Dandelions—Gold and Copper.
By the title I ended up with, you’d think I’d started with a clear vision, right?
I did like this photo I took, though. Several beautifully golden dandies straight from my backyard. I took several closeups with my Nikon and macro lens. (Okay…fine. My iPhone 6 camera.) I bought a canvas. Got out my acrylic paints. And Painting Commenced.
That yellow, how hideous! The blue—a disaster.
Painting—A skill I just. Can’t. Master.
This is not what I wanted. I wrung my hands, and bemoaned the situation. What to do? I asked my daughter. I asked my son. I asked my husband. No help there.
Do I gesso the whole deal and start over?
Hmmm. I had an idea.
Better? Maybe. The black/blue just peeking out made more sense. It wasn’t overpowering the yellow anymore. I toned down the yellow a bit. Neutralized it.
I liked it.
But tomorrow was another day. Time for a break.
The next morning, I slid on a pair of sweatpants, put on my tennis shoes to get ready for a run. I gave the dogs their morning treats and shooed them outside. I went immediately to my studio to view the painting with fresh eyes. I squirted some paint on my palette, mixed some hues together, and added a pinkish tone to the petals, whispers of blue to the background. My process: I approach the canvas, apply paint, and back out of the room by the door, squinting the whole time. Back and forth. Measuring value, hue. Constantly comparing the parts to the whole. Is it cohesive? Are the colors complementing each other?My eyes so focused on the painting…always evaluating.
I felt something soft under my shoe.
No. No no no no no.
Dog doo! But I wish that she wouldn’t.
EVERYWHERE! I had tracked it everywhere!
(Fun fact: Did you know that Picasso used his toddler’s poop in his painting? The ‘natural pigment’ could not be compared to anything else he bought in a tube; which goes to show—even geniuses can make crappy decisions.)
I get out my recommended paint combo cards from the hardware store. The ones that you can get for free to figure out what color will pop on your accent wall. These are such a help!
What will enhance the yellow?
I add browns and reds to the center of each flower. Better and better. Greens and pops of a deep brown/red.
Finally, it’s time to add the sparkle. Gold leaf! I add the adhesive, wait a half hour for it to semi-dry, then add the delicate gold leaf. I realize, in dismay, after applying a good amount that it’s overpowering the yellow.
What do I do? I’ve already applied the adhesive all over the painting. I can’t go back. A bit flustered, I nab some copper leaf I happen to have on hand for another project. I mix it with the gold, alternating the gold bits with the copper.
By the way, did you know that Picasso ‘discovered’ cubism with the help of a friend Georges Braques? Braques fragmented objects in his paintings, Picasso took his idea one step further and abstracted fragmented objects. (https://www.pablopicasso.org/cubism.jsp)
Through my creative process, I don’t always know where I’m going. But before I begin each painting, I ask God to guide me throughout my creative process. And He does. I’m reminded of the verse, Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” God is ever faithful!
Tell me about your ‘misadventures’ in the studio? How have blunders led to beauty?
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