Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
12 x 12 x 1.5
Peonies are the sort of transition flower, between spring and summer. In my part of the world they are often blooming on Memorial Day, and I remember my Mother arranging huge bouquets in Mason canning jars to take to the cemetery to decorate the graves. I believe that hers were mostly red and pink, but I found this one in Minnesota several years ago while vacationing near Grand Marais. I took a photograph mostly for the novelty of seeing a peony in bloom in July - their growing season is much different from ours. I thought at the time it would make a nice painting, but it took me all these years to develop the skills and the patience to attempt such a feat.
This is another in my series of close up paintings of flowers. It may have been somewhat inspired by the work of Georgia O'Keefe, although my style is entirely different. I wasn't consciously thinking of her when I began to realize that my point of view is somewhat different from that of many artists. It happened on a painting trip with my husband to the North Shore of Lake Superior. We had been painting at various spots along the shore for a few days when one morning I looked out over the water and saw a quiet lake, much like the lake I had painted the day before, some rocks that resembled those I had already painted and some trees...well, you get the picture. So did I, several times already. Then I turned around and there it was! A tiny blue flower on the end of a long delicate stem - and it was growing out of the smallest of crevices between two rocks! Such unexpected beauty, as well as some deep symbolism which I still haven't quite figured out, but it made a great painting. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of the painting and it found another home a long time ago, but I will never forget that "ah ha moment."
I learned two important lessons on that trip:
1. When you find yourself unable to move forward, change your point of view.
2. Always take a closer look.
It reminded me of the first verse of a somewhat long and rambling poem by William Blake,
To See the World in a Grain of Sand:
To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.
I have always loved those particular lines. In one way or another, it is what all artists do.
This painting is on gallery wrapped canvas, 1.5 inches deep and is meant to be displayed without a frame. I think it is my favorite of this series so far, but then I have said that about all of them. It is listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals and I hope to have it on Fine Art America soon.