color is a little high key but close enough to off camera, actually color's a bit darker and richer. changed the dead flower, the vase, pushed back the green fuzzy thing, worked the horizon line, changed the background color and added more flowers.   I suppose I changed everything.  


This painting came about as a quick sketch on a canvas as I was finishing up the puppy painting. I needed to stop working on the pups but I still had energy to paint so I looked over and what the hell, gave the flowers a go.

I had been looking at them for days and now it was important to work fast because they'd been in water for more than a week and weren't going to last much longer. 

The raw autumny colors of the mums and carnations was what I was drawn to.   They were in the kitchen with me and every day I'd look and think, I'm going to paint this gorgeous bouquet, but I was also thinking - I'm not big on still lifes because I can make them too fussy. 

So having lots of paint on my palette, I put another canvas on the easel and began pushing color around.  what revealed itself surprised me as it flowed quickly.  no preliminaries except my staring my bouquet for a week.

I'm not sure this painting is done - the horizon line (the edge of the table) doesn't satisfy me, nor does that green fluffy flower in the bouquet.  But in a couple of days I'll know what to do.  I'm not sure right now and I'm not going fishing.   I probably won't touch much of the background or the flowers.  (famous last words.)

Actually I think it's pretty done.  There might be a couple of things, but I'm good with it now.  

I thickened up the application of paint because there was more to say.  I learned something about Van Gogh in the course of making this, as I used light brush strokes to suggest shifting light.  I worked from life, but also took a few pictures in case I want to adjust something down the line, so I have reference.   this painting started fast and seems to be finishing fast too.  not my usual way.  (I can work on a painting for months - YEARS even)

Again, I'm surprised at the change in my approach.  but it's not my job to question what or why, I just get to follow the muse where she goes and try to listen to what she tells me to do.  she's always right.

PS.  The dogs got their glazes and highlights and I think the painting came out solid.  I sent my BFF a jpg and she's really really really happy.  And while it's a tighter style than I'd normally use, it works, doesn't look belabored and I'm happy with it.  

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Comment by J.P. Hart on October 8, 2017 at 10:49am

I was going to say hold me in your hands like a bunch of flowers ... however my penchant or curse for originally ... shouts: mystical translucence! 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 8, 2017 at 11:02am

JP your poetic comments and blogs always make me happy!   thank you very much.  you're very kind. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 8, 2017 at 11:17am

:)   :)  :)

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 8, 2017 at 11:21am

thanks Jon. :)

Comment by koshersalaami on October 8, 2017 at 11:23am

That quick style is cool

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 8, 2017 at 11:48am

Kosh, you comment has me laughing here because I'm hoping it's as quick as it seems to be.  meaning I hope some time this week I don't close the door of the studio and go "into" the painting more.  I can't say I won't although it doesn't seem likely, I think it's just a matter of cleaning up that horizon line and some of the brushwork around the vase (consistency counts).  otherwise I have to agree with you - it IS cool.  it's like my hand feels surer than it's been and I'm letting it speak.

Comment by nanatehay on October 8, 2017 at 12:07pm

Doesn't the backdrop drive you crazy? I guess this is just my OCD talking, but I would have to move the still life in front of a bare wall or hang a cloth in front of the bookshelf before I could think about starting a pencil sketch let alone painting.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 8, 2017 at 12:19pm

good question.

it depends.  if I were painting from life, then yes.   there's reflected color to consider, light bouncing off everything on to everything. and settling on a light source and time and sticking with that.

I considered hanging that piece of cloth that's behind the photo of the flowers I have stuffed in the bookshelf.  but that kind of painting wasn't where I was going. 

I fell in love with the bouquet wherever it was, whatever time I looked at it - it didn't matter - there was a consistent beauty that transcended time and location.

so I dragged the bouquet into the studio and tried to paint the qualities that I loved so much.

if you look at the photo, it's rather sparse compared to the painting.  I was working as much from feeling and memory as I was from what was in front of me.  in fact, I looked up only to find ways of speaking of the flowers I had been looking at all week.  

Comment by Foolish Monkey on October 8, 2017 at 12:24pm

btw, I painted the second day - the majority of the painting out of doors on my deck.  I dragged the bouquet and the dead flower and petals and painting gear outside because it was warm and I wanted to feel the air on me.  studio work can be claustrophobic.  I used the bouquet only to find elements to add or subtract or to go into more detail.  

Comment by nanatehay on October 8, 2017 at 1:06pm

That makes sense. You weren't doing a still life - you were working with light and color on a subject that had been speaking to you for days. I get it, but even if I didn't I would still love the painting. The last several days have felt like autumn for the first time since I've been here, so thank you for the beautiful bouquet!


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