Could This be my Favorite Painting?

You like what you like. There is no scientific formula that tells us why a person is drawn to a piece of art. But when I finished painting this cyclamen while a snowstorm raged outside the studio, I liked it so much that it became my favorite — almost replacing the previous two favorites. ūüôā

Acrylic Painting ©Flora Doehler, 2014
10″ x 10″

I like the contrast, the composition, the texture and the colours.

But more importantly, the real fun is in making the painting because there is a mystery in the process.  I make the decisions about colour and method and technique, but as soon as I pick up the brush, the painting takes on a life of its own and evolves and shows me where to go next. Every painting is like solving a puzzle and it is embarking on an adventure.

It helped this week that snow swirled out the studio window while crows dug into the compost for any scraps they could find , (including eggshells). It made the studio time even sweeter with soothing music and coffee and a crackling wood stove.

crows in the snow

How I approached this painting

I started by flooding the canvas with gel medium. It’s like spreading a clear custard. While the medium is still wet, I brushed in the shapes of the cyclamen flowers with white acrylic paint.

Then I got out my Liquitex inks that are intensely pigmented and transparent. I squirted the ink into strategic areas of the wet canvas and gently brushed it into the gel.

Next, I drew the flowers and various other marks and lines on the canvas with my rubber tipped colour-shaper.

You can see that the gel is still wet which is a great advantage to me because it will display the brush strokes and textures.

I added some texture by ‘lifting’ some of the ink with bubble wrap and a scraper.

I continued adding detail. I let the painting dry.


The following day I added some gentle blue tones to the flowers to give them more dimension.

Cyclamen Acrylic Painting ©Flora Doehler, 2014 10" x 10" $250
Acrylic Painting ©Flora Doehler, 2014
10″ x 10″

3 thoughts on “Could This be my Favorite Painting?

  1. This is balm for winter-tired eyes! I like how you worked on the still-soft gel so your colouring marks are congruent with the texture of the shape being coloured. It bothers me when there is one design in the texture and an unrelated one in the colouring; this is great when they work together like a melody and counter melody, but otherwise the two seem to compete with each other for my perceiving them, like two kids practicing their different instruments and different music in the same room.

  2. Hi Flora,

    Wonderful painting and post. Favorite? Is that possible? I think they are all
    my favorite, as are you. In my class when I’m picking teams, I say, “Team One, and Team One, and Team One.” Just like the paintings. They are all first with me.

    XOXOXO Barbara

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