In December I celebrated six months in my studio at East Creative Collective in downtown Portland. After a busy phase of settling into my new space, and a lot of abstract painting, I took off to Maui for a week-long painting workshop in November to commerorate my fiftieth birthday. While in Maui, I rediscovered the joy of painting what I see, i.e. painting more representationally. On the third day of the workshop, I painted a floral still-life of a fresh-picked Hawaiian bouquet, using transparent and opaque watercolors.
I have loved flowers for as long as I can remember. My favorite novels are about flowers (The Orchid Thief, The Language of Flowers), I gravitate toward floral printed textiles, and for many years, before I became a painter, I nurtured an amazing perennial garden in my postage-stamp yard. My studio is home to a rapidly growing collection of orchids, and I have long held a secret desire to be a floral designer one day.
Upon return from my trip I made a personal commitment to keep painting floral bouquets for several months. I have been in need of a painting focus, and flowers offer endless opportunities for variations of shape, composition and color combinations. Plus, they say “Paint what you love,” right? I am now essentially a two-dimensional floral designer, using the tools I am already skilled with: watercolor paint and brushes.
So, wish me luck in my commitment to stick to this subject at least through the end of March. I can’t wait to see where this takes me! You can follow me on Instagram to see my weekly progress.
Other floral inspirations: