The photo reference I used for this painting was taken by Mike Blanchard, a gifted and generous photographer based in Martha's Vineyard and Maine. He often donates proceeds from some of his work to benefit various alcohol and drug recovery programs. I named this painting in honor of those who have fought for their own personal freedom from addiction. Please check out his website: Mike Blanchard Photography
The frame is 3 1/4" black with gold liner. Not the best shot I must admit, but gives you some idea of the framing.
I've been wanting to do more painting with palette knives. So when I was close to completing this rose 'un-abstracted' I decided to move in with a knife and take a chance. A few of my favorite artists paint this way, looser (than this) touches of unexpected color here and there. In Julie Ford Oliver's wonderful blog, she talks about repeating the color of the subject elsewhere in the painting. Check out Julie's work as well as the work of 2 of my other favorite artists...Barbara Flowers and Julia Klimova. There is so much inspiration out there!!
I love the quote I read that says, "In painting, value does all the work, but color takes the credit." In this painting I really only have two major values; a very dark 'dark' and a fairly light 'light.' Something you would see in the landscape just before the sun's rays emerge from the horizon.
I notice that what we think of as white objects (clouds, snow, flowers) rarely contain "pure white" paint. There are just a few strokes of pure white in this one This painting was donated to my wonderful local library.
This guy landed in the greenery outside my window, and then flew off soon after. But this instantly composed scene stayed in my head. I took photos of the branches (that hung around, thankfully!) and placed a few spots of red for my friend! Hope you like it!
So, here's the thing. I find that when I'm about 80% near completion of a painting, I have a hard time "seeing it" anymore. Many artists give helpful hints about what to do to help you re-gain some perspective. Things like: look at the painting upside down, put it out of sight for a while, look at it in a mirror, etc. If you go back a while in this blog (August 2015) you'll see that originally I "completed" this painting, varnish and all, and posted it as shown below. THEN, a few weeks later I put it in front of the mirror and immediately saw the problem with it. That gravity-defying blossom on the left - Yuck! The good thing was that this gave me the opportunity to try removing varnish (Gamvar varnish is removable with mineral spirits - thank goodness) and repair the painting. It went well and now I'm much happier with it! Lesson learned (I hope)!
I am currently working on a commission repeat of this piece. I decided to take some "process" photos as it progresses. I love it when other artists do this, it's so helpful to see the stages they go through to get to completion. So stay tuned!