Monday Motivator: Paint Flowers

Monsieur P paintingLast year [1886] I painted almost nothing but flowers to accustom myself to a colour other than grey, that’s to say pink, soft or bright green, light blue, violet, yellow, orange, fine red. And when I painted landscape in Asnières this summer I saw more colour in it than before.”

— Vincent van Gogh, letter from Paris to his sister Willemien, October 1887

Looking at the daffodils in the sunshine this spring, all the different yellows, I’ve found myself thinking about that quote attributed to Picasso about “they’ll sell you thousands of greens but never the particular green you’re after”. The yellows of the same daffodil change as the sun shifts, as the light falls on different parts, as shadows move, blooms open and fade.

To paint them I feel as if I need to dig out every yellow, blue and green I’ve got along with some reds and oranges. The temptation will be procrastinating into colour mixing. The way around this is to mix on the canvas not my palette. I may still get distracted by colour, but can all form part of a layer in a painting.

9 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Paint Flowers”

  1. Happy Easter, Marion! I am so grateful, that once upon a time you taught me to mix paints both on palette and on canvas.
    To paint flowers and to avoid following of somebody’s style upon hundreds years and hundreds thousands of paintings of limited number of plants is a real challenge.

  2. As with any subject, you bring your own preferences and experiences to it, and that’s how you differentiate it. Like Cezanne and apples!

    1. At the moment I develop my art in 3 directions landscapes in painterly style, postmodernistic paintings with metallic paints and more conventional series of Holy Sites of Turkmenistan. Is it too many for art consistancy? Some times they intersect like in my Mandrak flower or Geoktepe Mosque.

  3. I see it as different styles and subjects for different audiences (and different parts of your creative mind). Perhaps their intersection is you at your most unique?

  4. Paul Cezanne said: ” The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.” About you, I would change “himself” by “herself”.

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