Flower Frustration & Resolution (Hopefully)

Given Monday’s Motivator to Keep Striving, I thought I’d share work-in-progress photos of one of the paintings I’ve been working on this week, one that’s been testing my resilience. Wildflowers are something that have bounced around my mind’s eye for some time, but a subject I’ve not translated into paint much. “Listening to Trees” was the first time I painted foxgloves to my satisfaction. My idea with this painting was for it to echo myforest paintings, but be only flowers. It’s a large canvas, 1×1 metre (about 39×39 inches).

The first photo shows where the painting was when I downed brushes yesterday. To my mind, very much still a work-in-progress that lacked oomph. It needed more tonal contrast, a stronger sense of sunlight, pinker foxgloves. The last thing I had done was to add a stronger dark tone using a mixture of Prussian blue, burnt umber, and perylene green. It was a bit streaky but once dry my plan was to do something similar with some “sunlight” and “blue sky”, then reassess.

How long would this take? Would it work? Doing it is the only way to know. I might make it worse, but ultimately that’s irrelevant as it’s not right now anyway.

Flower painting with foxgloves and daisies
Work-in-progress. Size: 1x1m.

Awake at four this morning thinking about this painting, I headed back into my studio to give it another go. I dug out some fluid medium, cadmium yellow, phthalo blue, and titanium white, then played around with very fluid paint and gravity. This photo shows where the painting is now. I like it more — it’s less static — but will reassess once it’s daylight. Studio cat seemed to approve though.

Flower painting with foxgloves and daisies
When I put the canvas on the floor to take a photo, studio cat came to help.

Update: I ultimately decided I did like what I’d done and made only minor tweaks.

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19 Replies to “Flower Frustration & Resolution (Hopefully)”

  1. Thanks Natalya! I’m liking what I did with it early this morning, and have subsequently only added some additional white and yellow to the daisies in the bottom third of the painting. To enhance the sense of sun on them, and being a big closer. While I can see all sorts of tweaks I could make, I’m going to leave it be!

  2. Love both versions actually, as well as your beautiful white cat. Do you ever paint him/her? Working on a painting that has gone half wrong, will wait until tomorrow (very wet Good Friday) and re-work. Can’t make it worse than it already is!

    1. I haven’t successfully painted Ghost yet. Don’t be mislead by his angelic face… his middle name is Curiosity!

  3. I’ve been working and re working on a painting of cherry blossoms, seems like spring is the time for flowers. I like floral paintings and do experiment when doing them. My pure white cat (trouble) also helps me. Good to hear from you.

    1. Hard not to be inspired by spring, I think! Yesterday I was waiting for an oncoming car at a passing place and got distracted by blossoms on a tree (another Van Gogh inspiration moment). We had a kitty called Trouble; I saw her as a tiny kitten alongside a motorway when I was stuck in a traffic jam; goodness knows where she’d come from.

  4. Love your changes to wildflower painting. You can loose yourself in the painting and feel the warmth of the sun.

    1. Thanks Sandy! We’ve been having a sunny spring on Skye, really making spring’s colours glow.

    1. Thank you Shelley. I love texture… though not when it comes to varnishing! It’s fun to work with, and I enjoy the way it adds shadows to the painting depending on the light shining on it.

  5. Your early morning activity, did wonders to the painting….especially like what the addition did to the whole feel of the picture.
    The daisies needed that little extra touch. Spring flowers are truly an inspiration, you’ve captured that feel so well!
    Appreciate you and your work.

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