Yes Anne I do think that would be lovely. This month our Virtual Book Club read “Anne of Green Gables” and what a delight it was. I read the entire series when I was a young teenager and loved them. Anne and I see the natural world in a similar way – all wistful and dreamy. The moment Anne arrived on the train, she spied a beautiful cherry tree in full blossom and throughout the book she brought blooming branches inside to be closer to nature. Anne’s love of cherry blossoms has inspired me to create a cherry blossom painting with a bit of a twist and what perfect timing because it is cherry blossom season! Come along with me as I show you how.
Today is also my feature on Hometalk and I am so grateful for this outlet to show my projects. This is a bit of a combination post as one part is about the book Anne of Green Gables and the second part is how this book inspired me to create this beautiful but super easy painting. If you aren’t interested in the book, just scroll down a bit and you will find the project.
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Anne of Green Gables
Set in Prince Edward Island in my beloved country of Canada, this book was a pleasure to read now and when I first read it as a young girl. It tells the story of 11 year old Anne Shirley, an orphan, who is mistakenly adopted by unmarried siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They intended to adopt a boy who could help out on their farm, but the message was improperly conveyed to the orphanage and Anne was sent instead.
The author, Lucy M. Montgomery, has an extraordinary way with words and conveying Anne’s personality so vividly, along with the scenery in Avonlea. I remember as a young girl being fascinated with the series of books due to the beauty conveyed. Reading them again has brought back such fond memories.
The book follows Anne’s life as she grows up in the beautiful small town of Avonlea. Anne is highly intelligent and imaginative, is very talkative and extremely positive. Even thought life has not been easy for her (loosing her parents at a young age, having bright red hair which causes many to make fun of her, and suffering terrible treatment by many families that she was placed with) she still sees the best in everyone and everything. It would do so many people such a world of good to see the world as Anne does.
While Marilla wanted to return Anne to the orphanage, Anne’s wonderful presence breaks down Marilla’s frosty exterior. She comes to enjoy Anne and all the joy she brings to their home. Without giving too much away, Anne’s luck really turns around after meeting Matthew and Marilla and that is the beginning of a wonderful series of books as we watch Anne grow into a beautiful and bring young woman.
Green Gables is the name of the Matthew and Marilla’s home and this is due to the green trim and high pitched roof lines. Here is a photo of the real Green Gables.
In real life, Lucy Montgomery’s relatives actually owned the home and land that was the setting for her books. When the book became so popular, the Canadian government bought the property when it came up for sale and it became a national historical site. The government even went so far to remodel and furnish the home to resemble the home depicted in the novels.
Below is a photo of Anne’s bedroom. I adore the bed frame and wallpaper and could only imagine how wonderful it would be for an orphan to grow up in such a pretty room, home and property.
The yard is absolutely heavenly! I can see why Lucy chose this home and property as the setting for her books and why the main character loved it so much as well! Anne settled in well here with a cherry tree outside her window, green pastures, a large barn, the Lake of Shining Waters nearby and so much more.
These books are filled with uplifting quotes, so I have decided to share them with you and have interspersed them throughout. I hope you enjoy them.
If you haven’t read the series of books, I would highly suggest that you do, especially if you enjoy wholesome literature with inspiring dialogue.
Cherry trees, when in blossom, are dreamy and I can see why Anne was so taken with them. Did you know that cherry blossoms represent a time of renewal and optimism. The soft petals of pink and white, mark the ending of winter and the beginning of spring. Truly a time of renewal and hope!
Given the significance and meaning behind cherry blossoms, it made me wonder if Lucy specifically picked them for Anne because Anne was so optimistic and the original book was all about Anne getting to start her life all over again?
Anne’s love of cherry blossoms, is what inspired me to create a cherry blossom painting. I wanted to bring it to life, so I added something a little extra to the painting.
This acrylic painting technique I used is so simple. I hope you will give it a try.
