This winter I’ve been printmaking using easy-peasy materials. I enjoy the high contrast and the textures that printmaking presents, and I wanted to bring that same feel to my next painting.
Inspiration comes from different places all the time. In the case of this painting the color, the tulips, the pears, the spring season, and the friendship behind the vase all combined to inspire me.
At the grocery store the other day I bought these gorgeous tulips and some very plump, luscious, tasty beautiful pears. I have to confess that I bought the pears because of their colour. I knew that I had to use that color in a big way in a painting!
I decided to use the pear green as the background color. I use Golden Fluid Acrylics for most of my acrylic painting. I like the intensity of the pigment and the fluidity. For years I painted exclusively in watercolour and the transition to painting with acrylics felt better using fluid paints.
To paint the background I squirted three of the colors I would use for the painting onto my canvas – green-gold, Hansa yellow, and titan buff, I added mat medium and mixed the paint directly on the canvas for two reasons:
- it is a lot faster to mix the color on the canvas
- the resulting ground has some texture and variation
I keep practicing painting with a reduced palette, because in my experience, it results in more harmony to the painting. The colours I choose are often determined by how I feel about the colour and the given subject matter on the day that my painting starts. Some days pea green “speaks” to me, and on other days I am drawn to a coral colour. So, just to be on the safe side, this time I coated out canvases with both colours!
After studying my subject matter and moving my props around for awhile; after putting on some music and making the perfect cup of tea, I sketched out my big shapes with chalk, erased some of them, moved the shapes around, added more, erased and generally played around with the composition until I felt satisfied with it. Then I captured those shapes with paint. It’s just a guide because as I get into the painting, I will still change the position of objects.
While I’m drawing it out, I’m thinking about what colours I’ll use. For me, the subject matter is for reference only and I rarely do a literal reproduction of the exact object or colours. Although I bought the parrot tulips for their colour and shape, on painting day the red didn’t appeal to me anymore so I changed their colour.
I open up my paints, adding a dioxine purple to the original colours that I used in the background.
The finished painting.
Coming here to live in Bear River has been a rebirth and renewal of my creativity because it has given me the opportunity to spend more time painting, writing and smelling the tulips.