Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A new Scherenschnitte for my garden friends.

  I am ending the growing season with a tribute to Gardeners far and wide. ( And, because it REALLY was time to finish this Scherenschnitte.)

 Size: 16x20 
Paper:Antique parchment
Tools: number 11 xacto knife,( if you try this art-form, you must always have a sharp, sharp tip on your blade, so keep EXTRA blades on hand.) I buy blades by the 100 pack.
Pencils, brushes and watercolor paints. 

Firstly, I  free-handed my original design onto the paper. Here is the tricky part, a design must be drawn in such a way as to NOT FALL APART when cut  out. In other-words,  I am designing a connected silhouette
 Here is an overview of my entire piece, which I have begun to paint

Upper left hand side with  twining Morning Glories.

 If you  wish to try paper-cutting (scherenschnitte) , it just takes practice, so start with simple designs. If you cannot draw, you can purchase a book, such as "Papercutting" by Claudia Hopf" OR "Paper Cuts" by Taylor Hagerty.
 Start with those, but eventually, I hope you will design your own patterns. Copying the work of someone else is not very rewarding, although it can be a good way to learn. Just be sure the work you copy is MEANT to be a pattern.
 Upper right hand, a crock full of bulbs.

More layers of color. This is what I love about watercolor. You can achieve as much detail as with any other paint, for a much lower cost. A tube of good watercolor paint will last you for years because a little goes a long way. Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Raw umber, Alizarin Crimson and Paynes Grey are colors I cannot do without. Windsor Newton and Sennelier are my favorite brands.
Here, in the upper left hand corner, is Esther standing on the watering can!
( I wonder how dear little Esther is getting on......)

And below is the top  third of the picture completely painted

Now I am skipping to the bottom of the page.  I love gardeners, gardens, bees and roses and jonquils, violets, spades and bulbs and black earth and especially GOOD compost!


There are many intricate cuts in this piece, but as is always the case in my work, I will spend more time painting than cutting.
Baskets of bounty, beep-skeps, Nasturtiums and Bluebells.  Oh dear! I just discovered that I misspelled Nasturtiums on the little paper seed packets! Oh well, artistic license.

   Lower right hand

Now it is time to decide what on earth I am going to put in that center oval. 
 I changed my mind many times on the center piece, I spent 3 days writing some garden verse, 3 more days practicing Copperplate penmanship and 3 days looking for the proper pens. THEN I didn't use ANY of the above.  Because, My poem was 7 paragraphs long, my Copperplate did not look good, and I suddenly had a better plan.  I took  inspiration from the etchings in an old farmers almanac, dated 1833, ( I collect these).   I "antiqued" the paper with a sponge full of watered-down Burnt umber paint. I designed a little "etching" using sepia inks.

This was a lot of fun, I used tiny pen quills and ink pots
I used Old English Penmanship, it seemed to be more appropriate to the subject matter, and I really didn't master that Copperplate writing,(someday I will!)  There is only one paragraph of verse. That is all it needed, it think

  "Dedicated to  all who toil in the soil"

I am having offset lithographs printed of this piece. When they are available I will  be giving the first one off the press to a reader. So keep  your eyes on the Gazette, as soon as my prints arrive, we will have a drawing. And, as anyone who has been reading this blog knows, we have a lot of fun drawing names here in Hopalong Hollow!
At last , I have tied up the  loose ends of unfinished artwork.
Now I can dedicate  my full time to finishing up my BOOK!!!

While our Morning Glory blooms, fades and drops it's little black seeds all round,

and little Bushky Bushybottoms  collect Black Walnuts for their pantry,
 I await the cool days of Autumn, I find it the most lovely season.


  1. Such beautiful work you do. Even with your directions and all your tips, I'm sure no one can top your talent!

  2. This is just fabulous. You are such a talented artist. I love the piece of work I have of yours hanging over my coffee corner. I just treasure it. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  3. This is just fabulous. You are such a talented artist. I love the piece of work I have of yours hanging over my coffee corner. I just treasure it. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  4. Awesome! I am in awe of your gorgeous creations/art. I love these kinds of creations ... breathtaking.