Materials for a cherry blossom painting:
- Brown, tan, pink and white acrylic paint
- Faux cherry blossom flowers
- Paint brushes, sponge brush, wire cutters, glue gun
- Optional: If you wish to make your own cherry blossom branches, you will also need bare branches
Step 1: Painting the background
For this painting, I wanted a soft background that picked up on the pink and white in cherry blossoms. So I created a mottled, very delicate background in soft pink.
The pink I had was far to bright pink and I wanted something more subtle so I mixed the pink with white to tone it down.
Next water down the paint quite a bit and with a sponge brush drip the paint onto the canvas and then swish it around so that there are areas with more saturated paint and others that are not.
Step 2 – Painting the branches
With a medium brown paint, gently paint on the tree branches. They don’t need to be solid. These branches are actually going to be branches in the background so that is why they are so faint.
Step 3 – Painting the blossoms
As these flowers are also in the background, they also will not have a lot of detail. Simply use white paint and a small round brush to dab on four white petals. Let dry completely.
Next using tan, paint very thin lines in the middle of the petals to represent the stamen.
If you would like a very simple, delicate painting, you could leave it just like this. The dark wooden frame did not suit this light and airy painting so I painted it white and it looks fantastic.
I wanted to take it a bit further, so I added additional branches as you will see below.
Step 4: Painting branches in the foreground
For these branches, you will paint the brown more opaque.
You should also add highlights on the top of the branches. I always choose that the sun is coming from the right, so if the branch is hanging vertically, add a highlight along the right hand side of the branch. Adding highlights, is done by mixing the original brown paint with white to make it a shade or two lighter. As this is not a very in-depth painting, I just did the branches and their highlights very roughly.
Step 5: The Twist!
Were you wondering what the twist was in my title? Well it was the addition of faux cherry blossoms to give the painting dimension and bring it more to life.
For this, I purchased a garland of cherry blossoms and cut each bloom off. With hot glue, attach the blossoms here and there on each cherry blossom branch. I studied cherry trees and found that the ends of the branches were often heavy with blossom. Then the rest of the blossoms were scattered up the branches.
If you have ever walked under a cherry blossom tree, you will know that tiny petals fall off all the time. So I incorporated this into the painting, by clipping a few blossoms off of the faux cherry blossoms and glued them on to look as if they were falling. Then I scattered a few blossoms along the table runner under the painting to complete the look.
This cherry blossom painting was such an easy art project. I hope you will give it a try!
Step 6 – Styling around a cherry blossom painting
I chose to place the painting on the top of my china cabinet so it was fitting that I created some faux cherry branches and placed them in a garden trug as seen below. Creating the branches was so easy, just glue on individual faux cherry blossoms to a real branch.
Keep the theme going and add some height by placing some of the branches in a large mason jar vase.
Here is the entire look of the china cabinet.
Now let’s have a tea party with Anne
Of course, I couldn’t just decorate the top of the china cabinet. I thought it would be fun to set the whole dining room up as an ode to cherry blossoms and Anne of Green Gables.
I had this lovely soft green and pink tablecloth which I thought was perfect for the occasion. While it is roses and not cherry blossoms, it is close enough.
I also used a white charger layered with vintage china from my grandma in a soft green and white china. Topped with a vintage linen napkin and a couple of cherry blossoms. Taking center stage is a white milk glass vase from my mom filled with faux cherry blossoms.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the novel and the tutorial of cherry blossom painting! Also, if you have never had the opportunity for cherry blossom viewing, I encourage you to make a point of getting to see them some time in your life. Once you see spring cherry blossoms, you will want to experience them every year. They are magical!
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Time to check out the rest of the Virtual Book Club members
Make sure to check out all the fantastic home decor that Lynn, Cindy and Erin were inspired to create by clicking the titles of their projects under the photos.
If you liked this post, you will like these…
With spring in the air, it is time to plan our gardens. Click here, if you would like to read about the flowers I think are a must in the garden.
This is also the time of year when we start eating outdoors. Click this link for my post about hosting a fabulous outdoor dinner party.