Cowslip First Wash
Magical green combinations at the foot of the composition
Finally after my tour and after catching up on so much Admin in my studio I could escape to my garden today. My painting time outside was brief due to the weather. We have heavy winds and occasional rain. But even so there is a fabulous patch of wild cowslips growing in the meadow section of our cottage garden and I just had to capture their colour from life before it was too late, and before their time to flower brightly had passed. This kind of feeling always reminds me of my Stepmother constantly saying " Never out off 'til tomorrow what you can do today".
I have my own version of this saying.
"Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can paint today"
It's true. There are always many good reasons why we cannot pick up our brushes each day. Other things often become more important. For me today it really was time to contact galleries, reply to invitations for workshops in USA and liaise with my publisher over an exciting new project.
But those cowslip flowers have been calling my name all day and I listened. I knew if I could sit quietly for just a few minutes to take in their glorious gold colour I would feel peaceful, calm and eager to work in the morning.
I am thrilled with the first wash. I have placed my focus on just applying colour where I wish the bells of each bloom to hang. Then I surrounded these starting points with a variety of green underneath the yellow central section and I added touches of turquoise at the top of the paper.
I love the main flowers. Just by playing with water the small petal shapes seem to have come to life.
The definition will be the stems and the background to be added next.
I thought it would be interesting to show why I enjoy working from life more than from photographs. Below you can see a photograph taken from where I was sitting. And the painting I worked on from life in my garden is on the left. If you look at the second older photograph with a darker green background you can see how my wash in my second painting was guided by the colour of the photograph losing all the white paper as the light is missing in the image. Compared to what I was actually seeing when I saw and observed the real flower today.
These are two very different paintings.
I gain more light and life by working outside. Seeing real subjects in natural daylight. Working in my studio alone seems to kill energy to a degree. Although I will admit the second wash looks exciting too! Even so, I have fallen into the trap of adding a much darker colour at the base of the painting which I may have wished to avoid had I been outside.
Maybe I just enjoy being outside more when I paint and maybe I do relish the sunny days when we have them in UK! Below is the image of cowslips from where I was sitting. The image doesn't show the daylight as much as I would like it to. But maybe my painting will!
Cowslips growing in my cottage garden
I have started sharing painting tips on the Cottage Flower page on Pinterest. If you would like these tips on compositions from my gardens' inspiration please follow me via the link below. I aim to try to share artist tips daily when I can. Today's photograph addition of clematis talked about "lost and found" edges and "negative" edges. I realised I learn so much from my photography that aids my art so rather than keep my daily finds to myself I thought I would share them on line!