Last week at Art Group the title for us to work from was ‘Remembering World War 1’ in any way we chose. At first I thought a background of soldiers on the battlefield in sepia, with poppies in the foreground to highlight the remembrance. Of course it has been done before but for the purposes of this exercise it did not matter. However I soon realised that 1. my figure drawing ability is dismal and 2. I wouldn’t be able to adequately capture this in the 3 hours available (less coffee break, of course).
This is, then, what I came up with
I thought a silhouette would be the simplest way of depicting a soldier, and although he started off in sepia he gradually got darker and darker as time went on. The poppies were easier to depict, being inside my comfort zone of botanical art.
Driving home through a nearby village yesterday I saw a group of field poppies in full flower – totally out of season. This seemed very poignant as we are commemorating the centenary of the start of the first world war. It got me to thinking though of all the other flowers that are blooming out of season. On a quick walk around the garden I discovered a helleborus niger (Christmas Rose), delphiniums, sidalcea, primroses and astrantia all still flowering away. Some plants are flowering longer than usual and others are coming into bloom earlier. What a warm autumn we are having so far!
I think I have said before that I always seem to favour pinks and blues when choosing flower subjects to paint. Well this week it has all come to a head. I often have two or three paintings on the go at any given time, usually at different stages. However, at the moment I am finishing off the details on three paintings – all pink. There is a lovely pink hollyhock which I have been working on for a while, a pink phlox which just begged to be painted and my pink rhododendron.
Hollyhocks in my garden
If you read my last blog you will remember I was not happy with one dominant leaf and have been trying to lessen the effect by adding another leaf. I don’t know if it has worked, because all I can see when I look at it is that one leaf! I would really welcome your comments.
Why though, am I inspired to paint pinks and blues – is it simply that I like those two colours? A little research tells me that pink is a compassionate and nurturing colour, basically female and that blue is a safe colour implying honesty and dependability ( boring do you think?) However when you mix the two colours you get lilac which I have taken to wearing a lot. Apparently, this means that I need to create order and perfection – perhaps a good trait for a botanical artist! www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com
OR… maybe there’s just more pink and blue flowers our there in the UK.