Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poppy Painting Almost Done!

This past Sunday, the 16th, I spent most of the day working on this painting. I decided to keep this one really simple for a few reasons... One of them being that if I did keep it more simple, it wouldn't take me 3 months to finish it. I had completed the background (just painting dark green on it) a few months ago, at the same time that I started my Heron. I hadn't touched this since, and after completing the Heron, this was just sitting there on my easel. As I stated back in November, I have way too many ideas for other paintings to do- so I knew the sooner I finished this one, the sooner I could start another. My other choice was to just put this one aside and start something new, but I'm really not a big fan of doing that.

The other thing was that I wasn't excited about this painting at all- I'll admit it. So picking it up after not having touched it for 3 months was even less appealing. But over the course of the past year or so, I've had people actually ask me at art shows "Do you have any paintings of red poppies?" I would always think, "Are you kidding me? Like 48373 of those already exist, why would I do that?" The idea just bored me; plus, I'm really not even a fan of poppies... Although maybe if I actually had them in my own garden, I would change my mind. I just have no experience with them and no real feel for the flower. I like to be as familiar with a plant as possible before I attempt to paint it. I know nothing about poppies!!!

But I figured since it wasn't my usual tropical subject matter, I'd give it a try. The idea of something different made it seem a little challenging, and the fact that it was made due to others' requests made it seem almost like a commission, even though it wasn't technically. But it's nice to work with subject matter I'm not completely familiar with once in a while- because if I don't have a plant or an exact photo in front of me that I've taken, it makes me play around more with style and composition, rather than just concentrating on pure accuracy. So, sure, my poppies and their foliage is probably not 100% accurate here- but in this case I tried to make it more about the art, rather than about the plant. For me that's tough to do.

Blog edit- Shutterfly put the kibosh on my previously linked photos, so I've uploaded the finished painting here:

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