koi before flowers (2).jpg

I was going to be a koi painting, and it would have been horizontal.  But now it’s a flower painting and it’s vertical.  Here’s the canvas before it’s transformation — which is taking place these coming days.




Last post featured a landscape painting on the easel and I thought I’d be working on it next.  But things have changed.  I have begun making new studies for a motif of flowers that has been floating through my head for some time and which already exists in the form of one “proto-painting.”

So here’s the Limoges vase that I’ve drawn before.  I’m drawing it again.  And will be painting it soon too.

Here’s the vase from before:

limoge vase before

And here’s what I wrote when I drew it before:

when I need flowers

flowers drawing 1a

The last time I bought flowers I decided to draw them with oil pastel.  It’s the easiest medium for me to use — very direct — just grab a sheet of paper, open the box, begin.

I made this drawing and the next on Strathmore 400 series 18 x 24 inch notebook sheets.  That makes the flowers approximately life size.  Drawing same size provides an interesting sensation as well — you can feel very connected to the thing when you draw it life size.

flowers drawing 2

Now I find these drawings become helpful when I need flowers for a flower painting.  More and more I find myself doing some of the flower pictures from composites.  And when I need individual flowers to put into a painting, I can turn to these drawings.

That fact, in turn, makes me want to draw more flowers — definitely a virtuous circle ….

almost a year ago


Almost a year ago I began working on this cartoon for a painting.  I don’t recall what prompted it. I carried it with me when my daughter was taking a class somewhere, and I worked on it inside an empty art classroom while I waited. It was my portable project.

I had plans for painting it that I still have not as yet realized.  But the idea has stuck with me.  It’s one of several thoughts I have about future flower paintings.  Now it seems almost fortuitous that I waited since the Frederick Bazille exhibit at the National Gallery of Art includes several large paintings of flowers.

I can begin my picture while I have all these exemplary models near by.  Also, you see, being in the midst of the Big Tidy Campaign of 2017, one becomes nostalgic. In fact I discovered that a year had passed after finding, while I was cleaning, an old notebook from a year ago where I had been recording the ideas.

I blogged about it too.  Somewhere I have a bunch of related drawings.  These reproductions will probably be easier to locate than the originals — even now — even as I sort through stuff.

Renoir parle

“Je dispose mon sujet comme je le veux, puis je me mets à le peindre, comme ferait un enfant.  Je veux qu’un rouge soit sonore et résonne comme une cloche; si ce n’est pas cela, j’ajoute encore des rouges et d’autres couleurs jusqu’ à ce que j’y arrive.  Je ne suis pas plus malin que ça. ”

[d’apres une interview avec Walter Pach en 1912]