Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scarlet Red Amaryllis Flower Painting

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Red Amaryllis
Oil on canvas
12 x 12
 No longer available

"Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" is a title that reflects life for all of us - the spent faded blooms of yesterday are no more than memories, beautiful in their time but fleeting; the bud is the unfulfilled bright promise of tomorrow as yet unknown; and the blooming flower is today and today is what really matters.  In the best of times, in the worst of times, we look for the bright colors in every day, remembering the joys of yesterday, looking forward to tomorrow but knowing that today, this moment, is all we really have. 
This is the second in the new series of closeup paintings, portraits really, of my favorite flowers.  This amaryllis was an early Christmas gift a year or two ago - the date on my reference photos is December 26, so it must have bloomed in time for the holidays.  It is such an adventure to plant the lifeless looking bulb and then watch and wait impatiently for even the tiniest sign of life.  You check it every day, several times a day, hoping against hope to see "green."  There is no containing the excitement when at last the first leaf hesitantly breaks above ground.  Another and another appear and you really don't care if it ever blooms or not. It is green!  It is alive!  There is something more in your future besides snow and cold and one gray day following another.  When you have just about given up hope that it will ever bloom,  a stock shoots up, almost overnight and you know, you really know, that this one will fulfill its promise and bring bright color into your dreary life.  They bloom profusely but only for a short time, then it is time to put them into a "dark, dry area" to rest until next year.  But what joy they bring!

Flowers have always been a favorite subject, and I love painting them "up close and personal."  This particular series is unique in that I am painting them all on similar sized canvases, either 12 x 12 or 12 x 16 and on the deep, 1.5 inch thick stretched canvas.  The painting extends over the edges of the canvas,  so no frame is necessary.   They will be easy to mix and match, if anyone is so inclined, and easier for me to transport to art shows.  I may increase the size to 16 x 20 if it seems reasonable, but the smaller size will keep prices down, is easier to ship and to take to art shows.  Besides, as I mentioned, they can be mixed and matched.

This painting has been sold, but I love painting these, so there will be others.  There is no end to my list of favorite flowers,  so this series could continue for years. 

Thank you for reading - and enjoy today!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

New Painting New Series Elegance White Iris OIl

White Iris
Oil on stretched, wrapped canvas
12 x 16 x 1.5

Every year about this time, no matter how mild or how harsh the weather has been, I begin to long for signs of spring.  The days become longer and more pleasant - more sunshine, warmer days, bluer skies - and to me the most enjoyable - flowers seem to appear out of nowhere.  Crocus and Hyacinth, daffodils and tulips -  even the dandy lions and violets can be a welcome sight, depending on the kind of winter it's been.  Among my favorites are the beautiful iris - there are so many varieties, so many colors and color combinations.  And of course, the iris was a favorite of my mom's so there is a sentimental connection for me there as well.  This painting was done from a photograph taken in my garden during the late spring when flowers are at their most beautiful.   Each year I take hundreds of them, keeping in mind the long, dreary winter days ahead.  If I happen to miss a bloom or bud, I can always count on my photographer husband to share one of his. 

Most of my floral paintings are close ups of single or perhaps two or three blooms, rather than than panoramic paintings of gardens.  Don't know why, it is just the way I am wired, probably.  Looking closely at things may simply be a result of nearsightedness, but the idea of exploring the intricate beauty of a flower petal has always appealed to me.  I admire the work of Georgia O'Keefe, and even though my style is nothing at all like hers, we do seem to look at things in the same way.  The result for me is a painting that is realistic in style, yet somewhat abstract in composition. 

"Elegance" is one of a new series of floral paintings.  I love the 12 x 16 inch format and especially the deep canvas.  It is a dramatic statement, as the painting is extended to the sides, top and bottom of the canvas and it is displayed without a frame. 

This painting has now been sold, but watch this space for others available soon.  And remember,  spring always comes, eventually...