My Vision Gets Distorted

I feel sometimes when I try to paint something that it's like that old commercial; Is it real or is it Memorex? What I see is so real, but what comes out of the ol' pencil or paint brush doesn't necessarily look the same. Things get distorted somehow between the eye and the fingers -- somewhere in the brain.

One of my favorite things to paint is flowers. A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to take an Alaskan cruise with my in-laws. It was amazing! I had no idea that Alaska was so green, or that it had so many flowers. I decided at that point I was going to take pictures of every flower I could, perhaps I'd paint them and create a book of flowers and I tried to take pictures of the names (if they had them) as well – but then I realized that's not the way I paint. (grin)

The flowers up at the top were the ones I painted the year after we came back and submitted to the State Fair. This is how it turned out:

Not real, obviously, but as well as I can do it. Do you try to capture something real? Perhaps with photography or drawing?

I remember when I was in college and my watercolor teacher was disappointed in me because my work seemed more -- unreal -- than what he was aiming for. It used to frustrate me, but I've grown into it. I've decided that this is how I paint, this is my ability, and it's not going to be what someone else thinks it should be. I used to apologize for it, but not anymore.

Another flower that I love to paint is the sunflower. We get lots of the wild ones around our home in the summer, in the empty fields and long the roadsides. I guess they might be called Brown Eyed Susans in official names, but I still think they all look like sunflowers. I've painted a couple of different styles of them.

A watercolor version:

And an acrylic version:

Obviously watercolor is my favorite medium, simply because I can do more with it. Another flower I like to paint is the Tiger or Day lilies.

It occurred to me that possibly the reason I like to paint these flowers is their brightness...the way the seem to hold the light of the sun within their petals. They lift up toward the rays of the sun, and their color seems to brighten with the day. I think they are cheerful, inspiring.

I never get tired of saying it, though you'll probably get tired of hearing it -- but I am amazed at the creations of our Heavenly Father. Especially the flowers. I think they would also be the best way to start drawing a still life. Get a pencil, paper and a flower and practice the lines, the flow, the shading and see how you like it.

You never know – I think you’d do a whole lot better than the ones Van Geoh painted and made famous.

I know I'm not very impressed with them...grin.

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I think your flowers are beautiful. Your capture may be different from the next guy, but it is still beauty.

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