Monday, August 6, 2012
Noticing and learning about the natural markers of the changing seasons is a real treasure to me. It's now August and even though it's been a bit wet in these parts, red valerian is popping up in cracks in walls, the lilac bushes are in full flower and the white bell flowers of bindweed are creeping around every available support - fences, trees and other wild plants. I'm continually drawn to sketch and paint them, to capture some of their beauty - be it colour or temperament.
It's tempting to keep doing the same thing - either painting in a particular style or painting the same object, for all kinds of reasons. In April and May the rhodedendrons are in their full glory and always a favourite to paint - their satiny leaves have a certain magic in winter too, against a stark and bare hedgerow. Some of those paintings have sold well at exhibitions so inevitably an element of "will it sell" creeps into the conversation going on in my head. As a novice painter I'm becoming more aware of these things, but I have to keep bringing myself back to reasons why I paint - just because I love an object and want so very much to capture and express, in a painterly way, some of the joy it brings me. At the same time, I also need to stretch my comfort zone a little, keep learning about this mercurial medium and make more "elbow room" and , hey, have fun.
So on that note, here we have a dandelion clock, painted in a way that took me well out of my comfort zone of negative painting, but taught me loads more about watercolour. With thanks to Ann Blockley and her wonderful book Expressive Flowers in Watercolour.