Friday, August 28, 2015

Painting a Summer Love Song -- My Summer Garden in Watercolor

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.

summer flowers, garden flowers, studio, painting table, painting palette, watercolor palette, sketchbook, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The process hasn't gone as quickly as I would have liked.

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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.

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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.

watercolor, botanical watercolor, painting process, marigolds, coneflowers, black eyed susan, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

My studio smelled of summer. Of marigolds and nasturtiums and fennel and coneflowers.

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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.

rudbeckia, sunflowers, fennel, summer flowers, garden flowers, watercolor, painting process, watercolor flowers, watercolor process, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

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.

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There are distractions inside, too, but I've been trying my best to remove and ignore them.

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Some days I'm more successful at that than others.

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I think I might be finished working on this painting.

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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!

16 comments:

  1. Your work is SO beautiful. As a beginner watercolor painter and lover of flowers and gardening, you are an inspiration.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! I hope you keep painting and painting. :)

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  2. This is such a fun painting, gathering the end of summer on paper. I especially love how the graceful nasturtium stems frame the corners. xo

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I've been wondering how I got through the whole summer without painting any nasturtiums (till now).

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  3. A really, really delightful post, Anne. What a gorgeous painting!! The orange flowers and the nasturtium are my favorites, but all are beautiful!! The top photo is like a breath of fresh air! Love it all!

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    1. Thank you, Judy! I have to fill my studio with (real) garden flowers while I still can. Soon it will just be houseplants and painted flowers, though I do love those, too.

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  4. It's so pretty Anne. What a beautiful love song to summer. xo

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    1. Thank you, Dana. What's that quote, "I must have flowers, always, and always." Thanks for the encouragement!

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    1. Hi, Kathleen. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :) I really appreciate your taking the time to share encouragement!

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  6. Just beautiful, like the flowers themselves. You are more diligent than I am... I've let the garden win this year and haven't painted much at all. Your style is so consistent and lovely, well. done.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jaime! You're diligent in your own way. Gardening is good and your garden is so gorgeous. Enjoy the end of summer in it!

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  7. Anne,
    it is so interesting to see how you draw and paint...see the whole steps that you follow!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Hope you will have a nice end of summer!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! Hope you enjoy the end of summer, too!

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