    Have a beautiful holiday ~
    TTFN ~

  5. OH MY oh my! Dearest Jeri!!!
    IT IS SPLENDID!!!!! All the Beautiful colors, all the detailed detail!!! Soo pretty :-D

    Lots of Hugs, many Blessings and Love Linnie

    PS Esther may have checked in to Misstress Christie's Backyard Bird Spa Retreat...where all the Feathery Birdies are going!!! ;-)

  6. Again I am in awe... You must have an enormous amount of patience Jeri.. This is exquisite! Have no idea how you managed to cut the tiny stems and vines, let along all the other detail... I see why you always have a very sharp blade.
    I had thought that Esther would have come by to visit you.. I love that you have made a place for her in your art...
    Thank you for coming over to meet Jock and your kind words..

  7. Forgot to mention... As I love to work in my garden I wish to thank you for dedicating this piece to all the gardener's... AND.. You are having a drawing??? Oh my.. How blessed this reader will be to receive a lithograph of this piece!

  8. Hi Jeri,

    Your work is delightful and I adore all the attention to detail, you have put into this lovely masterpiece.
    You must have so much patience and you are so talented and the book is going to be fabulous. Loved seeing dear little Esther there with you.
    Thanks for showing us your beautiful work and hope that you have a lovely week


  9. Jeri, this is beyond beautiful, it needs a whole new word like gambunctuous to describe it!

  10. Jeri,

    What a beautiful piece of art. You are so talented! I can't wait to throw my "egg" in the hat for the drawing.

  11. Jeri....this piece is absolutely beautiful! So whether I win it or not, I would like to purchase one of them. It would be perfect for our farm house!! Fabulous!

  12. Don't you too just love the coolness in the air and to watch the creatures collect their stores? BUSHY BOTTOMS has it right. The little chubby ones in my yard are digging their holes, calculating just the right spot to FORGET where they put it....and some of them are carrying apples 3 times the size of their little jaws! The rabbits however, are lounging in the sun, trying to catch the last beaming heat rays of the sun. All is well here at Rabbit Hill as I prepare to go back to school tomorrow. Oh Jeri, you a fabulous. Your skills dumbfound me, and I so ADMIRE everything you do. I have had a wonderful summer keeping up with you, and how is our little Jemima? I love her "hairdo" as I examine much closer your photos of this little darling.

    Big hugs to all, give Hamish a kiss. I wonder what you would get if a princess as yourself kissed a goose? teehee


  13. Oh my gosh Jeri this is absolutely stunning. So much intricate detail, so much heart and soul have gone into yet another one of your wonderful creations. I can't even imagine working on one of these works of art.

    I've been embroidering and working with beads too this time. Your work inspires me to keep on creating one stitch and one bead at a time.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  14. Oh Jeri you have the patience of a saint and your work is just breathtaking!
    I have always wanted to try Scherenschnitte and you have definitely lit a fire in my heart with this post.
    Oh and I have to tell you I love the picture of you on the sidebar holding the goose! I LOVE geese and would be in heaven holding one.
    Have a wonderful artistic day and thanks again for this beautiful post!
    Tina xo

  15. Just gorgeous as always Jerri. I love the details. The old flowerpots and tools.
    I just love the whole work. Such talent.

  16. JERI DEAR!
    Well, let me tell you, I am strict. BUT, I manage to get the kids to laugh when all the work is done and we have reached our learning goals for the lesson. I believe in laughing every day. And that is sure in my classroom!

    HAPPY DAY! Anita

  17. I just came upon your blog this morning. I really loved looking at all the different steps in making this masterpiece. So delicate and lovely. I'll be back to visit soon.

