Multitasking is not for me, so when I switch from oil to watercolor to graphite, I switch for weeks or even months. For the past few weeks, graphite has been my medium of choice. (See more on my separate blog Shades of Gray).
Here are some samples of my new work in graphite:

© 2014 Eva-Maria Ruhl
Bird Egg Nest
graphite on paper mounted on panel

© 2014 Eva-Maria Ruhl
Pebble Collection
graphite and graphite dust on Ampersand Panel

© 2014 Eva-Maria Ruhl
Rose Collection
graphite and graphite dust on Ampersand Panel

Wild Ginger - Asarum canadense

Blooming in my garden now ist the lovely Asarum canadense, also known as Canada wild ginger, a plant native to eastern North America. The flowers are well hidden below broad leaves. It is a lovely plant, a slow spreading ground cover that is very well behaved.

in my garden: Asarum canadense
Asarum canadense
watercolor, 15 x 22 inches
© Eva-Maria Ruhl

In case anyone noticed my long absence, I have been working in graphite and posting my work on my graphite only site Shades of Gray.

Post about the book "A Garden of Marvels"

A Garden of Marvels

How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants

by Ruth Kassinger

Ruth is a friend and neighbor. She is also an award winning author of many books. I was very happy to accept the job of drawing the illustrations for her new book A Garden of Marvels, as well as paint the art for the book jacket. The experience of working with Ruth was tremendously exciting and I am grateful to her for trusting me with creating artwork for her book.

Reviews for A Garden of Marvels have been stellar. I read some of the manuscript as I was illustrating, but now I am looking forward to reading the final version. As our region is faced with another winter storm, I plan to be cozy with a cup of tea and a really good book on the couch.

Wander over to Ruth's website for more information.

Here is my oil painting for the cover, Orchid and Moth

The book jacket was designed by Mary Schuck.
Here is the book on my coffee table.
Very exciting!

A sneak peek into the book shows one of my illustrations, this one is of a Brussel Sprout plant.

It's official! Nice to see my name in print.

The book arrived in bookstores February 25th, 2014. Our local Barnes and Noble has two copies on the shelf. 

A very big Thank You to Ruth Kassinger for giving me such a wonderful opportunity and to HarperCollins for making my work look so good.

Radishes - A Beautiful Bunch

© Eva-Maria Ruhl
oil on board

These radishes started as a graphite drawing while I was studying at the Corcoran for my certificate in botanical art with Leslie Exton. My assignment was to draw a bouquet, something that just goes against my sense of beauty in simplicity. The radishes were one of many attempts to satisfy the requirement. More on the bouquet assignment in another post.

I resurrected the idea of the bouquet of radishes about two years ago, probably during winter, for lack of a subject. I chose to paint it in oil, much in the method I use for watercolors, from light to dark.
I always work in thin layers, glazes. Not every layer is documented, but here are the major steps in the progress of the oil painting:

On my easel now...

Pears with Personality!

© 2014, Eva-Maria Ruhl

Layers so far include 
- burnt sienna 
- indian yellow
- sap green
- alizarin crimson
Each layer has to dry before the next one can be applied. 

Finished Tulips

© 2014, Eva-Maria Ruhl

© 2014, Eva-Maria Ruhl
8 x 8
oil on board

On my easel now: two tulips

Just a few more finishing touches for two small oil paintings on board.

Here they are in the beginning

I slowly build up layers of transparent Winsor Newton oil paints. Even the background is layered.
Time consuming, but well worth it.

Ginkgo Leaves

The Ginkgo Tree is also known as the Maidenhair Tree, because it has leaves that resemble the pinnae of the maidenhair fern. The leaves that are unique among seed plants, fan shaped with veins radiating outward. Ginkgo Trees are especially beautiful in the fall, when they turn bright yellow.

 Neighborhood tree

Ginkgo Swirl
oil on canvas
© Eva-Maria Ruhl

Ginkgo in Fall
watercolor on Paper
© Eva-Maria Ruhl

Ginkgo Leaf Trio
oil on canvas
each 4"x6"
© Eva-Maria Ruhl