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.
In the Big Tidy Campaign of 2017 certain paintings that I haven’t seen for a while have come to light again. The painting of flowers above is one of them. It measures 30 x 40 inches without the frame. It was one of the first large flower paintings I did, the one that created the theme.
It has other companions that have been developing over the years. And now that Frederick Bazille’s paintings are at the National Gallery of Art, an exhibit that includes large flower paintings by Bazille, Renoir, Monet and others, I will have lots of inspiration when I get into full flower mode.
Some of the others include these guys:
Thinking about when I’ll be able to get into full flower mode helps keep me on track during the Big Tidy Campaign of 2017. One needs some motivation!
Since the Bazille show is at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I’m getting ready to study several of the beautiful flower paintings featured in the exhibit. It’s great good fortune for me that these works are visiting now because doing large flower compositions has been one of my ambitions for a long time. I knew of the early Impressionist flower compositions from books but I haven’t been able to see any of the actual paintings until now.
Above is a flower painting I did many years ago. And below is Bazille’s grande machine of flowers currently in the exhibit.
And here they are side by side (magic of the internet):
To artists afflicted with worry about green, Frederick Bazille gives us all permission to do whatever we like. I know, “it’s not easy being green.”
But you can be all the green you can be.
It’s okay. There are no rules. Not even for green.
The National Gallery of Art is hosting an exhibition of works by Frederick Bazille, and I am learning all sorts of things from the great artist and his Impressionist pals. And I’m going to share it all with you, here at my blog.