Sunday 25 January 2015

Learning From Life

Daffodils from my garden

On my return from Australia last year I really thought I must have been jet lagged when our car first  arrived at our cottage. It was the first week in December and  by the side of the path leading to our front door were clumps of daffodils in flower. The next day I still felt tired from the long flight home but raced out to check I hadn't imagined what I had seen the day before. Sure enough, there were daffodils lining the pathways. I was amazed as this is the earliest I have ever seen them bloom. The next surprise , when wandering around our garden, was to see pale wild primroses blossoming too.

Unbelievable as it sounds the first clumps of daffodils are already way past their best. So I have started to paint them as they appear because by the time Spring arrives all my own garden flowers may have disappeared, and the Summer flowers will be on display.

But it is cold to paint outside and the frosty wind plays havoc with my determination to paint from life. But I have to. Why? I have become fascinated with working out which paintings of other artists are created from photographs and which have been painted from imagination or life. Sometimes we see similar things painted in similar ways. By painting from life I always have new colour combinations and  compositions.

For example, the group of flowers above had one bud facing  in the opposite direction to the three flowers facing me which were posing nicely for my composition. Several of the petals of one flower had been nibbled by wildlife. So in this piece, this isn't just me leaving areas to the imagination of the viewer. The sections left out  genuinely weren't there to paint. Nature actually aids my loose style more than anyone ever truly realises!

In the composition below a row of daffodils are swaying in the breeze. But I learnt a lesson from this scene. I have always found it visually pleasing to paint the heads of the daffodils all facing one way in the past, but of course they don't grow  this perfectly. The daffodil flower directions vary, buds appear amongst the clumps as the flower in a group blossom at varying times.

 "Spring Garden"
Work in Progress
I am still working on this glorious yellow collection and having so much fun because painting to me is sheer joy. It enriches my life. It isn't work or a chore. Its something I adore doing. And it is this passion that keeps me so very much alive and energetic.

But for now I want to get back to painting.

In yellow!


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