Saturday, 26 April 2008

Song of Spring

After a completely disastrous day yesterday (and I don't even want to talk about the 30 miles I drove, the mountain I climbed, the dreadful drawings I did, the rain that dripped on me, and the cold backside I got) today was a new day and sunny with it. Rather than drive to some far off location looking for inspiration I looked no further than my own back yard (and there I go with my Americanisms again - must be all that exposure to my Friends Across The Pond through this internet thingy!). Back to my back yard, or as we more reserved and refined British call it - the garden. How many times have I painted this patch of Rhubarb? As many times as there are stalks in a pie! I just can't get away from them. While everything else in the garden is struggling to show itself against that cold, cold North wind, these stalks are gathering pace. And so are the flower heads which I know should be cut off, but this year I've decided to let them grow just to see what they look like. Hopefully they will be as good visually and as inspiring as the red stalks. I've never ever seen Rhubarb flowers so I look forward to the show. In the meantime I'll record them as they form and grow. First up is an initial simple colour study:

Pastels on ingres paper, 22x15cm: "Red Rhubarb"; This small sketch was done just to get the juices flowing. The shadows have been painted blue rather than the natural dark brown to pump up the volume and make these stalks sing out - "Eat me!"

This small painting above can be purchased in my shop at Etsy:

Pastels on Ingres paper, 41x30cm: "Red Rhubarb Stalks"; In this larger piece I am playing around with the ground colour again, this time using analogous purples to the reds and complementary to the green. You can just hear them talking to one another - "Why that's a nice shade of green on your leaves, it really suits you" and the reply:"Well thanks for the compliment, I really like your purple and lilac dirt colours, they're". As my auld faither-in-law used to say - it's nice to be nice, it doesn't cost you anything!

All the time I'm sitting there on my little fold-away canvas chair, painting, up above me is this male Blackbird singing his heart out: "Look at me, up in a tree, swinging on a branch, singing sweet love songs, don't the ladies just love me!" I look up and am dazzled by the clear and deep blue Spring sky with pink blossom bursting from the network of Prunus Kanzan branches. You've got to take the inspiration from whatever direction it come from:

Pastels on coloured paper, 30x22cm: "Song of Spring"; I'm just grateful he didn't pass any rude comments on the quality of my pastel paintings!

No comments: