Completing any painting is never without some form of struggle. It starts with nothing.... a blank page, or skin in this case, and slowly builds. There never seems to come a point when it's an easy process, some days go well, which is the best feeling.... and others don't, which is the worst ......... it can be extremely frustrating at times, especially with a deadline looming!
I decided to complete two paintings which were prepared for and planned last year., both are of Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra' ( below).
|Work in progress (19th Feb), Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra'|
on Kelmscott vellum, size 72 x 47 cm
Several cultivars of the plant are available and 'Rubra' is one of the older forms. Last year I purchased three different plants, the above plus Aurora and the yellow Lutea, all are very beautiful but smell terrible. The leaves are sprouting at the moment but unfortunately it won't flower until April so the work will have to be completed using last years reference and studies. I spent a considerable amount of time working on this 'foxy' smelling member of the Lily family last year so feel fairly comfortable with working in this way on this occasion.
|The blank skin...this has to become a painting! The whole skin, Kelmscott vellum from William Cowley. It cost about £130 for this piece so I don't want it to make too many mistakes|
I don't want to finish the leaves before putting the flowers in so move on to the flowers as soon as I establish the basics with the greens. Ideally I should have put the green crown in but for some reason I didn't.
|Building up the dry brush work, adding some Perylene maroon to the palette for the rich red/ orange|
|Adding the bees!|
|'Mary's Tears' Huge nectaries appeal to potential pollinators|
Here's a bit of further reading for those interested. There are a number of research journals regarding this subject, (this is a downloadable pdf.). For more general observations on pollination click here.
|Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus. A pollinator of Fritillaria imperialis. Image copyright WIkimedia Commons|
|A study from last year F. imperialis 'Lutea' a subject for a painting later this year|
Will the paintings be finished on time?....probably. Will they be acceptable...I don't know!
But are we ever really satisfied with our painting? probably not....but that's all part of the challenge and the fun!