The wildflower garden, started from seed, is the source for my summer series of wildflower watercolor paintings. There are many good photographs, too. Each day I made a point to take some early and late in the day. (Puppy needed to go out also) I made compositional choice to focus close without horizon. The size of paper I was working on, brushes, and my comfort level determined choices. I don’t enjoy working smaller or too detailed. Achieving a level of fresh gestural brushwork is always more suitable to my aesthetic. Bigger is better. Reality and logistics limit that sentiment for now.
There is no horizon in the paintings. Flowers are submerged. Like Monet’s Olive Grove paintings as seen at the Kimbell Art Museum while in graduate school. They displayed a series together with no horizon or sky. I felt submerged. (My work is no comparison to Monet just remembering what I enjoyed about those landscapes.) In my paintings, the flowers are not separate from their environment.
List of seeds, from package:
Dryland Wildflower Mix (includes)
Pinks, Sweet William
Corn Poppy Mixed
The early flowers were yellow and whites. Blue. When reds and oranges bloomed I began the paintings. At first more experimental, sometimes loosely other times more controlled. I didn’t want to be bored by too many self-restrictions. Still, I always want my hand, mark making to show.
The Gift of Promise, #8. Finally, poppies bloomed. Tall fragile. Some pale red or dark pink, a few red. Surprisingly how quickly they turned white and drained of color. I pushed it close to the upper frame not wanting the poppy to be sticking its head out of water too far. Show off.
I looked up corn poppy: The Corn Poppy: Papaver rhoeas, common names include corn rose, field poppy, Flanders Poppy, and red poppy. It is notable as an agricultural weed (hence the common names including “corn” and “field”) and after World War I as a symbol of dead soldiers. -
Worn on Remembrance Day 11/11 throughout Europe, especially UK and France.
Interesting. I’ve always known of the poppy for Armistice Day 11/11 significant to my family. I have a large collect of WWI material and always plan to make art with it. Someday.
In Flanders Field
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
One of many poems I grew up with.
Another newer poem,
Poppies by Jennifer Grozt
But then you see the poppies, a disheveled stand of them.
And the sun shining down like God,
loving all of us equally, mountain and valley, plant, animal, human,
and therefore shouldn’t we love all things equally back?
Wildflower watercolor paintings #1, 5, 8, 11, and 13: