Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Floating Dahlias.

Floating Dahlias
Work in Progress

Artist Note
(yup...still painting water!!!)

I saw these wonderful floating 
dahlia flower heads 
in September when I was 
 visiting the 
Nedra Matteucci Gallery
in Santa Fe.

 I fell in love.

I tried painting them in 
watercolor first, and found it 
waaay too busy to include 
the bird bath. Easy decision
to paint only the 
flowers, but it presented
a whole new set of problems.
In our culture we are only 
used to seeing the waterlily
floating on water, and 
they have many petals too.

How to make sense of 
floating flowers? 
How to make them 
appear to be in water.
Finally arriving at...
does it matter if they look 
like  another flower 
or in water?
Nope. What matters is 
painting something
close in my heart.

I went a little larger than my 
usual blogging size... 
because 10"x8"
 is a far easier size 
to work out 

Transparent washes of colors

 then fracture or disturb
the surface
The stage below is 
my personal favorite
basic and very abstract.
I am going to be exploring this
theme further
in several different ways.


  1. These floating Dahlias are so beautiful, Julie. The gorgeous reflections in the water is absolutely amazing! Lovely work as always!!!

  2. You are very encouraging, Hilda, and I appreciate it even more so because I really love your work. Waiting impatiently for the next one

  3. My personal favorite also. This subject really lends itself to abstraction. It just glows.

    1. That doesn't surprise me Helen. I see your love for abstraction growing stronger.

  4. Well, you know I am going to tell you that I like shots 1 and 2! But, where you stopped is very Julie-like so I like that too! Paint from your heart and all else seems to follow:)

    1. LOL. Naturally I know your preferences, dear Libby. Your new post has neat examples of computer work which fits so perfectly with your goals. Very inspiring.
      Thanks for the visit - as always.

  5. Gorgeous work as always Julie! I love the rich color combinations and reflections on the water. There are florists who make centerpieces with flowers and tealights. I know it also works with roses. This idea reminds me of that, it is very beautiful!

    1. When I was in India I loved the way they floated the heads of the flowers and have done it here when they start to droop. Fle
      Floating a tea light in it is a wonderful idea, thanks my friend..
      Your beautiful water colors on the silk clothing is beyond fabulous. I fell in love with a certain top.

  6. Peaceful, gentle and luminous are words that come to me in looking at this work. Beautiful Julie!

    1. Glad you think it has a luminous quality, Kaethe. Thanks.
      Your latest painting with the boat is extra special. It blows me away how you can be so true on your values.

  7. We have raised dahlias on the farm here for florist shops and I love them. These are beautiful. I saw them floating in the water at first glance, although you are right, we are not used to seeing too many types of flowers floating in the water. Loved your process photos. You are always so giving with how you do things. Can't wait to see more.

    1. Lucky you raising Dahlias. They are amazing and I especially love them floating. thanks for such a lovely comment Sharon. You have such a kind heart....every month giving away a painting. I love the happy smile on this month's winners face

  8. This is lovely but I know you will probably be showing us something new and fabulous at every stage. I love seeing stage two as it reminds me of Ovanes Berberian and the way he sometimes starts and yet it will have your signature - which I love.

    1. I took classes from Ovanes almost 20 years ago. I was not painting full time then, but my note book is treasured and looked at to this very day. Brilliant teacher. I have stuck to his transparent underpainting. He would not like my work now because my work does NOT have the bravado stroke he loves so much. His mantra...VALUES then COLOR.
      Nest...THINK beautiful color!
      He would LOVE your beautiful and amazing colorful fall tree painting.

  9. The whole concept of floating flowers definitely offers a creative jolt! What possibilities! The alluring colors that come from your mixing with the palette knife are captivating. Very rich and varied.The garden display you witnessed certainly did make a profound impression on you.

    1. It was difficult to make them look floating with the overhead viewpoint. I had loads of wipe offs. Fortunately with using the transparent colors they came of clean every time,
      Impression yes - funny how some things do. My friends remarked on how nice they were and moved on. I stayed soaking every detail in. No accounting for taste is there?

  10. Very beautiful flower composition with so nice colours !!!

    1. Thank you, I really thing your new painting is fabulous. The Cycladic art and culture was so beautifully pure.

  11. I love the idea of flowers floating on a pool or pond. The light, reflections and colours just asking to be painted ... and there you were. Gorgeous!

    1. We both love water John. Around flowers or boats!!!
      Enjoyed seeing your process shots. I have you on my side bar now - took me forever to work out how to do that.

  12. nice to see a few pics of it before its finished :) helps to show how you make up the final image :)

  13. Yes - don't know myself how this will end up yet.
    Your drawing of the horses head just is amazing. Gold star stuff!

  14. The arboretum near me has a dahlia garden and there is a birdbath that always has some of the fallen dahlia blossoms floating in it. This is really lovely. I love the reflections of the flowers in the water and the fullness of the blossoms. Beautiful!

  15. As I commented on DPW: "They DO look like dahlias, not lilies, but it's very evocative of Monet nonetheless -- intended as a compliment, by the way. It's lovely, Julie!" It was also a wonderful insight to see the process photos in your newsletter. I envy your visit to the Nedra Mattuecci gallery, too. I've noticed in my various art magazines that it has some fabulous artists. Always a delight to follow your adventures, and savor your talents!

  16. What you say is true, Julie; it doesn't matter. However, you in your usual, skilful way have managed to make them look as they ought and make them float. Superb!

  17. You speak from your heart, your analysis is so precise, the execution astounding, it is pure joy, all in all !


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