Drum roll, please! I hereby present my first floral painting*:
It represents nine hours of development under the tutelage of Deirdre Riley, whose own floral paintings are simply spectacular. I went very slowly (for me) in order to grasp the all the points she wanted to get across to us, her “community education” students at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
I am flying to Florida this Wednesday, there to paint daily en plein air, so I will miss the next setup in the floral class, but maybe they will still be working on it when I get back.
*Actually when I was much, much younger–between 18 and 20–I painted a still life with flower arrangement as a gift to my brother and sister-in-law. I think most of it came out of my head. At that time of my life, I had had zero experience at painting from life. Everything was from imagination. Then in my last year of college I signed up for a course in oil painting, Painting from “life” yes, but all very still life–not even dried flowers, every object was dead. Paper, wood, ceramic, and so on. Then, in a later year, taking a night class at the Museum School in Boston, for one session we had a live model. I painted a very crude portrait on a very large panel, which panel had followed me around for the decades from Boston to Florida, back to Boston then Michigan, ending up in NH. I finally reused that panel a few years ago to paint the abstract landscape that I call “Darkly“. I like to suppose that the portrait underneath influenced the new layer of paint and the title, in that the portrait and the meaning of the new layer are hidden from casual view.
About this Floral Painting No. 1, I want you to be aware that the background and table top were covered with brown wrapping paper, Kraft paper I think it is called?, then the paper was draped with gauze to affect its hue. The background gauze was lavender. The table top gauze was lime green. I chose to ignore the background lavender but did paint in the lime green gauze.
I enjoyed working on this painting. It is actually a still life, one of my first in the last nine years. The flowers were not alive, of course. How could they be, and last for three weeks? I believe they were silk. I have never been drawn to paint still lifes, but I have always enjoyed painting stuff into my figurative paintings. Flowers may be the lure to suck me into the world of the still life.