09 September 2011

New botanical paintings 2011 - indigenous South African flowers

Nothing like a crystalline Karoo winter to incubate dormant painting energy. Three 50 x 50 cm portraits of indigenous blossoms are almost done, and a big 100 x 220 cm view of blue waterlilies (especially their leaves) progressing alongside these. Claude Monet's the major water lily maestro, so I'm happy doing my own thing with the pretty blue floating, diaphanous blossoms... I think flowers are the most overlooked top secret of all nature's secrets. We think we see them - but do we really? Hundreds of insects and larger animals (e.g. bats) are tempted by these sirens of scent and colour to visit and help with pollination. Without flowers, no continuation of the species... the dainty Bauhinia and Moraea Villosa above, the dramatic Diascia (Mask Flower) coming soon

The making of a painted flower portrait 2: Moraea villosa

After modelling the petals and further defining the flower centre, the stamens still need to be painted in detail.  Fourteen hours of work, spread over several weeks. The layers of oil paint dry naturally, no chemicals are used to accelerate the process..... Almost there...!