Saturday, July 17, 2010

Painting Flowers and About Gloves

"Fox Farm Flowers" 9x12 oil

I thought I'd post a couple of paintings with fields of flowers in them. The first one, "Fox Farm Flowers," shows a bouquet of orange hawkweed. If you've not seen this flower, it is quite remarkable - a cup of hot orange with a dot of bright yellow in the center. The sight of a whole field of them leaves me breathless. To paint these flowers, I had to put down a healthy dollop of orange followed by a smaller dollop of yellow, gently applied so as to not to overmix the two.

"Field Flowers" 8x10, oil

The second, "Field Flowers," is a cooler scene with scatterings of white daisies and beach rose. You'll note in both of these paintings that the pattern of flowers is not random. What Nature gives you can be very random indeed, but it's important to take these scatterings and impose some sort of design upon them. I had fun creating a lead-in for the viewer's eye.

I also thought I'd mention gloves. Recently, a student asked me if I've developed a chemical sensitivity because he noticed I wear gloves when painting in oil. Not at all. For me, the gloves help in the clean-up. The paint stays on the gloves, not on my hands, and I'm less likely to get Phthalo Blue on the car seat. I just got a box of 100 nitrile gloves, which should last me a long time. I can make one set of gloves last a whole week of painting.


Celeste Bergin said...

beautiful paintings---! I love how quiet they seem. I don't get the gloves myself, but we're all different. I know a lot of people love them.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks, Celeste! I didn't think I'd like the gloves, but they're really good for keeping my hands clean. Clean hands, clean car!

catherine m. said...

Very timely comment regarding flowers! I'm about to enhance a little pastel of a tiny house on Cape Cod Bay with a better grouping of Queen Anne's Lace than what actually is growing there. Didn't really know how I'd do that; now I see the value of a plan!

Bonnie Head said...

You have proven detail isn't important to convey the music of a painting.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks, Bonnie and Catherine!