Beach Roses, 9x12, oil
It's now July, and that means beach roses. They've already been blooming for weeks, but soon they'll really start to explode. Yesterday, I went out to paint roses as part of the final Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy paintout.
Although many places in the U.S. are suffering triple-digit temperatures - it hit 106 at my sister's house in Georgia - on Campobello I don't think it even hit 80. That's still warm for us here. But these warm days, coming before the ocean has a chance to heat up, can create fog. As I drove out, I kept my eye on a wall of it that seemed to sit just off the coast.
Liberty Point, which you can see from the Lower Duck Pond, was keeping the fog at bay, so I had a clear view of my roses. But as I finished up, the wind suddenly shifted and the fog rolled in. The temperature must have dropped 15 degrees.
As many of you know, I use a split-primary palette in the field. It's hard to come up with a proper "beach rose red" with it. White with alizarin crimson makes a color that is a very rough approximation. What I do in this case is do what I can with my field palette and then head for the studio. Once I'm back, I pull out my secret ingredient: Thio Violet. This intensely-pigmented color (PR122) from Grumbacher is pretty close, and it only takes a few dabs, mixed with white, over the roses I painted in the field. I added a little of it into the beach gravel, too, to unify the painting.
I use secret ingredients in all my flowers. The split-primary palette doesn't really do justice to most gardens. But I have a hoard of odd, tubed colors back in the studio. Among them are some great high-chroma colors for flowers.