I enjoyed the painting so much that I’m currently working on a series of lilac paintings.
Still life has always been my favorite subject to paint, especially flowers with copper, brass or transparent glass. I’m fascinated with the contrasting textures – the soft, delicate flower petals vs. the hard, reflective surface of metals and glass. And the colors! And the shine!
The colors on my palette have changed from the general, soft landscape colors to brilliant colors. I’ve dug into my supply and pulled out all the purples and violets, bright rose and magenta for the flowers and the brighter earth colors for the copper and brass.
A few years ago, in my studio at the gallery, I tried to paint as many of the spring flowers as I could. Every day I brought in a new arrangement and worked feverishly, trying to capture them before they wilted. Our visitors enjoyed watching the process often returning the next day to see the results. Many paintings went home with them. One flower I could not capture was my very favorite, the peony. I couldn’t get the lush softness, try as I might. So this year I will try again.
Yesterday I started a new lilac painting. The pictures below show my initial lay-in and the first full layer of paint. There will be many subsequent layers added as I make adjustments and build up to the lightest values. Tomorrow I will add another layer and put it aside to dry before continuing. Since the paintings need to dry between layers, I usually have a few paintings at different stages to work on. My technique for still life painting is slow and deliberate while trying to maintain a feeling of energy and freshness. The danger of overworking is always present.