“All things seem possible in May” – Edwin Way Teale
May is here and everything is bursting into bloom. Growth is exuberant, a time of blossom, hope and optimism. There are so many flowers in the garden which inspire an artist to paint, but where to start? What is it that particularly draws the inspiration? I have been trying to understand.
In the past I have noticed most of my paintings seem to be of pink, lilac or blue flowers. Very seldom do I pick out a yellow, orange or red bloom as I wander round searching for my next project. But not every pink, lilac or blue flowers get considered. Why not? What next? Perhaps how it catches the light. This is very important in the finished composition as it adds depth and quality and brings the painting to life.
Size – it is not always the biggest and blousiest blooms that appeal. Some of the smallest florets have the most amazing detail and the only limit to the finished size of the picture is your own imagination (except of course if it is to be a botanical illustration, when the dimensions must be scientifically accurate).
So to sum up, I think what attracts me is:
- sufficient contrast in the lights and darks
- clean lines – I have found I do not like too much information, simple and uncluttered works best for me
- interesting focal points – there has to be something to draw your eye into the picture.
This geranium seems to fit all my criteria. I have it growing alongside a path in my garden and it always makes me smile as I pass when it is in flower. I love the colour and the white centres make it really stunning as it is such a prolific flowerer.
I would love to hear what draws you to a particular subject to paint.