Painting the Garden of Persistence

I have 5 new paintings on the go and I’m eager to tell you about the one that is closest to completion. It’s temporary title is “Garden of Persistence”.
I once looked at a list of 50 invasive weed species in Nova Scotia and recognized most of them because they’re growing at our place! Yet, I see beauty and persistence in all of them.

This new painting is for my upcoming April 15-23 show. It’s based on a photograph I took after a fresh snowfall when every twig and branch and seed pod was dusted with snow.

painting detail. ©Flora Doehler, 2017
painting detail. ©Flora Doehler, 2017

What inspired me to take the photograph and then to paint it? I was drawn to:

  • the linear, vertical shapes of the distant trees silhouetted against the sky contrasted against
  • the horizontal flow and movement of the land
  • the textures of the grasses and plant material
  • the ball shapes of the snow captured in the dry heads up the Queen Anne’s lace
  • the contrast of the dark trees against white snow
Invasive Species Garden in Winter. Photo ©Flora Doehler

I wanted to make a “minor” change. I didn’t want to paint a snow scene. In my mind’s eye I kept seeing my garden of invasive species as they looked in the fall.

I selected colors from my 100 swatches. Warm rust colors predominate here in autumn. My other colors were Napthol Red Light, Vivid Red Orange, Teal, Diarylide Yellow, Chromium Oxide Green and Black and White.

Acrylic painting on paper. 30" x 22" ©Flora Doehler, 2017
Acrylic painting on paper. 30″ x 22″ ©Flora Doehler, 2017

And why not just paint what I see in the photo? I’ve made a short video to show you how and why I use photographs as a jumping off point.

Next week I’ll write about that difficult decision of deciding a theme for the show.

Thanks for watching and reading!

9 thoughts on “Painting the Garden of Persistence

  1. It is so interesting to read about your process. Although I am a photographer, I face many of the same dilemmas when creating an image and I enjoy reading about how you tackle them.

    1. Thanks Sara! Aren’t there infinite ways to take a photo, paint a scene, weave a piece etc etc.? That decision making is always a challenge for me. Showing and telling people about mine is helpful for me to identify what works for me. I too like to hear about other artists’ thought processes.

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