blogging, teaching, art-making and the joy of early summer

Hello, June, you're one of my favorite months of the year and I'm so glad you're here.

studio, artist studio, watercolor art print calendar, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It makes the recent heartbreaks in the news a little more bearable, this month of bare feet and flowers and birdsong.

I've come up with a plan for my blog. I'll try it for a while and see how things go. Nothing is ever set in stone, which is part of the beauty of this sort of creative endeavor.

Thank you to everyone who took my survey. I truly appreciate your feedback. Although 70% of you said that 3 posts a week is a manageable amount to read, I'm trimming my weekly posts down to 2. (One of you said that you won't read more than one post from anyone. Thanks for being honest. It's your choice what you read, how you read it and how often you read it. I completely understand; I have been so busy lately that I'm way behind in my own blog reading).

I plan to publish my own posts, about my art, my garden, what's happening in my studio, posts of creative encouragement and anything else that I feel the need to share on Tuesdays and my interviews on Fridays. The first Friday of the month will be an in-depth Artist Interview and the other Fridays will be Sketchbook Conversations posts. Your survey responses proved that far and away art, Sketchbook Conversations, creative encouragement and artist interviews are your favorite types of posts.

As always, if you have questions, comments or anything you want to share, you can let me know in the comments of any of my posts or contact me with your thoughts or feedback. I love hearing from you!

Although it's technically still spring, now that June is here it feels as if summer has arrived. Over the weekend I saw a temperature of 89 on a sign in town. After all the rain we had in May, now I have to keep an eye on all my seedlings and new plants and have the hose handy to water.

garden, container gardening, cinder block raised beds, petunias, violas, vegetable garden, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It seems as if everything has suddenly come alive (even more than it already had).

garden, roses, Above and Beyond, climbing roses, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

 Roses are popping open.

garden, roses, Above and Beyond, climbing roses, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I still sometimes miss the roses in my old garden (especially if I look at old pictures like the ones in this post and this one), but I've slowly added a few to this garden.

garden, roses, Therese Bugnet, rugosa roses, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It feels so good to be surrounded by growing things, eating from the garden again and bringing in cut flowers. 

Here's a view of some of the main part of the garden. The backyard is very shady, so I've tried to squeeze as much as I can into the sunniest half.

garden, June, Container Gardening, raised beds, cinder block raised beds, hog panel garden arches, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's hard to share an "in progress" picture like this because I immediately see all the flaws and all the unfinished projects. But there's so much growing and blooming and it brings me so much joy and nourishment and inspiration.

micron pen, sketchbook drawing, peonies, botanical sketchbook, botanical drawing, black and white drawing, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's funny, though. Everything happening in my garden is making me want to paint and paint and paint, but although I've sketched from my garden, my recent paintings have not come from my garden.

watercolor, botanical watercolor, freesias, commissioned paintings, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I didn't have any of the flowers blooming in my garden that I needed to paint for a recent commission.

watercolor, botanical watercolor, roses, commissioned paintings, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

In my latest Skillshare class* I share how to paint butterflies, not flowers.

This month's MATS Bootcamp theme isn't flowery. And although I have another flowery commission I'm working on this week, those flowers aren't blooming in my garden right now, either.

Ah well. That's the way it goes sometimes. I'll fit in some other flower painting, too (with a little help from my studio assistants).

rescue cats, black and white cats, adopt don't shop, watercolor, studio, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Lightening my blogging schedule will give me more time for painting. At least, that's the plan.

My other plan for June is to revamp my website. I intend to streamline it, make it more focused and easier to navigate.

rescue cats, black and white cats, adopt don't shop, watercolor, studio, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'm not sure how helpful my studio assistants will be with that job, but they're always willing to give it a go.

I hope you have a joy-filled and creative week. I'll be back on Friday sharing a Sketchbook Conversation with one of my favorite artists. See you then!

*this class is now available on the Skillshare site. Skillshare's having a new promotion. Sign up now and receive two free months. You'll have access to all (9!) of my classes as well as thousands of others on many different topics. After that, if Skillshare isn't for you, you can cancel your membership at any time.


  1. need to give yourself a break. you obviously keep yourself very busy and the garden is awesome. love the ink drawing. -stacey

    1. Thanks, Stacey. Sometimes things just pile up like that. And yes, by the time all my deadlines are met I'm a bit wiped out! It's been a slower pace this week. Though I still need to make some more time for my garden, not just working in it, but enjoying it, too!

      Hope you have a lovely weekend!

  2. Hi Anne,
    Blogging two times a week seems doable during such a busy season, especially with the coursework you are taking/developing. I usually only have time to read blogs once a week although I do look around on Instagram daily. Forget about your blogging schedule - get out in that pretty garden and play!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Yes, playing in the garden sounds good to me! :)

      I'm sadly behind in my weekly blog reading (I usually give myself weekends to catch up on all my favorite blogs), but I can't even remember the last time I did, and so I completely understand how it is for my readers.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comment. So glad to have your encouragement. :)

      Hope you're finding time to get out and play, too!!

  3. That garden!
    Those kitties!
    All the painting!
    June has re-energized you!

    1. I hadn't thought about it like that, but yes! My garden and I have both finally woken up from winter's sleep. It feels really, really good.




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