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The Flower Garden Series

June 21, 2010

Flower Garden week was interesting…

It essentially made me find different ways to portray the same general subject.  It taxed my reference material resources, and my imagination.  Yes, there are tons of photos of flower gardens online.  The trick is to avoid using anything that might be copyrighted, which covers most of them.  Much of what I did last week was invented – created out of my own head, using a fence, a wall, a composition that came from a photograph.  Works created from imagination may seem simple, but they do require a certain command of the medium, and an intuitive sense of what looks “real”.  I find that paintings created strictly from my imagination don’t have the same quality as those based on some real scene or setting.

I’m going to suspend this weekly “series” approach for awhile.  While it has pushed me in many ways, I’m finding it to be too restrictive.  Part of that is because I have forced myself to religiously stick to the specific subject.  Maybe I’m just getting too old to be restricted.  There are many scenes and subjects that I want to paint… more than I’ll be able to do in my lifetime.  When I thought about this weekly series exercise, I realized that it could be several months before a certain subject that struck my fancy got pulled from the hat.  So… I’ve decided to return to letting that little voice that speaks to me as I consider the next painting – and the next – lead me.  Most of the time, it has lead me to do paintings that were not only meaningful to my audience, but also to me personally.  I think my best work is that which allows for both.  Is there a new painting already in my head?  No.  But I’ve spent the past four weeks not listening, so while I start doing some badly neglected household things, part of me will start listening.

Meanwhile, for anyone who hasn’t seen them on or on my showcase blog, here are the rest of the flower garden pieces I did last week.

Garden #4, 8x10, Gouache

Garden Wall, 11x14, Gouache

Secret Garden, 9x12, Gouache

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