This time of year peonies are in abundance. They are one of my favourite flowers and the season for them is very short. They are so fluffy, full and smell amazing. Their usual colour is a lovely light creamy pink but this year I was given some wonderfully dark deep pink ones for my birthday which I couldn’t help but try and paint.
Peonies are so very beautiful but also so very hard to paint. Unlike most flowers that are quite obedient and don’t move much these can’t help but move all the time. Once they start to open they move so quickly in front of your eyes. If you start painting one when it is slightly open, by the time 4 hours is up they completely blown out and are a different shape and colour from when you started. You have to work so very quickly.
I found the dark pink peonies harder than the light pink peonies as the day I painted them was particularly hot which didn’t help matters. It helps if you keep your painting style loose and fluffy like the flowers themselves.
I’m pleased to say that within a day of putting the light pink peonies on my Etsy page I sold them to someone in Las Vegas! I’m really chuffed. Keep checking out my Etsy page (AlicesArtHouse) for more additions each week!
It’s pretty cold out there, but there are definite signs of Spring which is really exciting. At last there is the light at the end of the tunnel of Winter and soon things will warm up. I’ve become so excited that I have been painting flowers non stop all week!
I find flowers very difficult to paint most of the time. Its so very hard as there is so much detail. The difficulty is to know where and when to simplify. It’s often best to squint your eyes to see what needs to be in detail and what not. Our eyes can find detail in so much of what we see yet most of us prefer paintings which aren’t always in focus throughout. It’s similar to when and where to lose edges and where and when to accentuate them.
‘Snowdrops’ – oil on board 10″x8″ – £65 from Alicesarthouse shop at Etsy
I tried an impressionist quick way with the snowdrops which has a blurry style which I probably like the most. For the other flowers I tried to concentrate on only parts of the flowers which I think works on the the large bunch of flowers rather than the smaller flowers. For the larger bunch of flowers I tried to use a larger brush throughout. It’s nice to try different things/styles/brushes etc.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of exhibitions which I have been rather worried about. It feels like a big step to go out there to sell your work when you are so unsure of it in the first place. It’s hard as an artist I think to really believe in your work. It’s hard to see the good things. Instead we see all the mistakes and where we could improve.
I have been totally shocked and astounded by the way my work has been received over the last couple of weeks. I have had so much positive feed back and people have been so kind. It’s been quite a learning curve. Somehow its still so hard to believe that people like your work and want to buy it. It’s an amazing boost and helps me to realise that despite all the mistakes I see, someone else likes and enjoys them. Some of these paintings have been around my house for quite a while – I’m so excited and pleased that they have been sold, but I will also miss them.
Thank you very much for your support.
Morning Light on a Felsted walk – 5″x 7″ oil on board
Framed (dark wood tray frame) – £100
I’ve been really busy this week finishing off work for an exhibition I have in Essex UK on the 24th November for a week. Its an exhibition of Essex landscapes of which I’ve painted 10. It’s been great working on these, I’ve really enjoyed it with the challenging light, colours and skies. All 10 paintings are tiny – the biggest being around A5 size. It’s been a learning curve as I’ve never painted landscapes before. I’ve taken it slowly and tried to concentrate on the good old formula of starting dark and then continuing into the lights. I also found out a good tip about giving the sky a wash of pink first which gives it more depth. It definitely works.
If you are around and you can make it to Essex, I would be delighted if you came to my exhibition. The details are below.