After a month of gray-dominated paintings involving grandparents, I was overjoyed to return to vivid colors. In August I'm going to have a one-person show at the Decatur (IL) Area Arts Council. I had applied for a 2014 exhibit, but their August 2013 artist had to back out due to--I think it was a house fire...? Talk about one of my greatest fears. If our house was burning down, I know which paintings I'd try to save first, but I definitely wouldn't be able to rescue all my work. I can't even imagine how that would feel.
Anyway, the Decatur people asked me if I could display my work in just a few short months, and I said yes. So between now and then, I'll be producing as many new paintings as I can to bulk up my body of work. That kind of rules out creating month-long paintings like Treasure or Ruby Liberty Dragonfly, although I plan to paint more jewelry still-lifes for the show. But each of these paintings will feature four or five sparkly things instead of something like eighty.
But back to the flowers! This is a wilting parrot tulip after I had worked on it for a couple of days. I planted ten of these frilly, fancy tulips a year and a half ago and was beyond excited to watch them emerge last spring. They were even more beautiful as they wilted, and their petals created interesting and dynamic shapes. I took several dozen photos and saved this one, the queen of them all, for the next time I felt the urge to paint something floral.
That super-hot red is a combination of opera (out of control pink) and cadmium red light (stupefying orange). I can't tell you how pleasing it is to mix those two colors. Something scientific/magical happens.
I tightened up the petals a bit and added some freckly spots. The background came together quickly, and I painted some of that during my watercolor workshop a few weeks ago (also at Decatur). It's been a while since I've had an audience, and it took me back to my teaching days when students would watch me work. I took some photos of people at the workshop, and here is my favorite one:
On to painting two! This is a passion flower I spotted at Kevin and Natalie's home in Orlando. Jeff and I visited them last month, and as soon as I saw this strange blue flower/mini-spaceship, I knew I would paint it. To create its dozens of stringy blue petals, I masked off those parts and painted the petals and leaves behind them.
Next I worked on the flower's amazing center, a fun combination of magenta and acid green, and painted the petals a flat blue (with dark purple and white areas). I don't even want to know how many petals are on this flower.
I added shadows to each petal (painstaking!) and lifted some highlights with a combination of tiny brush/water/paper towel. That took the better part of an afternoon, and I fell into assembly line mode. Done, done, on to the next one.
And here's the finished product!
It was smooth sailing once I finished that flower, although I began to suffer from dark green fatique. The bud/pod and the little springy things provided some relief. Both of these paintings are 10.5"x13.5", and I'm eager to pop them into frames.
We've reached the part of my new-painting posts where I link to Imagekind and beg you to buy prints, but Imagekind has been having site-wide technical problems for several weeks (!!). They've assured their artists that they are working on solving the problems, but many of us are understandably disgruntled. I make most of my money in November and December with a little Mother's Day bump in the spring. So the timing here is bad for me, especially now that I'm in portfolio-building mode and not painting people's grandparents for cash.
While we wait for Imagekind to get its act together, I have this gifty alternative for you:
It's my CafePress merchandise store, and last night I spent three hours uploading images and creating new products for you to peruse and enjoy. I'm sorry, but I want that bag so damn much! Please consider supporting me by picking up a thing or two, and I'll let you know when Imagekind is back to normal.
Please like my Facebook art page if you haven't already! I update it every few days with in-progress paintings, and let's face it, commenting is easier there than it is here. No stupid Captcha thing, and I respond to just about everybody, too!
Thanks for your support. :)
PS It's Bun's birthday today--she is 12!