Attraction of opposites…

The lovely sunny weather just draws you out to take photos in the garden.  Today I was taken with the Etoile Violette clematis that grows over the shed and took a photo of a sunlit spray.  Under it and totally by happy accident there is a crocosmia plant growing and the complementary colours are fabulous together.

Today I had the idea of combining them in a painting.

So I’m drawing the scene first as the crocosmia will need to be masked out carefully to show up brightly against the background. To use masking fluid, you need to have a drawing to follow.

Etoile Violette clematis
Another quite complicated painting but no one said it was going to be easy!  Purple is not the most straightforward colour but glorious when it works.  I’m looking forward to dropping in bright orange in the background washes to represent the crocosmia and of course there will be loads of negative painting to do.  Lovely!

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In production mode again…the paint is flowing!

If I haven’t posted here recently, it’s because, for a change I’ve been busy PAINTING!

I thought I would share some of the work produced.

First of all the Sissinghurst lilies which were not without their problems, but I overcame most of them.  I was painting this some of the time in the seaside apartment and being wonderfully distracted by the sea view.  Not an excuse, you  understand!

Painting the Lilies
I was pleased with the end result although I realised halfway through that I had got bogged down in an over detailed background.  I simplified it as best I could, and this included sponging out and water being poured on it!  and here is the finished result.  
Lilies…finished painting
I then decided that I should finish the Clematis Montana painting started in April.  And that was quite enjoyable too.  
Clematis Montana and Ivy
Those ivy leaves were good fun to do.
And then the day before yesterday my eye was caught by the buttery coloured Day Lilies that were soaking up the sun in the garden.  So I took some photos and one of them had the light effect I was looking for where the tops of the flowers were bleached out by the very strong sunshine.  I imagined that against a dark background and was inspired.  Isn’t it always the same, that you wait months for inspiration and then several inspiring subjects come along at once, just like buses!
This is what inspired me
My Painting finished yesterday
I was encouraged by some pals on facebook to do a looser less finished version and so I did.
Hope you like this little gallery…

Sissinghurst, an artist’s delight…

Even flower paintings can have a sense of narrative; they can tell a story and invite the viewer to imagine being in the scene enjoying the moment.
When I saw these lilies next to a welcoming shady corner complete with table and chairs, I couldn’t resist taking several photos and enjoying the knowledge that this would make an interesting painting.



The scene was at Sissinghurst, in the famous white garden created by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson.  There are people there still who continue to nurture and emulate the couple’s sense of artistry and creative genius, as the lilies had been cleverly placed to create a tableau and a certain atmosphere.
Here’s my drawing, which I enjoyed making.  Lilies are wonderful subjects to draw, so generous and open and creating beautiful forms.  They are almost my favourite flower…after hollyhocks, daisies, irises, etc…!


There was a fig tree forming a backdrop to the scene.  Lots of detail and opportunities for negative painting!  I would have to outline the leaf forms and make the sense of depth apparent, but then I would need to subdue all this so that the “show off” lilies would stand out and take centre stage.  My only regret is that there was no chink of sunshine making its way into the scene at the time of day I was there.

But we will see where this goes…

Apricots and cream…

Here is the Irises painting I started at Keyworth.  I was quite pleased with it and thought I would show you the finished effect.



Apricot Irises

The main challenge was the colour of the irises which was a sort of apricot, a creamy base with orange and pink in it but some blue as well. 

The other potential problem was the right hand iris which might have drawn the attention of the viewer away from the focal point which I suppose has to be the top left hand iris with the eye taking in the largest iris on the way.

Anyway, I enjoyed getting back into painting again with this and my beloved irises in general.  It has been a long troublesome time with a dearth of  inspiration to get me going.  But I know I’m not alone in experiencing this.  

It would be so nice to know what you think!