Mid-Missouri Artists summer exhibition

The Mid-Missouri Artists annual summer exhibition is almost over.  We have a virtual summer exhibition at the University of Central Missouri up through tomorrow, June 30, 2020. (https://ucmgallery.com/mid-missouri-artists-50th-anniversary-summer-exhibition/) We were each invited to enter three pieces. Please go see it while it’s still up; there’s a lot of beautiful work in there.  I thought I’d speak a bit about my submissions.

Long-stemmed blue flower with six petals
Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium bermudiana, by Allena Yates

The Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium bermudiana, was painted when I was still in college. It was intended for a brochure on the wildflowers of a local park. Since the purpose was field identification by visitors and we did not want them digging plants, none of the botanical illustrations showed the roots. Unfortunately the project was abandoned on the brochure side. I went on to graduate school and other things.

I got married and had children and focused almost completely on photography for a number of years, though I kept sketching and occasionally painting a bit.

In 2018 I pulled out my paints again and made a practice of going out with watercolors in the morning. One of the morning roses I photographed and picked to take inside so I could paint a more finished piece.  Here we have the Red Rosebud.

red rose bud with leaves, watercolor painting
Red Rosebud, watercolor on paper, by Allena Yates

In the fall of 2018, I was an “artist in the window” for the Heartland Home Educators group during the Dickens Fair in Warrensburg, Missouri. I didn’t figure flowers would do well on Christmas ornaments so I tried birds, some from memory and a few from my photos. I painted them on the same hardened dough ornaments we had for children to come and decorate.

People liked my birds! I needed a more permanent surface and began practicing birds on wood slices. I gave them to my family for Christmas that year, and in 2019 I made enough to sell some too, both as hanging ornaments and as magnets.

This cardinal was painted in 2020 with watercolor instead of the acrylics I had been using on the wood pieces, and using watercolor was like greeting an old friend again!

Red male cardinal sittingon a tree branch, with other branches and trees behind it, watercolor on paper
Cardinal in the Woods, by Allena Yates, 2020

Since this is my own site, I will show a fourth. I was visiting my parents on their anniversary and my dad asked me to paint a bird for him to watch. I didn’t have my wood slices or photos handy, but an orchid Daddy had given Mama on another occasion was in bloom. I painted it for them in watercolor, and he said that was nice enough.

yellow-green open-faced orchid, with more buds along the stem. watercolor on paper
Yellow-green orchid, watercolor on paper, 2020