Zinnias and Snap Dragons & a New Project

08 2009 zinnias and snap dragons 14x11.jpg
Zinnias and Snap Dragons -- 14" x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm) – Oil on Canvas
Available in my Etsy Shop

Hello friends ~

It is good to be back in the saddle again – that is working and painting away… The trip to Washington State was a good one, full of sunshine, wide open landscapes, and lots of food. While away I spent the majority of time musing about art and my process, investigating where it is working and what areas could be improved on. In the past when I have given myself room to think and mentally explore, large and small discoveries have been made that always further my life path. I guess it has a lot to do with being and the qualities of meditation.

The one big focus of my summer has been to refine my work schedule so that I am creating everyday and do not let this wonderful opportunity of being a full-time artist be wasted. After working in architecture for almost nine years and being miserable for the majority of the time due to lack of creative opportunities because the business of architecture is really 95% paper pushing (or being a mouse jockey) and if you are lucky 5% can be dedicated to true design. Because of this experience it is very important to me to make the most of this time and work so I never have to go back to architectural employment in a firm. But I digress… Through the summer when at home and in the studio I set a goal of producing daily paintings regularly (3-4 per week) and also completing larger more complicated compositions (2-3 per month). Because of the relative success of these goals and because I always view the beginning of the academic year as a time to start new projects I am going to implement a new goal. Over the next year I will work to complete 50 flower/bouquet still life paintings.

In order to make it a doable goal, the painting sizes will be moderate and designed to be completed in a day or two. This is important as flowers have a tendency to change as time goes by, either wilting or adjusting the blooms to be more upright and vertical. My goal with this series it to get more confident about painting complex shapes such as flowers and to speed up my painting skills without losing quality. I also want to improve my ability to capture detail while also finding ways to simplify the form in a convincing manner. And to kick off this new project, tomorrow is the first day of a five-day workshop with Danni Dawson dedicated to painting in her rose garden! I am really psyched about this coming week and hope to come away with a lot of new knowledge of how to tackle flowers. I love learning from Danni, she is by far the best instructor at the Art League in my opinion.

This painting is the first of this series. These flowers were picked up yesterday at the Old Town Farmer’s Market. Zinnias have been a favorite flower of mine for years. When in seventh grade I planted a small flower bed of zinnias in our front yard, the first time I ever exerted any effort of gardening, and I remember it as being a very big production for me. Removing sod, tilling in new topsoil and then having to wait for the seeds to germinate and grow. Looking back at the memory I realize that it was not a very large garden, but being the first it just seemed like it.