sun, intensify in color, drop their petals. Leaves grow, curl or shrivel. Some subjects dry up before I can capture them on paper or canvas. The light is not always right.
To control the forces of nature, I sometimes rely on photography.
This blog is my photo gallery of BOTANICAL SUBJECTS.
© All images on this blog are copyrighted under United States and International Copyright laws. They may not be used for any purpose without my written permission.

I'm seeing things!

I took a snapshot of a tree limb that had fallen the other day and was hoping to draw it today, but now that I look at it... 

all I can see is...

a dog face :)

or, if I turn it the other way

 a dog face :)

and then there is a little bear

looking out of a little hole in the tree limb!

Maybe if I turn it...

It's hard to "unsee" once you "see" things!

Mystery Pod in Frankfurt, Germany

© Eva-Maria Ruhl
Mystery Seed Pod
This wild and hairy pod caught my eye on a recent trip to Frankfurt, Germany. I have no idea what this might me, so if anyone has a suggestion, please leave a comment. 

A second little Mystery...

Here is a second mystery image. It comes with a story, which I will let the finder of this "thing" tell herself, once I get a few guesses as to what this might be.

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

Here is the story:

This particular subject sneaked out of a grocery sack in the trunk of my car where it remained for several months.
One day it rolled out from under a seat, with a face like the surface of the moon.  (A face only an artist could love!)  

and it deserves another look...
here it is, in all it'e mummified beauty, perched and a lichen covered branch

A little Mystery...

Any guesses as to what this is? Or was?

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

As it turns out, this was not  difficult to identify. I posted it on FB and got an answer immediately! (Many of my FB friends are botanical artists.)
Yes, this is an Echinacea, a purple coneflower, in the very late fall. The seeds have been picked by birds and only a dry shell remains.
Artist Bianca van Baast named it for me: STARLIGHT
I hope to paint it this winter.

Here is an earlier painting of the coneflower:

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

Restless Plants

I just came across this wonderful page about a book The Restless Plant, by the late Dov Koller.

My point exactly! Plants move, therefore I photograph.

Here is a time lapse video:

It is only when you spend hours carefully painting a subject that you detect movement. That is what I love about painting botanicals. Paying attention to what is so often overlooked.

Golden Rain Tree Pods

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

 A gift from my friend Jane Ingalls who appreciates my love of pods and dry plant debris. Aren't these rain tree pods spectacular? They make a soft sound when moved, like raindrops on a roof. Jane pointed this out to me. She is a "sound" person, formerly with Washington Opera and now a Voiceover Artist.

© Eva-Maria Ruhl
oil on board

See my watercolor paintings of these pods HERE.

Even though these pods are dry and will most likely not change over time, I like to photograph them. Every once in a while pods and seeds will have hidden bugs. I am not a fan of bugs in my studio. The photographs ensure bug free subjects.

Fetel Pears

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

These Fetel Pears are delicious. I have to be quick to photograph them. Here I played with strong lights and darks and am very happy with the results. 

Ivy Covered Wall

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

I walk by this wall every day. I love the combination of the texture of the wall, the tiny sparkle of the rocks, the soft green moss and the shiny ivy.

Japanese Anemone or Wind Flower

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

I found this double Japanese Anemone in my yard in November. The last flowers of the year.

Wisteria and its Shadow

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

Growing in front of the Museum of Natural History on the beautiful Mall in Washington, DC is this Wisteria vine. Love the cast shadow.  This will make a fabulous painting. There is tension, motion, direction with a bit of drama and mystery.

Sweet Potato

© Eva-Maria Ruhl

This Sweet Potato began an amazing transformation after having been neglected for too long. After the initial growth in my kitchen, it lived in a hanging basket all summer and grew lovely long tendrils. I especially like the sharply pointed leaves with their reddish edges, in color harmony with the potato.


The name alone makes me smile, Ranunculus! In this case, a photograph will make capturing the details of this vivid orange flower much easier.

© Eva-Maria Ruhl