To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Friday, March 06, 2009

SATURDAY RAMBLE - Lipstick Plant-Aeschynanthus

So amazed that my Saturday Ramble have been read as much, if not more than my other posts. Maybe I should shoot from the hip more often, LOL!
Today some more about my daily life, while I alternate having the hot chocolate in my right hand with handling the mouse of the computer. Also, as usual I have my hat and my scarf on around this time of night, because my body doesn't deal well with these continuous temp. changes in California of 20-30 degrees up or down in one day.

In Holland where I'm originally from -if we had a temp. change of 5 degrees - it was the talk of the town! Most people there have some indoor plants. They even make the window sills wide enough for potted plants.

I came to the USA to do my graduate training in psychology. That took all my energy, and I had 3 children to take care of, so no plants. But after my doctorate, my interest in plants came back.
I still don't have as many as in Holland, because if we do travel it is for 2-3 weeks at a time, so I only have a few plants that are hardy and required little of no attention.

So jazzed that my lipstick plant is in bloom right now. The scientific name is

Aeschynanthus. Isn't she a beauty? It is an imported plant from Africa. There seem to be many varieties. Some have shiny leaves, and other have striped leaves, but no flowers. I had two of these a few years back, but they lost their luster. After that I tried to get another one for a few years. But it did not seem to be available, until this year.

I was so happy with my new lipstick plant, but right after I bought it, some of the branches died right away. The lady in the store told me that all I needed to do was give the roots water 2 x a week. Well, I did!- but I don't have a green thumb - I wish:).

Eventually I remembered that I had once made a printout (of Roger Gardens - an upscale nursery here) how to take care of this plant. Aha, on that sheet it says that this plant is related to the African violet, so it needs a higher level of humidity.
Okay, now I have been misting it daily, next to giving the roots water twice a week. Wait, hope and see! I have been talking to my blogs, but not to my plants...yet. They are on their own, baby.

Yesterday and the day before, after posting my 2 pastel paintings, I did my exercise walk in the neighborhood at 2 pm., so I had plenty of time to...paint! BE DONE with playing for three months on the computer, and get to the more serious business, I told myself. Also, in the back of my mind is the thought that I do not want to lose the level of creativity that I have worked so hard to reach.

After the holidays I may have postponed it "for a while" (I'll say!), because I am working on my first triptych (a painting in three parts). Maybe because it's BIG (two canvases of 18 x 36 inches, and one of 24 x 36 inches) and some of the colors I am using are kind of unusual for me. I am juggling the three paintings on two easels.

Well, all worries flew away with the wind today, because I had that feeling of riding the waves with my brush. When that happens, I don't even care what the results look like, because I am on cloud nine.

After I have painted and made significant progress, I mostly sit down afterwards and write in my painting journal
I wished Rembrandt had kept a journal, or written letters like Vincent van Gogh did, so we would know now about mixing his colors, why he worked the way he did, or how he saw life, etc. People who see me paint, keep wanting to know the story behind the painting, or how I came to paint it, as much as the artwork itself. Is that for you in bloggie land the same?

Sorry, but the brie is long gone. But the basket with strawberries in the fridge keeps calling me.Well, I could taste ONE before I make the pound cake to go with it, right?


The Finely Tuned Woman said...

You ramble just like I do, don't you just love it? No subject is too small, everything goes.

I am very fond of Brie and could eat it every day. Too bad it's so expensive and then there is also Camembert, which is another favorite.

I hope you saved some strawberries for the cake.

Lynda said...

I was so interested to read about your Lipstick Plant as these grow almost 'wild' & in people's gardens on the spice island of Zanzibar, which lies just off our (Tanzania's) coastline ! Many years ago I was there on a guided tour & the tour guide explained that the plant used to be used to stain ladies lips, hence the name "lipstick plant" and apparently it is still used like this in some parts today. I think it is from the actual flower that the red colouring/dye comes from ?

jeannette stgermain said...

I haven't found a good brand of camambert yet here - do you know one?
Yeah, one of the reasons, I did not want to join an artists blog site, because I get bored ONLY talking about art or psychology, even though I love it.
Hope your neighbor stopped the drilling - must be very stressful! Have a good Sunday!

jeannette stgermain said...

thank you for giving me the background on the lipstick plant - I love tidbits of info. like that!
The next plant for me to conquer is the orchid - but California is so dry (desert climate)! I've never been able to keep one longer than a few months. So, if you have any info on that, I would appreciate it :)
I love the table you showed so much -it's a beauty!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Lipstick plant???? Sure looks pretty!
For clay, that is a challenge. In Calif. you would be supplied by Laguna clay, and so you should contact them and talk. I doubt if they would be able to tell more than this----you need a friend or another student or somebody to wet down some clay for you---I think that's the only option!!!

Reader Wil said...

So you are also a psychologist! You're a very talented lady! Your paintings are beautiful and the lipstick plant is in bloom! I have never seen one. I have a lot of plants but they are all artificial, because I often go away to Australia for more than a month.The neighbours who look after my house only collect my mail.Bedankt voor je bezoekje aan mijn blog!Prettig weekend!

jeannette stgermain said...

My youngest brother was a (medical) doctor before I was :). To become a doc was also one of my dreams, and was the reason why the 5 of us came to California. It was not by any means easy, but I knew I would get more help from study- and other friends here during my training.
But, some people are intimidated when they know what I studied, so I kept it "undercover" for a while here on this blog, so they could get to know my more frivolous side first :).
I don't know if they import the lipstick plant to Holland -I had never seen one either. Have a nice Sunday!

Barry said...

I lack a green thumb as well. Sadly I also lack any appreciable artistic talent and have no poetry in my soul.

Good job for me there are artists and poets, like you, out there to show me a different side to this world. Lucky for me as well, I also have the wisdom to to delight in that new vision of the world.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Sometimes it does us good to just ramble on but I never was much good with words or writing. :) That lasagne looks good. I love Italian and Chinese food. :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Joan, I wish I was better with words too, because I'm a pretty non-verbal person (my job requires me to be a good listener, analyzer, and problem solver and painting is visual), but these blogs help me to get some more practice :)

Denise said...

What a lovely visit I have had. Your post is great. I've never heard of a lipstick plant before and enjoyed your super photoraph. Your artwork is fantastic too. Have a happy Sunday.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Denise for your kind comments - I didn't realize that it was a relatively unknown plant until I wrote this blog post. I wonder if we get more import plants, because it's Los Angeles?

Poetikat said...

Dear Jeannette,

I saw your link at my blog and I was curious, so I followed you back here. I'm very pleased that I did. Your blog is intelligent and inspiring. I will be following you from now on and would love if you would investigate both my blog, Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes and return to Blasts From the Past (and leave a comment, if you're so inclined).

The lipstick plant is beautiful and aptly named.


jeannette stgermain said...

Poetikat, you're a Sunday surprize to me :) This is the only way I like to get stalked, haha. I already glanced at your blogs, but I'm going back (I worked in the yard today, it's such beautiful weather). Thank you for your kind comments!

Rosie said...

Well, I've enjoyed reading your ramblings - the plant is so unusual and I confess I'd never heard of it. Here in the UK we too keep indoor plants much like you did in Holland and most live on our windowsills too. Your painting is wonderful:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for your kind comment about the watercolor, Rosie. Have starte dusing it for all my Saturday rambles, as a kind of a logo. I didn't know about this plant in Holland either. Maybe the climate is too cold (since it comes from Africa)?