  18. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    What a superb tribute to gardening expressed through Scherenschnitte! Lovely morning glories in both the Scherenschnitte and throughout your garden! Your almanac inspired etchings have such an old fashioned look! So many garden and harvest things included! I love using baskets to gather flowers, herbs, and vegetables in my gardens. How delightful to see Esther in your artwork! How cute the gathering Bushky is!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  19. Jeri dear ~
    Be stil my heart -Oh the
    tangle of vines woven by
    your exacting knife! My
    needled scherenschnitte
    dims by comparison. You are
    so generous in spirit to share the process with us..
    Ever consider a workshop
    gathering at the hollow to
    seal the "desire to do" we
    feel when viewing your art?
    I sense this latest triumph
    has built up your creative
    juices in anticipation of
    completing No. 3 and what
    a treasure that promises to
    be. The Children await!

  20. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    We see that tropical storm Lee is headed your way. We pray that you and your family, your dear animals, and property remain safe!

    Give Ursula and Jemima hugs! We just love their photographs on the side!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  21. Your Scherenschnitte is a wonderful artwork ! Splendid and delicate, I like ! You have great talents !
    I love the little squirrel, he is so cute ! Your garden is very beautiful.
    Nice week Jeri,

    Nathanaëlle xxx

  22. Jeri, I wish I had your artistic ability! It is amazing to see your creations unfold. You deceptively make it all sound so easy, but for those of us who haven't mastered drawing beyond kindergarten and stick figures, it is an impossible task. We have neither your incredible imagination nor your impressive talent. We can but gaze in awe, transfixed by the beautiful worlds you paint and bring so vividly to life!

  23. What a magnificent piece, your imagination and talent cannot be compared.
    I'm happy to see little Esther there on the watering can, such a special little bird, she will forever be a part of you and the "Hollow".
    Your work is breathtakingly detailed, your patience is a gift..
    The Morning Glory vines remind me of the ones running atop my garden fence right now, a beautiful start to each day.

  24. Oh Jeri! Such detail and intricate work. You are truly a talented artist.
    I love the way you do your drawings and will be looking forward to seeing the next one. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  25. Dear Jeri,

    You are such an inspiration! You can have no idea how much I truly am inspired each time you share the process of your work; it's like we're sitting at your elbow, taking lessons. :)

    I love the words, and the painting, too. I shall have to pick up my paintbrush between packing and looking for our dream house in the country.



  26. Wow, that's absolutely outstanding Jeri!!! I really, really love it. It was great to see the stages in which it was created too.
    PS. Any sightings of Esther?

  27. Dearest Jeri...
    I have not spotted sweet Esther amongst the birds here...she has surely found a lovely troup to travel with.
    She is darling in your extraordinary piece here. As is every tiny detail that all of us gardening girls hold dear to our hearts. You have captured it splendidly and I will be anxiously awaiting the "drawing". I think your lettering was perfectly perfect for this piece. But, in the meantime, i was inspired to check into that copperplate calligraphy...challenging, but so beautiful. I will have to acquire a book for some of those capital letters are quite difficult to capture.
    You my dear, never cease to amaze me, and once again, you have raised the bar of excellence even higher!
    Bravo, dearest friend!
    P.S. Linnie, how sweet to mention our little feathered friends resort over here in the middle of Tennessee:)

  28. A-maz-ing! So much goodness wrapped up in one package--Esther and a lambie pie and morning glories, oh my!

    Creativity feels so good, doesn't it? Although I don't know where you get the time to do anything else

    I'm hoping to do a bit of art myself while I'm "teen-sitting" while his folks are in San Diego for the surgery. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes smoothly and petrified that it might not. Must think positive!

  29. wow the detail is amazing and so beautiful. You are so gifted Jeri.

  30. Love it!!!! Must have a print when they are available!!
    xx, shell

  31. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    So sorry you fell and hurt your leg and we hope you feel better soon! That rain soaked ground can be very slippery. We got a lot of rain with Lee but not as much flooding as with Irene. The sun was out today, how nice!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  32. Oh Jeri! I am so sorry to hear you fell! I hope your recovery is speedy.. I will be thinking of you.
    Sending you a BIG HUG!

