Just before the holidays, I had a call from a curator for the Gallery at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts in Winslow inviting me to be part of their June 2012 exhibition – a three-person show tentatively titled “Botanicals.”
My first thought was uh oh, I want to do this, but no flowers to paint ahead of a late May deadline. Winter makes one’s flower obsession seem far away and long ago – no easy inspiration from the flowers themselves.
That’s an Alaska truth, but Washington will have flowers – bulbs aplenty by March and April. The title “Botanicals” makes me a little anxious. The other people – Jan Hurd and Kathleen McKeehan are really botanical artists – but I am not. The title intrigues me though, and I do love to observe and paint flowers, as the others must. I am curious what else we have in common.
I’d like to make new paintings to meet the “Botanicals” definition, so I need to set goals and build experimentation time into a schedule (remembering “Willpower”).
One winter in Anchorage, I visited my favorite flower shop every week and drew their blossoms. I sat on a little red stool at the level of flower-filled buckets – with just a pen and paper pad on my knee. Being there in the bustle of the flower shop helped my winter isolation and my drawing.
For my painter friend that Christmas, I combined the December images with quotes (I was reading non-stop about flowers and gardens in those days) to make a “winter garden” calendar.
I recently found those drawings, and while I get myself back to thinking about flowers, searching for ways to inspire the images I want to see – exploring possibilities and limits – I will post some of those images or parts of them.
Thinking about flowers in February – a good idea!