Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Simple Inspiration

Hanging Basket Inspiration
Petunia, Work in progress
 Saunders Waterford paper  which is ideal for my floral work.

I must confess that it is very hard typing my new book whilst the summer sun shines in through my studio window. It is far too tempting to leave my work and race outside to paint in my garden. But there are chapters that I need to complete and as each one finishes the next exciting idea comes into my head, so there is no break.

But as I  started to close my studio for the day I couldn't resist looking at the hanging baskets  that  adorn its' outer walls. Every year I make my own. I collect all my favourite hanging plants and arrange them in a hanging basket. Summer wouldn't be Summer or  a garden an English garden without hanging baskets. Its a tradition of mine. After carefully planned planting in my old baskets I  wait paitiently for them to bloom and gradually fill with stunning colour. By the end of Summer they always look brilliant but at the beginning they can look a little weak! 

On a now regular excursion to our local garden centre, I began to fill trolley with favourite hanging basket plants. My husband, being taller than me, looked up and noticed already planted baskets that were gorgeous.  For a fraction of the price.  I agreed to put  my carefully chosen plants back and we bought two. Tall husbands are very handy as mine placed my new treasures on the hanging brackets of my studio where I could see them, water them and admire them daily. As an artist I am fascinated by the varying flower shapes, colour interaction between the individual plants and beauty.

The white petunias ,especially against a  Cobalt Blue sky were just too hard to resist this evening. I had to paint them. And so I grabbed a piece of paper and quickly worked. I started by painting  around a green negative outline of the first petunia. I intended to just paint one flower to wind down after a full day. But the second petunia looked good above it. So I added another outline shape to my painting.  Next I fell in love with the pinkish violet shadow on the lower third petunia flower, hanging underneath my central starting point. By the time I had added the blue sky as an abstract background ,I could almost see a fourth and fifth flowers appearing.  All in my experimental " wind down" wash. In fact I can now see petunia buds in the composition, that just need detail  to bring them to life and make them more obvious in this piece.

Planning ahead is often wise. Planning to buy certain plants to make my own hanging baskets was my original goal. Being spontaneous and buying ready planted baskets saved my pocket but also gave me more painting time which today I used wisely. On my hanging basket inspired experimental painting. I am so looking forward to painting this seriously tomorrow!

My Artist Tip for the Day? Be flexible. Sometimes plans are best if they go astray!

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5 comments:

Suzanne Waters said...

lovely "wind down painting" I am looking forward to seeing the "serious" painting..I like to see your interpretation and what you will do with it :)

Suzanne Waters said...

lovely "wind down painting" I am looking forward to seeing the "serious" painting..I like to see your interpretation and what you will do with it :)

firstnightdesign said...

Glorious, Jean!

Angela Fehr said...

I bought my baskets this year too, and am so glad I did! In northern Canada, our summers are so short, and if I plant my own hanging baskets they take forever to fill out and look good. I have been very inspired by the colours in my beautiful baskets, and now I know I have to paint mine too!

Angela Fehr said...

I bought my baskets this year too, and am so glad I did! In northern Canada, our summers are so short, and if I plant my own hanging baskets they take forever to fill out and look good. I have been very inspired by the colours in my beautiful baskets, and now I know I have to paint mine too!