Spring is around the corner and I am very lucky that the flower shops reopened after a long lock down some days ago. I love plants and flowers and I think everyone should have them in their home (beside paintings :-D, of course!) because they give you an instant mood lift. So I went out and looked for tulips but my heart was grabbed by the beauty of a few deep red ranculus flowers. I think their layered petal structure is so intriguing and their stems are so elegant that I couldn't escape the urge to have and paint them.
I also a few smaller canvases of unusual sizes came to my mind that sat in my storage cabinet for a looong time now. Although I like to paint on panels, but for some reason I wanted to try canvas again. Because everything about this felt new and experimental (the unusual size, canvas again) I decided to take the experiment further and try priming three canvases with different transparent washes of different colors.
Because I had red ranculuses I chose the canvas with a cadmium red background. I used natural light from my window and placed the flowers next to my easel, so I could observe them well. The weather outside was unstable but I started painting during a sunny period. It felt a bit unusual to have the strong red as a base, but it was quite a good idea to highlight the petals intensity fast. I learned that the background does indeed influence the color above it and allowed it to create interesting effects. After half an hour the weather changed and we indeed got into a small storm with thunder and hail! Thus the light in my room almost went completely dark, but I was in the zone and kept on painting. This caused me to be more bold and brighter with my color choices. Also I wanted to give the painting a more dreamy, spring like atmosphere as a counterpart to the stormy weather outside! I am really curious how the other toned canvases will behave (one with a blue wash, the third with a lovely transparent yellow).
As an artists it's important to be willing to experiment and as a former scientist I surely do love that! But it can be challenging to let go what you've been used to (it's like: Go and try to drink less coffee :-D) but if you keep an open mind and if you're ok with "failing" all is set for a learning experience.
In my case I learned a lot but I also got a really lovely painting here that is somewhat different from the style I usually have. It's a lovely piece for mothers day or even easter - if you need a unique gift you can find this fresh painting in my shop.
Happy spring time and keep a flower nearby :-)!
"Paintings are a sanctuary for the mind"