Sinnissippi – Wild Flower

August 25, 2013
Wild Flower at Nicholas Conservatory; Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Wild Flower at Nicholas Conservatory; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

During a previous session at the Nicholas Conservatory, I noticed the play of the light and shadows on the fountain at the south entrance. I arrived early and this design jumped out at me. I liked the linear movements created by the roof tops of the structures and how the outlines of the foliage created a great contrast.

I started by quickly sketching an outline onto the canvas. After getting some colors and shapes established in the sculpture, I worked fast to get the background blocked in. I returned to the sculpture. I started to feel as though I may have bit off more than I could chew. I probably should have done a small painting or two of just the sculpture. It was more intricate than I had assessed. Finally got the sculpture near completion when I realized that it was getting near noon. I had lost the light effects that so captured my interest.

Returned the next morning. Moved quickly to make adjustments to the sculpture and get to work on the rest of the painting. Finished and headed home. Examining the painting at home, something did not look right. Took a day before I realized that I had neglected to add indications of the water jets. Back again to add the water jets which helps  give an essence of action and movement to the design.

During the first session, I had a very memorable encounter. I was painting in the parking lot of the conservatory and was stationed about thirty yards or so from the Sinnissippi recreational path. About 1-1/2 hours into the painting, four women out for their “power walk”, veered off of the path and were headed in my direction. I prepared for the usual line of questions when it happened. One women interrupted her other conversation to ask about my painting. She proceeded to look at my palette and ask “Are those acrylics?” I replied, “No. They’re oils.”. She responded, “Are you sure?”. I was stunned. I looked at her to determine whether she was pulling my leg or if she was  serious. My mind was quickly assessing a plethora of potential responses, some of which could have been regrettable. She caught herself and added, “Oh, yes, now I smell the oil. So Marge, as I was saying….”. And with that, the four women were on their way.

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