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Gina Lento is a fine artist, illustrator and visual storyteller from Port St Lucie, Florida. Her cheerful, whimsical style is full of expression and color.

Sloth plant revealed

I haven’t been posting these but this week is a little different. It was a sad week but it was also a week where the sloth plant finally bloomed.

Sloth plant you ask? Yeah, what was that plant I called the “sloth plant?” I wasn’t giving this plant it’s given name until I saw flowers! Sloth plant is a dry loving, sun loving, slow growing plant. It’s an 18 month old cutting from a plumeria, aka Hawaiian lei flower, so “ta da!!!” Sloth plant is a Plumeria!

It took 18 months to flower. Lots of sun and patience. If you want to grow a plumeria in the Northeast, you have to have a full sunny window for it in the winter and it doesn’t like the cold.

We had it in a pot and we transplanted it to the front flower bed, where it is really happy! It does get cold here in the winter but I noticed that there are plumerias all over Jensen Beach and my part of Port St Lucie and they made it through the cold nights here, but they would die in a Northeast winter outside.

I want to get more in different colors. They are definitely worth it. So pretty and the flowers last a few days.

Sloth plant blooms
A neighbor’s plumeria

Sad news

This morning we had to make one of the most difficult and painful decisions that a one has to make when living with fur children. This is very difficult to write but I won’t be able to write this later when reality sets in.

Cleopatra, our foundling kitty, the kitty that was inserted into many of my sketches and paintings, had to be put to sleep this morning. She crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge a little while ago. We got the news a little after 4 am and we drove back to the ER to say our final good-byes.

We don’t know what happened. Erin took her to the vet on Saturday. They took blood work to see what could be ailing her, That night she had to go to the ER because she was quickly getting worse. It just snowballed from there.

Cleo was only 5. They can’t tell us why. She wasn’t injured. This is why everyday is precious when there is life.

Good-bye Cle. You were loved.

Refreshed sketch

I have been updating some of my work digitally. This was always one of my favorites that I did several years ago and I decided to give it a digital facelift. I purchased the bouquet in the pumpkin during a festival in Cape May and did the sketch immediately after I took it home. I thought it was such a great idea. I would never have thought to use a pumpkin for a “vase.” I don’t know what the blue flowers are but I always wanted to grow them. There used to be a U-pick place in West Cape May where you could cut your own flowers. Don’t know if it is still there.

This is a low res file for posting.

Autumn Floral revisited

A page spread develops – artistic process

These are my sketches for a page spread that I am doing for my children’s book course. I had a ton of ideas and I did a bunch of thumbnails, but I opted for the simplest design in order not to get frustrated, and could complete it within the time frame allotted. Advice that I received from Koosje Koene many moons ago…. Keep It Simple Stupid, and that’s what I did.

I didn’t realize I had to include text, too. I added that at the end.

My scene will have seagulls. I have tons of reference photos that I have taken over the years…and I took more to ensure I had enough poses. Seagulls are easy for me since I have sketched them so many times before. My favorites are laughing gulls and they are all over the place here so that was a no brainer for me. I think there are laughing gulls in half of my sketchbooks.

These are my process sketches on how I developed my page spread:

Thumbnail…which you will probably look at and say “Whhhhaaaatt?” Yes, this thumbnail led to the following sketches:

Below is the next stage. They don’t quite look like seagulls, do they? I put notes about where to look for my references…I actually had to go in and find all my seagull photos that I have taken over the years and name the photos so I could find them easier. I really need to do a better job organizing the photos I take with my iPhone.

Here is my draft. I sketched the gulls in pencil on vellum so that I can erase easier. Those two lines in the middle are the “gutter” where the page will be split for binding so I have to allow for that. I transferred this image to two 9×12 mixed media sheets of paper so that I can scan the final product on my scanner. I will show the final on tomorrow’s post.