Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

I was thinking about my grandma today. She's been gone for nearly 15 years now, but I still miss her. When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would often go to her house for weekend visits. My favorite memories from those visits are of my grandma and I getting up before everyone else and having breakfast together on her back porch. We would chat over breakfast and she would ask me lots of questions, knowing that I would let my very active imagination go wild.

Grandma would often record our conversations and when I was around 4 or 5, she once asked me, "Aren't you hungry? Where is your appetite?" Without hesitation, I answered, "My appetite ran away. I went to the store and bought a new one, but it ran away too. I don't know why my appetites never like me!" It was hilarious and heartwarming to go back and listen to as an adult and I am so thankful that she took the time to do that. I'm sure my memories of those breakfasts are much stronger because the recordings.

Grandma's little back yard was full of all sorts of flowers and after breakfast we would go out to look at them. Sometimes, I even got to pick a few! "Fancy's Collection" is a whimsical reflection of those flowers and the wonderful, warm feelings thinking of them still gives me. Here is the work in progress of the painting above.

I began this painting by washing the canvas with a watered down coat of blue paint, just to get rid of the white. I then very loosely painted the line of the table, vase and basic shape of the flowers with the same blue paint I started with, but not watered down this time. Next, I layered some deep red over the outline of the flowers, still keeping it very loose.

I decided I wanted my background to be red, so I layered on some green. Green compliments the red and really make it pop. I have started filling in the flowers with my fingers and red paint as well.

I started building up the background with various shades of red, allowing bits of the previous layer to show through.

I added a brighter shade of red on the flowers, again with my fingers. Working with my fingers is not only fun and takes me right back to childhood, but also gives a nice textured, organic feel to the flowers.

Several more shades of red, then yellow and finally some white for highlights and the flowers were done. I dry brushed a few shades of blue and a hint of white on to the table and vase as well, making sure to let a lot of the green show through on the table and preserving the dark lines around the key elements of the painting. The process doesn't always flow so smoothly for every painting, but this one really did for me and was a joy to paint!

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