Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Painting Wildflowers, Queen Anne's Court

Queen Anne's Court, 12x16, acrylic on linen panel, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2011

Oh the joy of painting flowers! I haven't indulged in a floral in a looong time! I used to paint quite a lot of florals in my garden but switched over to concentrating on the pure landscape about 2 years ago.

Painting flowers and wildflowers in their natural setting is a lot different than painting them arranged in a vase. Arranged in a vase they are essentially a still life that includes flowers, in their natural setting, as above, or in a garden setting it is basically painting an intimate landscape that includes flowers, or perhaps is dominated by flowers.  Which I think is a truly lovely thing!!

Queen Anne's Lace is a particular favorite of mine. I learned to identify it long, long ago as a very young child and was very pleased with myself that I knew what it was when I saw it growing along the roadside.

Today I find the sprinkling of Queen Anne's Lace, periwinkle blue Chicory and the orange of day-lilies along the back roads one of nature's most beautiful, if humble sights.

Here's the photo-idea this new painting was based on...


The blue flowers are an invention, and are there to add a much needed color note, the rest is simplified and boiled down to a few characteristic elements. The Queen Anne's Lace of course takes center stage, much is made of the wirey, slender stems and the leafy, fern like foliage towards the bottom anchors the tall Queen Anne's Lace. The dark background is created using many, many layers of glazes.  All of the little flowers, buds etc. are indicated by a few well chosen dots and dashes of color here and there. 

I also should tell you that in my never ending quest for really good natural looking greens, from tube or mixed up from blues and yellows the dominant green in this piece is a new color on my palette chromium green oxide, which is a transparent cool green in the middle value range. So far it appears to be a very useful color for foliage in shadow and also has the benefit of warming up nicely with the addition of  any yellow. Oh, did I mention it is transparent? Love that quality in a paint!

2 comments:

Joan Cole said...

Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorite wildflowers. What a lovely interpretation, Jan. Of course, I love the blue chicory blossoms(my favorite color!) too.

Ellen Capin Haeussler The Magic Of Courage Tree Studios said...

This one is a beauty! The mood...the invitation to springtime.. the non stiffness of the flowers.. you could almost feel them swaying in the wind.. lovely. I love when you paint flowers!
Ellen Capin Haeussler