My camellias are in full bloom at the moment, being in a shady position, they are always a little late. I must admit to taking many photos of them as they have a lush, richness of colour them that is as alluring as it is difficult to reproduce. It took a lot of glazes to get to this position and it could be that I am not finished yet. I have been fiddling around for too long and felt I needed a break to fully appraise this effort. Even looking at the painting on the screen as I write I can see areas that might have been tackled differently. Yeah, you are never quite finished.
I had the good fortune to sell a floral painting the other day at an exhibition I am in but I felt I didnt have a good enough replacement, so I tried modifying a couple that I had with mixed results. In the end I put the phlox up on the wall. I may have another go at the camelias. It’s always the same when you are working up to the wire.
I have painted camellias before and the flowers need such a density of colour that trying to achieve it by layering pigment gives a flat dull result. The same has happened here, although the photo is a little kind.
I started with loose washes and built up form as you can see at the top. Perhaps the image comes in too quickly out of the background and we are straight into the flowers. I have tried to balance the reds with the greens of the leaves , dragging underpainting into them and they have the heavy glossiness you get with camellia leaves – certainly in my garden.