I bought some daffodils for the house and later, whilst cleaning, stood the vase on a worktop in front of a window and thought that it might make an uplifting painting.
I decided to crop the flowers to give the feeling of them bursting out and filling the frame. As usual I had a tussle with shading the yellows and I had hoped to get petal shapes in the background by creating some negative shapes, well, I tried, but I did manage to get a little movement there that, I think, adds to the energy.
For me there is nothing more symbolic of spring than the voluptuous forms of hyacinths that fill the space with their bursting form and fill the air with a penetrating scent.
I thought that I would do the group that sat on our window sill in close up. Half way through I was beginning to wonder why I had bothered, with the churning and twisting of forms making life very complicated. In the end I am quite pleased with the outcome and the presence imposed by the tight mass of flowers.
I got the pastels out for the last blog and thought I could do with having a stock check. This entails doing a few paintings and seeing what hues and tones I am short of. I found a shop in Liverpool which sells Unison pastels. Normally I buy them over the internet, but it is far better making sure that you get the right ones by seeing them in the flesh and trying them out. So here’s a scene of thistle seed heads in the sun. I was sat waiting for someone on a park bench this autumn when the sun came out and I was caught by the brightness of the seed heads and the way they seemed to glow against the shadows. So I snapped a few photos and here we are and I’ve got my list for a shopping trip.
A late entry to my upcoming solo exhibition of flower paintings. I have assembled 16 paintings to show at my framers next week. So I am spending time getting things ready, at the expense of painting.
I must admit to getting a bit down after putting work in a couple of mixed exhibitions of late and selling nothing, but last week I entered another and went to collect my work to find that I had sold three. One of life’s small victories which puts a spring back in your step. So I’m entering this one a bit more optimistically – but only a little bit.
Another previously attempted painting, but unlike the last post where I had messed around with the edges of some paintings, this one was started from scratch. Hopefully I have captured the luminosity which I felt the first version lacked and I have simplified the design as the last one was a little too busy.
These lillies, which grow in my back garden, were supposed to be red but as the years go by they take on a more orange hue. They also grow to be about six feet tall so you end up looking up at them and into the sun if it is getting low in the sky.
A reminder of summer as the frosts gather to clear away what remains.
Last month I posted a painting of bougainvillea which I was going to use for a flower demo in a couple of weeks time. After my initial enthusiasm I became disenchanted with it, even after trying out a modified approach. In the end I gave up and did some forest paintings to calm my nerves.
I then saw some images of my perennial blue geraniums in morning light. I had originally shied away from this subject as a demo piece because of the big areas of darks. Anyway, I gave it a go and was surprised to find that it worked well. I could quickly get the required darks and build up the painting in a short time.
Here is the result. I think I could change the design slightly. I do love the buds and might include a few more next time.
Another trial painting. Checking out what I can demonstrate. It certainly wont be this. Too much overpainting to get the darks. I have trimmed the painting above. It certainly needs more flower and less background and those Californian poppy leaves are a bugger to do – though I do love the contrasts from the white page to the deep mixes of indigo and the poppy petals create lovely swirls of colour. I’ll be back with another go at this.
Having been away for a few days wielding a paintbrush at my daughter’s house – though only on doors and other woodwork, as well as a multitude of other DIY tasks – I havent done much of the other painting.
Just before I left I did this trial for a demo which I need to give in October. It is of my bougainvillea which is flowering profusely in a pot. I think it needs a few tweaks but could be a candidate for a subject. Anyway, I offer it as a blog.
I have a number of hydrangeas in the garden but they are predominately pink despite adding buckets of aluminium salts to to turn them blue, the colour I prefer. Someone recently told me that the soil also needs to be acidic, so that may be my next approach, but the other day as I was crawling amongst the undergrowth I discovered I actually had a small blue hydrangea which I think was a gift from a visitor. So you got a painting. There may be more of these if I discover the trick of turning the rest blue.
Talking of more: here’s another attempt at my lush gladioli, the subject of the last post. There were a few issues with the first one, despite the overall effect of the main blooms that I was very satisfied with.
My gladioli have started flowering so I have been tempted to paint them. I have not been satisfied with earlier attempts. This time: well its a bit nearer where I want to be. I started with a simpler background – though I complicated it towards the end. Also focusing in on a few blooms helped. There may be more attempts, though the winds and the rain have taken their toll on the flowers. Still, at least the lawn looks a little healthier.