Orchid in Oils, Study #2


oil on canvas, 10″ x 12″

This one’s a bit more free than the last one, and the one I’ve just started is freer still. They always start well. It’s keeping the freshness of stroke that’s the challenge…

It’s not the orchid that inspires me, not at all; a bright evening sky or a flowering pouie tree is a more inspiring sight to behold. But, an orchid fits in my studio, right beside my easel and paint set-up, and I can paint in quiet. And then there’s the pressing necessity of improving on my handling of brush and paint – that’s the real motivation. In painting them I’m becoming smitten, however, so impressed am I by their exquisite beauty, their shapes and colors and perfect structure. In many ways they make the ideal subject for a still life study, although you have to be quick, as the flowers are slowly moving all the time, unfurling their petals, buds becoming flowers overnight. And then there’s the shifting light that changes a petal from a dull muted plum tone to an illuminated glowing  hot-pink beacon, demanding an entirely different rendering, or not, depending on your level of patience and dedication… or commitment to the first fresh strokes, which I’m still trying to honour. My biggest failing is my tendency to overwork.

Notes to self as I journey and journal along…



study #3 underway, painted quickly as the evening light was failing…


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