I painted this in memory of a lovely lady I used to garden for. She adored her garden and one of her favourite plants was the blue hydrangea. She would grow them in very large half barrels in special acid compost. In the part of Norfolk where I live the soil is alkaline and the hydrangeas grow in various shades of pink.
It is a fact of human nature that we always seem to cherish the rare or unusual. I am sure those who garden on acid soil would love to grow the pink hydrangeas.
The painting took me quite a while as it was important to show all the different shades of the warm lilac blue in the many bracts. The flower itself is insignificant, with the modified bracts holding all the colour. As the whole is essentially a ball shape (hence the name mophead hydrangea) the shading had to show this whilst not being too dark as to lose the light airy feeling.
I have chosen to paint in a botanical style, but a looser style would also work – they are so spectacular. It makes you feel good just to look at them.
“Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realising one’s sensations”