I took photos of an apple tree in bloom by the ocean a while ago and finally decided it needed to be a painting. It seemed so fragile there in a way and yet obviously had been surviving in that location for a long time.
I live on one of the Gulf Islands off Canada’s West coast. After a recent winter storm, we were out of power for about a day. No big deal. We’re used to that. But then, our main (actually only) communications line hit the main power line (both crossing from one island to another) in the wind and ended up in the ocean. No phone land lines, no wifi and very little cell phone service with sporadic access to data …and most importantly – no 911 service. Five days later we got a temporary fix. Anyway, all that to say “Blooming at the Edge” is sometimes a more active struggle than you might think!
A bouquet of local flowers that I just had to paint while they were still fresh, along with some potted flowers in the background. Vibrant colours as well as a variety of shapes and textures in the greenery were fun to try to capture in a loose way. The most fun part? …painting the orange lanterns! …and today is Halloween! Although it is a still life, I set it up outdoors and painted it “en plein air” on the deck because I loved the way the sunlight made everything glow and dance.
Recently I decided to go out locally with a friend plein air painting. We had an idea to go to a nearby farm field and paint the cows in their bucolic setting! Great idea but the farmer had moved the cows and there wasn’t one to be seen. I will spare you the details of how each place we decided to try fell flat for one reason or another. I think we were on our fifth idea – and putting miles on in our search – when my friend suggested calling a friend of hers and going to their garden. Well that turned out to be wonderful! They gave us wine and snacks and I got to paint the last hollyhocks of the season and an enormous bumblebee …a lovely afternoon of painting after all.
The California lilacs are bursting with blooms and humming with life at this time of year. Capturing the scene including a little tricolour bumblebee seemed such a natural choice …and that tiny pop of orange really makes the painting!
A new mini. A damselfly perched on a yellow waterlily also called “spadderdock” and a lot of other names. These flowers are not as classically lovely as the white waterlilies that I also grew up with, but there’s something fascinating about these intensely yellow blooms. I also enjoyed a relatively simple colour palette for a change!
This one was painted en plein air out on our deck on this lovely sunny Victoria Day long weekend. It took two afternoon sessions because of the larger than usual canvas and the quickly changing light. Luckily, it was sunny both Saturday and Sunday so I was able to continue in very similar conditions. I decided to really abstract the background elements – both the slatted table the vase was sitting on and the forest and sky beyond are represented by playing around in value tones. With the bouquet itself, I had a lot fun deciding which elements to pull out in some detail and which to make more suggestive. A very pleasant way to spend some time with the scent of lilacs wafting by…
I was playing Karl Jenkins “The Peacemakers” while painting this one …thinking about the world situation but wanting to have some hope for peace. Out of the darkness, new growth and blossoms that overcome the tangle of the thicket with their beauty.
Playing with colour! Warm and cool… and complementary orange and blue. As I painted, the idea of a garden started taking shape – leaf textures and floral forms. Maybe that’s a pond in the upper right. I like the feeling of this piece – calm but full of life. Looking forward to the buds in my garden showing their faces…
This mini was based on a photo I took visiting my parent’s home last summer. The flowers were blooming and everything was alive with pollinators of all kinds. I kind of felt that this butterfly was looking a bit askance at me but I decided it was just shy. 🙂