Flower Quickies

I spent the most part of today slogging along in the Dog Free Zone.  Emptying out old pots, refilling them, pruning, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, planting bulbs, cutting back overgrown critters, toiling away in a sweltering 67F for 3 hours.  Poor me, eh?  But just imagine what I will see in a few months!!  And I still have seeds to plant as well.

So, I was honestly too tired to focus on anything requiring logic.  I needed to just paint.  Flowers seem appropriate given all the gardening.  And I also have a couple of dozen of dazzling orangy red tulips.  Trust me, the real ones look far better than this painting!

And then there are those wonderful flowers – bulbs – which grow and bloom in winter, when all is drab and drear.  Crocus anyone?  Here, a bit of snow is all that is left.

Each of these paintings was done with a time limit of 30 minutes.  You can make a lot of mistakes in 30 minutes and paint some truly awful stuff – that is why quick studies can be so educational.  And you can paint some great stuff, and wonder, how the hell did you do that!?

Crocus

This became more of an impression of crocus rather than a detailed study.  To tell the truth, I have never seen a crocus in my life!  I can imagine the joy they bring, though, as they peek through the last of the winter’s snow.  Hyacinths were the bulbs that bloomed in the snow in the midwest, soon followed by tulips and daffodils.  I tried to work with negative space to define the flowers, as well as blur the background and put a bit more detail in the foreground – perspective in action on a conscious level!

This is the reverse side of the paper I used yesterday, St. Cuthbert’s Millford.  This paper has a really nice tooth, not smooth or CP, and smoother than rough.  It catches the brush bristles rather nicely.  Colors are dreamy when blending together.  It also lifts well – some color ran into another area and I was able to lift it out and recover to a degree from the mischief.  I don’t know if Arches would handle it as well as this paper, but that is something I should check out.

In addition to no longer making masses of mud, I find I am actually remembering things – make long brush strokes, lay down large areas of light colors and leave the whites in the process; think about the direction of the light; a few rules about perspective.