Something unexpected happened this week that led to my latest flower painting getting its name. After I posted a comment on Facebook saying it still needed a title and suggestions were welcome, I had a message from a teacher at one of Skye’s primary schools asking if I would let the children in her class name it for me. As if that weren’t delightful enough, I then discovered they had studied me as a local artist earlier this year and were very inspired by my artwork. Wow.
The class came up with a long list of suggestions and after much discussion they combined the top two into their final name suggestion: Dancing Skye Daisies. This was because the painting was done on Skye and they thought it looked as though the daisies were dancing in the breeze.
It’s a thoughtful, apt title, and I love it.
Yesterday, by arrangement, I popped in to show the class the painting in real life and chatted a little about it (including how the grass also looks like seaweed and the sky like water). Consensus was that it was much bigger than they thought!
My thanks to all for the very special event that will be treasured, along with the story behind the name “Dancing Skye Daisies“.
A month on and I feel I’ve resolved my Daisies & Foxgloves painting (see previous work-in-progress photo here). It’s had another layer of blue sky/rain, then another round with two yellows for grass/stems applied with a bristle-hair sword brush, a round with magenta and permanent rose on the foxgloves, and a round of fresh yellow centres and white petals to the daisies. I’m happy with it, and hopefully the person who commissioned it will be too. The colour in this photo isn’t quite right, taken in uneven light; the right-hand half is closest, the left is too saturated.
Now it’s arrived safely at its home in the States, here’s a photo of my latest commissioned sheep painting. The request was for a long, winding road, a bit of sea and some black-faced sheep. The title comes from whereabouts she’d stayed on Skye. (Yes, indeed, there are addresses on Skye that are “half of [name]”. To make things even more confusing, particularly to online forms, you also get addresses such as “Half of One [croft name]” or “Half of Two [croft name]”.)
I was asked by someone who got married on Skye this summer if I would create a sheep painting for her in which the weather was sunny and the Cuillin were in the background. A few other details in the composition also relate to the occasion. This animated .gif is a sequence of photos taken while it was in progress:
Here’s the almost-final painting, and a detail from it showing the tiny flock on the hillside. The title the in-house critic and I agreed on: “Love View“.
So, at the end of another day’s painting, this is how Grazing the Loch looks (this was it yesterday). The weather’s got a bit windier, creating white horses on the sea and blowing in a bit of mist. Some daisies have also popped up in the grass. You can’t see it in the photos, but the cliff edge in the distance has some iridescent silver and gold on it, part of an underlayer; it shows if there’s side light. It’s now at the “Am I there yet?” stage, where I ponder it.
Update: I showed it to the couple who commissioned it, and they love it. So now just to tidy up the edges and varnish it.
This commissioned painting requested sheep standing in a landscape with an autumnal feel, dominated by reds and browns. I will have another few rounds with it, but first it needs to dry completely. I already know I need to add white to the sheep, some ‘pure white’ to sit on on top of the wet-in-wet mixed colours, and work on the sea more. I also need to decide if there’s too much red, whether it wants more autumnal yellows and browns. That I’ll decide by looking at it in various lights, and once the sheep have another layer of wool on them.