There is one reason and one reason alone I took up oil painting. I fell in love with a cad. One day, after years in on again, off again relationships with watercolor and acrylics, my world was upended. I saw a painting of a red geranium in oils. I had just encountered cadmium red, up close and beautiful, for the first time. I was dazzled. I knew at that instant, if I could paint like that, I would be the happiest person on earth. Maybe if I had gotten therapy immediately, or an intervention, my whole future would have changed. Corinne, the owner of Le Vieux Couvent where I teach in Southern France each year, shared these words of wisdom: Don’t be seduced by geraniums. This was her guiding policy when she was first looking for a property to buy in Europe.
The truth is, every time I see a new image or scene I love, especially from France or Italy, I want to toss all current commitments to the wind and paint whatever I’ve just seen. My entire life is driven by emotive responses to color, shape, and light. I think for many artists, this exact sequence of events happens over and over again, every time we see a new image we love. Do your endorphins kick into high gear in the presence of golden yellows, beautiful magentas, eye catching caribbeans and heart warming oranges?
Today I’m on a color high, because I’m painting red geraniums. It’s pretty clear oils and I have entered into a long-term commitment to one another, tied the knot, broken the plate, and are up to the elbows in turp cans, medium and varnish. But just the other day, I saw this incredible, bold abstract acrylic painting that rocked my world. There was texture and a black line in a Z pattern that was absolutely arresting. My heart went pitty pat. Everything changed. And so it begins…again!
PS: Something absolutely magical is coming your way – on August 16, I’ll be making a big announcement so stay tuned flower friends! Let the all new, exciting countdown to color begin!