After surviving ant bites while painting these blooms from my garden yesterday, I took several photographs in my garden and then came inside and painted from them. I have heard, and am now experiencing first hand, how painting from life enhances the experience and the painting, and I’m thoroughly enjoying this rhythm! I’ve heard an interview with plein air artist Anne Blair Brown speaks to this topic, and it’s a great interview if you’d like to listen. I may have mentioned this before. It’s on the AHA (Artists Helping Artists) podcast.
I went out this morning and did a plein air (painting outside) piece from my garden. It’s a late summer riot of plumbago and lantana flowers out there, with some flowering garlic and ruellia (mexican petunias). I tried to capture the blues of plumbago and brights oranges and yellow of the lantana, and the feeling of being out in the warm sun and gentle breezes. I also worked on brush work, using the point of the brush at the center and gently pressing on the belly of the brush to get the petal shape. My favorite bloom is the one at bottom left.
One of the dangers of plein air is being explored by ants while my attention is captured by the painting! Ants were crawling on my feet, yuck, but once I moved myself out of their way, things got better.
Here it is quickly put into a mat, to see how it would look. Forgive the wonky angles.
I have researched part sun and shade plants for my back garden because the trees around it have grown too big. Last summer I hardly went outside so there is a lot of work to do this year. It looks a bit sparse now but it will fill in with time.
I have planted yellow and green striped liriope, plumbago, day lilies, mint, and a ruffled echeveria which is to die for. There are mexican petunias and torch something and lantana from before.