As I write this in late March, I ‘m savoring the early signs of Spring, taking in the abundance of visual material for my current project. Trees are in full bloom, flowers are breaking through their buds, butterflies are soaring and fiddlehead ferns are unfurling en masse in our Florida backyard. The anticipated season of warmth is delivering a flourishing scene of palpable shapes and colors to inspire me to get out of the house and create something as unprocessed and fresh as the Spring air.
There’s much more inspiration in nature than within the walls of a studio. Uplifting images are everywhere you look and you can paint what you see instead of relying on your imagination or a concept in a book. At our disposal are hues of quinacrodone red, pyrrole orange and chromium oxide green just the way God made them. Authentic patterns and contours of plants and flowers become our models, their postures so genuine and true.
My intention was to paint a background of botanicals over a collage I’d created, incorporating the stark, cool tones of the Ixoras that had been flowering in our yard. But what I ended up with was a girl donned with a crown of pink roses, inspired by the Madonna statue that kept diverting me, posing among the tall blooms. The morning ultimately became sort of an unofficial, early May crowning; the only guests in attendance were the procession of insects, twittering birds and me with my easel near.
I pledged that day that notwithstanding Spring showers, I would leave conventional indoor painting for the cool season and continue to take advantage of our extravagant natural resources, where studio light runs solely on sunshine. E.