In Autumn Beauty Stood. Painted December 2021. 16”x16” Acrylic on Canvas
Last week, my mother mentioned that she was looking for a painting of flowers to hang on her wall and decided to put her eldest son to work. I’m always up for a challenge and jumped right on to it, so I’d have something in time for Christmas. I’ve been adapting my approach and painting technique, trying to make the painting process more fluid and less of a struggle. Spending more time planning out my painting before I started slapping paint on canvas, was a good strategy. I don’t think I was aware of how much of my painting time was spent correcting problems or adjusting the palette. I usually find myself spending several days making minor corrections or changes and I never know when to stop painting. This endless “tweaking” drives me crazy but was almost non-existent this time.
Having never done a still-life before, I decided this would be a good challenge for my last painting of 2021. I find sunflowers both beautiful and endlessly interesting in how they curve and twist, the petals are never uniform and there is plenty of light and shadow to make the composition more interesting. They may not be the most colourful of flowers, but these other attributes more than compensate. I’ve also been struggling with a certain “flatness” in my paintings, so I wanted this one to feel more three dimensional. I ended up going with a very dark background to allow the brilliant yellow sunflowers to shine. Incorporating some fruit allowed a little extra colour, and the overall composition kept your eye moving around the canvas.
Unlike most of my paintings (I am by far my toughest critic), I was happy with the outcome of this painting. I liked the composition and balance of this painting. The colour palette was close to what I envisioned, and I felt good about the secondary components of the painting – the table, the fruit and the clay flower vase. Overall, it was a painting that I felt proud to hang on a wall. Most importantly, my mother who has never been reluctant to share her unvarnished opinion with any of her children, was very pleased with the end results. And now it’s time to put a period on 2021. Have a festive holiday and bring on 2022.