Dahlia II Watercolor Floral Painting
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Dahlia II is a miniature watercolor painting depicting a yellow orange Dahlia against a misty garden background. Inspired by a photo taken by my niece of a bloom she received. The intricate petals posed a new challenge, with their bold variety of orange colors. Botanical art inspired, with a touch of ink work. Painted on Arches watercolor paper, with USA made Daniel Smith light-fast watercolors, and hand dipped India Ink pen work. This piece is hand trimmed in a delicate pattern, and float mounted onto Crescent Museum mat board. Professionally framed under plexiglass in a faux gold leaf solid wood frame. The artwork measures 4 x 6 inches, the opening of the frame is 8 x 10 and the exterior dimension of the frame is 14 x 16. The back of the piece is fully papered and hanging hardware is pre-attached for your convenience. Packed with care in a corrugated box rated up to 200 pounds crushproof.
I work in two contrasting methods and styles which give me a sense of artistic balance and reflect both the chaos and order in nature, which is my predominant subject matter. My intuitive method begins with a basic color palette which is added to instinctively as the piece develops.
In this method I draw upon memories of experiences in the natural world, such as trips out West or walks on one of many of Michigan’s lakeshores. Channeling feelings of movement and color, I use acrylic with both a brush and a palette knife to model the scene. This leads to either highly abstract works or pieces where discernible landscape structures become apparent, such as a hill, a mountain, a cliff or a grouping of vegetation.
When working intuitively with watercolors, I will begin painting after observing my subject for numerous hours, such as clouds or birds. Then as I work, images simply present themselves. As the story unfolds, I will add and delete pigments at great length to form an image, and adjust my palette instinctively.
My second method involves a great deal of contemplation and planning. It begins with a snapshot of an intimate moment experienced outdoors. A blossom, cloudscape, or waterline is captured as a print, and then key elements are extracted to create the painting. I will play around with the composition, create palette swatches, rough sketches and ultimately transfer the sketch to paper or canvas in preparation to paint.
In both methods, I allow the pigments to mingle or overlap freely, creating their own language of color, and after they dry apply black ink to create further motion in broad undulating strokes, or develop form with extensive stippling. The finished piece suggests the reference material, but rarely resembles it.
The artwork is completed when I feel it reaches the level of visual emotion it needs to tell a story that others can enjoy.
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