An Evolving Life. Surprise.
On Mother’s Day, I’m excited to share this painting just finished of the tulip and daffodil gardens at Keukenhof, Holland that I visited on my recent trip to Europe. Derived from the photograph below—miraculously taken amidst thousands of tourists—I had no idea at the time that I would capture the place nor paint it soon after.
Like Fountain Play featured in my last post and most of my work, the inspiration for this gouache and pastel painting was a surprise. In my book, tulips are a cliche meant for postcards, much like skylines and sunsets. Yet, despite the crowds that I usually avoid at all costs, I couldn’t help but fall in love.
And although I’m pleased with the bright orange and yellow masses in the foreground of the piece, what surprises and enchants me is how the eye skims right over the flowers and settles on the serenity of the pond and its reflections. Very different from the murky darkness found in the photograph.
In order to capture a landscape’s light and nuance, many artists insist that it must be painted “en plein air,” not solely from a photograph. Generally I agree, but in this case I beg to differ. If I had been tethered so strictly to reality, it’s unlikely that the pond would have reflected my imagination so peacefully.
Please click on the images to enlarge.
I have had the good fortune of knowing Meryl Spiegel for many years. We met during my BNB days when she was referred to me as a resource for a specific type of photography I was searching for. I also knew her as a writer. Over the years, I have been impressed with Meryl’s talent and creativity, and the honesty of her work. When Meryl began to sketch, paint, work with pastels, she truly overlaid one talent on top of another. The layers were intriguing. I reached out to Meryl recently because I thought that the Hummingbird audience would appreciate her work, and value her process. They say that timing is everything, and in this case it was, because Meryl was thinking about not only “showing” her work, but writing about it too. In our new series, An Evolving Life, Meryl will share the stages, challenges, and meaning of her art, and the journey that coincides with the pieces she highlights. Sandra Novick
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