A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What are those pink flowers? 4 '14

  "What are those pink flowers?" a friend from the West coast wrote.  "They're azaleas",  I wrote back... but wait I thought... I don't know if she will believe that answer.   It's a good question to keep in mind when one is attempting to paint a scene the viewer might never have experienced. I grew up in the wide open ( but arid) spaces of the west coast myself.  A large azalea on the west coast might reach two foot tall and three foot wide.  Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I might have suspected that  the profusion of vegetation was a bit overstated  if not outright fabricated.  Let me assure you, it is neither. 
Small Part of Brookgreen Gardens' Pine forest in Spring
The sheer size of the flowering plants  in Spring can be overwhelming.  In the older established gardens, the azaleas can reach twenty feet, and the flowering trees are taller.
The photo below will give you some sense of the heights...  They dwarf me.
CC  with azaleas at Magnolia  Gardens
And they are everywhere
 Magnolia Gardens path
There are acres and acres of woodland paths and walks like these at at Magnolia Gardens and Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens walkway
Even personal gardens are a mass of blooms.
Azaleas and Dogwood  at Pawleys
 It can all be a bit overwhelming.  The sheer profusion makes it hard to  know what to focus upon, much less even get a clean photo of it.. Painting the scene becomes an exercise in deciding on what is the center of interest, and trying to remove anything in the scene that  might distract the viewers' focus.
Brookgreen Garden's Gate
The photo  above shows the garden gate where I painted the scene below.  ( en plein air not from the reference photo).  Far from being overstated, I actually had to subdue a lot of color and edit out  many shapes to keep the painting  from seeming cluttered and even garish.
My painting of "The Garden Gate"
 Maybe that is why so few artists tackle full blown flower filled  Spring landscapes.  They require hard mental work and  are very tricky to pull off well.

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