It's safe to say that I have a very unique relationship to flowers. I'm a bit obsessed. They draw me in and have me inspired to capture their beauty. I'm not entirely sure where this came from because we certainly didn't have lavish gardens growing up. I don't even recall a relative growing flowers.
What I do remember is the petunia's that my Mom and step dad grew at the front of Mom's house. They were hung in baskets from the eaves at the front of the house. Joe loved tending them and would fertilize regularly. The blooms were so prolific, you couldn't drive into the garage without scraping the dangling limbs of flowers. It was spectacular!!
My husband made a comment in passing the other day, that many people like flowers in the "oh that's a nice flower" move on sort of way. Where I'm a "stop the car, I have to get a picture of that flower" kind of person.
Certainly it's the colour that draws me in and I have done some study around colour and how it affects our moods. The shapes are also fascinating for me. Unbelievable shapes and details in the various petal styles of flowers. They are amazing.
Let me show you how flowers helped me recently.
The other day we had some controversy in the studio. I work with 9 other artists and 1 artist uses spray varnish, a highly toxic airborne pollutant. The first time he used it in the studio the director set up a new protocol so that he could continue with his process and not expose the rest of us to the toxins. He has continued to disregard those protocols. We need to sort this out, but that's not my point.
I left the studio angry. I was hurt that he will not see the impact on the rest of us. I was also questioning my continued leasing of studio space in this location. You see I have a 3 hour commute to get there each day. If I'm not able to work because of his varnish, and have to leave the studio, then it is not the place for me.
Again, these are just the decisions that I need to make for my health and my career.
The point of this is to give you some context for why I was angry. I came home so frustrated and defeated. I decided to walk home from uptown, where the bus drops me off. It's not far, and I needed the walk to blow off some steam. As I was meandering through the residential streets, of course, some flowers were shining away at me. I crossed the street and had a moment photographing them and taking in their beauty. They were Peony Tulips like the ones pictured at the top of this blog post. Immediately I felt calmer. I felt happier. I knew that this too shall pass. Flowers are a bit of a spiritual encounter for me. And my tears spring up as I'm writing this. Not surprising. This often happens in my work.
It's my hope and intention to use this spiritual experience, these emotions, to help me capture the beauty of these flowers. They teach me so much about patience, about trusting myself, about staying connected to my emotional self. They are more than a pretty flower, so much more.
Take a look at this current piece.
Again, I cried. This piece is called "The Duo." 22 x 36" Oil on Canvas. Absolutely stunning. The detail and nuances of colour bring these blooms to life in a way that rocks my world. I'm humbled to be able to paint like this.
So you see my work is about more than pretty flowers. It's about the spiritual connection, the emotional connection, the transformation in us that can happen when we are in the presence of beauty.
I do hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my world and my process. Leave a comment below if there is something you'd like to share about your connection to flowers.
Are you curious about the paintings I have available for purchase? Or the pieces I have coming up? The drop down tab will take you to upcoming piece. Then click the link below and take a look. Let me know if you have any questions.
Click here to go the my available pieces.
The quick, easy answer is no, and that's not entirely true.
I have good days and not so productive days which is certainly to be expected. I'm in the studio six days a week and I average 4 hours a day of painting. I'm very focused and manage to attend to the business end of things as well as the social media activity alongside getting the painting done. I rely on my schedule and time management to keep me on track.
It is inevitable, however, with each painting that I hit an area of uncertainty and almost boredom as I get challenged by the details I'm working on. I've also learned that the challenge is simply a moment to breath and regroup. Let the painting show me the way, because there is a way through the uncertainty.
I find this such a great life lesson. Just breath, relax and let the next right move reveal itself. It always does.
Painting has taught me so much about relaxing and letting things be. Trusting in the process.
I have a sign in my studio "Just Paint Ciel." This is my mantra. Don't worry about a thing, just paint. Ultimately this is what this business and practice is all about, painting, and bringing beautiful flowers to life on a canvas.
From the multitude of reactions and appreciation that I receive, I know that I'm having a good effect on people's lives. It brings me a tremendous amount of joy to paint like I do. I take the up's and down's as I go. I trust that whatever challenge I'm facing will pass as long as I allow it to move off easily.
Does this resonate with you? Leave me a comment and let me know how you manage the up's and down's.