We are in the full swing of summer here and the black-flies are finally gone. This means I can spend time outside painting without having to be in my mesh tent. This also means that the flower beds are a riot of colour and I can’t work fast enough to capture the joy, exuberance and happiness that I feel when I look at the growth all around me.
Last summer I experimented with acrylic inks and textures and one of the resulting canvasses stared back at me all winter saying ‘I’m not finished’. I wasn’t sure where to go next with it until the day I decided to paint a grouping of hot coloured July flowers.
The first flowers of spring are usually purples and magentas such as iris and peonies, but then July brings orange and red lilies and red lucifer crocosmia and fuschia flocks. So this changes my palette colours.
It is so freeing to work outside. The birds fly past, the breezes move the air and I have the added colour inspiration of flowers blooming in the garden. I can step back as far as I want to and not be distracted about dripping paint on the ground.
The perennials that I planted a few years ago have multiplied and expanded, especially this summer with all the rain. They are a real feast for the eyes and provide me with a constant source of subject matter.
After my initial go at the painting, I didn’t work on it for a week because of the torrential rains outside or the intense heat. Instead, I studied it while working on other pieces in the studio and I waited for the weather to change. I like to work this way because when I come back to the painting, I’ve had a chance to resolve in my mind where to go with it next. And although my original goal was to have a painting ONLY with reds and purples, I decided that it needed some rich darks and it was OK if some of those were blue which is one of my favorite colours.
Finally the weather cleared and I set up again outside and continued.
When the painting felt finished, I brought it into the studio so that I could see the colour and tones in indoor light. I am excited about the layering in this painting and the richness of colour.
I’m very happy with this painting. It’s going to be tough to part with this one. I have a few minor additions to add as well as painting the edges of the canvas and attaching the hanging wire at the back. It will be looking for a new home next week. It may go to the Flight of Fancy gallery in Bear River or to the Nova Scotia Art Sales and Rental Gallery in Halifax. If you are interested in seeing this painting or purchasing it, please contact me.