  33. Jeri!! this is gorgeous! and you are so dedicated to breathe life into a piece like this, so much loving attention to detail.

    Thank you also for sharing the paints you like to use. I always enjoy reading about an artists supplies and techniques.

  34. We now have Xavier calling the squirrels Bushky Bushybottom...he giggles every time!! And I saw one the other day with a big black walnut in his mouth, too...we have a tall black walnut tree along our drive.
    Thank you, dear, for the info on copperplate...that book will be my next purchase on amazon, and I have the nibs and ink. I just keep practicing the letters I know, and I just love it!
    I always drool over the beautiful family trees we see every now and then, that are done with that beautiful script. I'd love to do one for our family at some point.
    I have begun, now, the watercolor illustrations for Elizas book. My sister is looking into publishers, submission requirements, etc....she has worked as an editor and is more familiar with finding her way around their websites.
    We shall see...
    Again, if nothing more comes of this, I'll tie a pretty ribbon around it and say..that was a fun journey;))
    I had to come take a peek again at your beautiful work on this piece...you just amaze the dickens out of me!
    Hope all is going well, my dear..and that you have recuperated after your tumble. My goodness, tell that lord of the manor to rep an eye on you:))
    Hugs and blessings,

  35. So no apples for you any time soon huh? haaaa... Thank you Jeri for your visit.. I told Connie about your note and she laughed!
    Hope you are healing up and feeling a little better.
    Always so nice to have you visit.
    Take care.

  36. Sweet Jeri!!!!

    Thank you for coming to visit me dearest.....is all well at the Hollow? Now there is a place I am SURE where love and kindness abides. I think I will give my fourth graders a lesson on walking in someone else's shoes and seeing what they can come up with...to maybe teach a little emphathy, which seems to be missing in some...sad, but true.

    Enjoy a wonderful pre-fall day my friend! Anita

  37. Absolutely a fabulous piece of work. I love it...I love the colors, I love the theme, I love everything about it! You are so very talented.

  38. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. You have a marvelous sense of humor when you called yourself a simple water colorist. There is nothing simple about anything you do. All your work is layered with detail and love. You are truly gifted.

  39. Oh, you're going to just have a fit...I failed to include a photo of a white post box that holds sunflower seeds, alongside the black one holding peanuts...heeeheeee. But it has not had the visitors like the peanut holder...so...ummmm..that makes 6 mailboxes, dearest...
    I told you, the enchantment is sprinkled all over the Rose Water Cottage...
    And, madam, I believe your illustrations are such incredibly more detailed masterpieces, it is no wonder you are still at work...
    Have a wonderful weekend and make sure you grab a few winks...you are surely bleary-eyed!


    YOU CAME TO MY POST...I am embarrassed because you are real...See what I did? I neglected my God-given talents when I was just 13 and what am I left with? Lines. Lines with no depth or dimension, but somehow it has enchanted some. Go figure. I so appreciate your comments but I feel funny because you must think "WHAT THE HE...?" teeeheee.....well, it is nice to be admired by someone that actually works in an industry where she thinks my work would sell. Who knows......but for NOW, I want to WRITE!!!


  41. I love this garden papercutting. The morning glories remind me of my mother who calls them "Morning Glorias", so I do too sometimes.

    You continue to amaze me with your attention to detail, not to mention your most wonderful artwork.

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

  42. I love this garden paper-cutting.I can't believe the work that you put into it! Beautiful!

    Christine C from MI

  43. This is absolutely magnificent! I love this piece

  44. Wow, I was just hopping around the internet, checking out Scherenschnitte, and your site popped up, this piece is just beautiful! Congratulations to you! And, I have morning glories every year, my favorite!!!

    1. Thank you Andrea, I have a companion piece which will go along with this one. It has 37 birds of the garden, I hope to finish it y the end of the summer.


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