The past few weeks I've been working on a painting of summer flowers from my garden. I shared a glimpse of it in progress in this post and I've shared process photos on Instagram along the way. I was inspired to capture the feeling of my summer garden in a single painting instead of simply painting a single type of flower or a small bouquet. I've been wanting to paint a tangle of flowers again ever since this painting. I also wanted to try out my largest (14"x20") block of watercolor paper.
I gathered flowers, did a messy sketch and mixed some paint colors.
The process hasn't gone as quickly as I would have liked.
There were distractions (artistic and otherwise), but I kept working on the painting. Bit by bit. Petal by petal. Leaf by leaf. Flower by flower.
My design included nine different types of flowers. My models needed to be replaced regularly.
I found pollen in the paint on my palette and little bugs crawling across my table and sometimes even my painting. I'd tell them, those aren't real flowers, and eventually they'd get the idea.
My studio smelled of summer. Of marigolds and nasturtiums and fennel and coneflowers.
Some of the days were dark and dreary and I needed to turn on all the lights in my studio. Other days were sunny and warm and I yearned to be sitting outside in the garden instead of at my painting table.
Maybe someday I'll figure out a good setup for painting outside, but as of now, I haven't gotten it to work for me. Which is probably good because when I'm outside I'm constantly distracted by other things. Plants need my attention. Weeds need to be pulled. Birds and butterflies call to me.
There are distractions inside, too, but I've been trying my best to remove and ignore them.
Some days I'm more successful at that than others.
I think I might be finished working on this painting.
I may go back and add some leaves to that naked sunflower stem. I can't decide right now. Either way, it's another love song to summer. To my garden. All the sweeter as the season seems to be slipping away.
Enjoy the last days of August!