Acrylic Painting – The Red Tulips

I have a strong need to paint from life so wintertime here is a real challenge for me! It is a great feeling to be present with a living flower and to sense the life force of it. Sometimes I paint from photographs I’ve taken, but it’s not as satisfying an experience.

In the Sunlight
30″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas by Flora Doehler SOLD
at the Flight of Fancy, Bear River Nova Scotia

After months of flower deprivation, it was so exciting to find tulips for sale in the grocery store mid winter. One of the (few) disadvantages of living in southwest Nova Scotia is the almost complete absence of flowers in the wintertime – except for expensive roses.

Red tulips against the snow. I would ‘fake’ a spring backdrop for my painting.


The first marks on the canvas are the hardest.

Although I try to abstract the scene and even change what I am actually looking at,  when a painting is working for me, I  get lost in it and I feel like I am channelling the essence of the object of my gaze.

At this stage, my focus is the colours.

Every painting evolves differently. Some come easily, others are trickier and need more time. The trick is to stay fresh and positive about it. Just like with life’s challenges!

This painting went through quite a few stages and changes before I finished it. You can watch this development in the movie I’ve made for you.

I decided to create large areas of calmness in the painting–a departure from my usual style of creating texture and movement on every square inch of the canvas! The architectural shapes in the work let me experiment with mixing geometrical and organic shapes.I really liked the dripping paint on the bottom of the canvas, but I finally had to let it go and tone it down so that it wouldn’t compete with the drama of the tulips.

I love the way tulips nod their heads. The shapes of their leaves and stems are so beautiful and delicate. I really enjoyed being in the tulip universe while painting this.You can visit my painting at the Flight of Fancy gallery in Bear River where it is for sale.

2 thoughts on “Acrylic Painting – The Red Tulips

  1. Hi Flora,How exciting to watch this video. So engaging that I was talking to you while you made your decisions.Great to watch.XO Barbara

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