Smell the Plumeria

Smell the Plumeria

Aug 14, 2022, Sun — Smell the plumeria! The painting is really coming along. It’s possible I will finish tomorrow. I’ll show you the image then. Gosh, oh gosh, I hope so because I could really use a day off. In fact, looking at the calendar, Tuesday will be impossible to get in the studio anyway. So, in that case, it’s finish it tomorrow. Or bust. 

Perfect, as I have no interruptions tomorrow to impede that destiny. Smell the plumeria!! And I do! I find myself looking at the photo of it a lot when I’m at home. It’s very compelling. Very uplifting.

It’s a little strange in that I had to somewhat revert to my floral period to pull it off. That’s not completely true, but there’s a familiarity in how it looks. These large-petalled flowers, done in large scale, are really difficult to pull off in my current style. The chunky brushstrokes don’t lend themselves to subjects like this. That said, I did not work flat, and I did not do fine blending with a fan brush like I did for the roses. I laid the paint on thick and used my favorite 1” brush to put on the central heavy core of color, brush marks showing in many cases. And smaller brushes and texture on the petal lips. The paint certainly isn’t thick like on Champagne Beach, but it is thick and I love the energetic effect from the brush movement. 

I remember doing the roses and sometimes being torn between this energetic effect versus smoothing it all out to perfection. I would throw it on like this, then, big fat stokes of color, and then use the fan to smooth it out. At that time, I remember thinking about this, wondering what it would look like to leave the painting unsmoothed. Both ways are both quite wonderful, and honestly, maybe even similarly time consuming. It actually took a lot of time to get these large surfaces to look right with the thick paint and brushstrokes showing (because they did need some smoothing). But perhaps I’m just not in as much practice.

Van Gogh vs O’Keefe vs Hanson

I’m thinking of Van Gogh, and his thick brushwork. And truthfully, he did not work on subjects that required solid masses of blended color. He was landscape artist and so within the painting field, the subjects are smaller and each part of them can be executed with a single paint-laden stroke. You can see where Georgia O’Keefe did her flat blended style for the large scale flowers, which called for it, and Van Gogh, did his ropy, choppy, paint-laden style because things could be painting in a single stroke. Carrying this to Erin Hansen’s flowers, most are not close up, they are fields of flowers. And her closeups of sunflowers, well, the sunflower is an articulated flower, there are no big surfaces, so her style works perfectly on this flower. 

I’m thinking out loud here. Maybe I could paint dahlias? All those individual petals, each the size of brushstroke. Might be a few too many petals, lol. But I certainly have some amazing pics of Tom’s. And definitely nasturtiums, which I do want to pursue. But again, they wouldn’t work unless I kept them small as a cluster of flowers.

I even bought nasturtium seeds, but go Lauren, I never rustled up a pot and planted them. And now we have smoke! And we’re heading into fall, probably not the best time to plant seeds… but maybe it’s okay as they are perennials and we do have 2-3 more months of hot weather. I’ll have to google it. Maybe on my day off I will plant them.  

Then I can smell the plumeria – and the nasturtiums. Thanks for singing up for my newsletter!

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Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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