We had a plan. I would go to Salt Spring Island for three days and I, along with my mum and dad, would go out to work en plein air every day. It had been sunny for weeks. I went to Salt Spring and the next morning…. it was cloudy. And cool. And grey. Really. And this continued for all three days. Argh! That wasn’t going to stop us though! I looked around indoors and even though I was surprised by the subject I chose, I decided to take on the challenge of painting a bouquet of flowers. Not any old bouquet mind you. This was a bouquet to celebrate Mum and Dad’s 65th wedding anniversary (!).
This bouquet painting was no easy task. The bouquet was hardly colourful (and you know how I love
I worked on the pastel over two mornings. After day two, we all had a look at it and my dad pointed out the lack of interest on the left side especially when compared to the rest of the bouquet. I agreed. So back in Victoria, I spent time adding a little bit to the painting. I was so concerned about overworking it! Very near the end, I made a small change. You’ll see that below.
Let’s get started.
Back in Victoria, I take a look at the piece. I haven’t seen it for a week and can see things I need to change or tweak. For instance, as mentioned earlier, I wanted to add more interest and dynamism to the left side of the bouquet. I raised the lip of the vase and slightly flattened the ellipse. And at the last minute, in a spontaneous moment, I added a second side to the table. I felt it would help the painting which I think it does.
Painting a bouquet of flowers, especially this bouquet, was a challenge, but stretching yourself as a painter is when you explore the edges of your skill and knowledge. It tells you where your strengths are and also where you may need more practice. I found it kinda scary dealing with so little colour (but as you can see, my painting is still pretty colourful!) and also a bouquet of not very defined flowers (except for the gladiolas).
Also a secret. With our plein air adventure scuttled, did I really feel like painting? Truth be told, NO I did not! I felt like climbing into a comfy chair with a good book. But I pushed through that temptation and did that work and that’s what felt reeeeeaaaalllly good. The process of painting (no matter what the outcome) is FULL of pleasure! (Did you see my recent blog on this very topic?)
A wee bit more…..On the third day, we decided to take a drive and do a sketch somewhere despite the grey day. For my sketch, I worked in three values thinking perhaps if there was enough info in the sketch, one day I’d create a painting from it. Here’s the sketch:
And, one more thing, on the two days I painted the bouquet, Mum sketched me!! Here are her two sketches. (She added the colour wash later.)
And that’s it for this time!! You know how I love to hear from you so do please leave a comment!
Until next time,