Personal Art Blog

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Peony Arrangement


Peony Arrangement
6x8in oil on canvas panel $140 SOLD


Artist Note.
The last of the peonies
until next year.
I watched a gardening program
about the peony losing favor in
British gardens and how
one woman is determined to
restore it popularity.
I hope she is successful.
They are so beautiful.

It is summer break and
yesterday I started to clean 
my home studio.
No easy task. I am messy.

My first job was rounding
up all the failures
to destroy with
black roof tar.
Nope - I am not allowed 
to burn trash in the city.

My dear hubby patiently wiped
tar on nearly 150 paintings today!
Three plus years worth of rejects.
I keep them thinking I can tweak
them to make them right,
but nothing is successful that way.

Why tar?
Non-removable that's why.
I actually have had people take
my paintings from the trash.


Now I disguise the trash bags 
with garden clippings

because if you look carefully
you can see the shapes 
of the canvases. 
We have professional 
trash hunters come round on
big trash day when the grappler
is due. 
Once bitten -  twice shy!

Happy Fathers Day 
to all the wonderful
men who take on that 
responsibility with 
love and pride.
Birth, adoption, 
and step fathers alike.
Our daughter is coming in
to be with her "Daddy" 


36 comments:

  1. This is so lovely!!! Your wonderful colors make my eyes dance around the canvas over and over. I laughed at you putting tar on the paintings, but I know people do dig through the trash to find the artwork. It is a good idea. My sister once tore her painting in half and someone took one piece of it. lol The center of the peony keeps calling me to go back up and take another look.

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    1. Hi Joan - glad you like the painting - thank you - and I enjoyed reading about your sister's 'half painting" being taken. What a riot. I walked past the maintenance room when I lived in a high rise and there on the wall were two reject paintings I had thrown in the trash! Back step...into the room and off the wall they came. Another time I was in an antique mall and saw one of my disposed of rejects in a frame, and offered at rather a good price. I was helpless to do anything there except register
      my disapproval. Found they had bought it at an estate sale. And so it goes.
      I thought you did a marvelous job of sketching the sleeping woman on the train. Captured her slack jaw perfectly.

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  2. Hi Julie :) Your peonies are gorgeous, the background is perfect for them, they look like they're in front of a sunny window. The large swirly one in the front reminds me of Van Gogh's 'Still Life with Flowers'. I love the oranges in among the pinks and the lovely dark vase...your still lifes are never really still :)

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    1. Ooh.. van Gogh eh? How great a complement it that - II immediately rushed to see which one of his you referred to. LOVE IT! It has the leaves of the oleander and the flowers must be oleanders. I think the design is extra strong so will use it somewhere down the line. You are a good art buddy!
      Are you working on Odd Bird #2?

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    2. :) Odd bird 2 is on it's way! I LOVE being your art buddy!

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  3. I love the Peonies, Julie! I've ripped my canvases off the frames and cut them up then put the frames in the wood pile at the transfer station (other name for garbage dump LOL). We have to take our trash there so we don't have problems of people going through it. I also shred anything with our names and information on it. Can't be too careful these days.

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    1. More and more I paint on art boards, Carol, but before that I always razored them. Then I would pass on the wood frames to the university students as they had to stretch their canvases.
      Lucky you having a transfer station. My friend in Santa Fe has one and they feel secure about their own disposal. we also shred - I agree about we can not not being too careful with anything anymore. Here is a sigh....

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  4. What a world! People who look for your paintings in the trash. Honestly. (I like the no burn policy but what a bummer on having to apply the tar!)

    Lovely peonies and the colors in the vase are outstanding. Hope that Fathers Day goes well:)

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    1. When I do it, I pour the tar, but the stuff left has stiffened up a bit so thats why sweet hubby patiently offered to put the stick to them. These pink peonies were so different to paint than the white ones. It was the surroundings. The white and pale pale pink ones were painted outside with the blue of the sky really getting into the shadows, but these were indoor ones and a against a window. The light bounce hit all over it. It was definitely a case of "all colors are friends of their neighbors!"
      I think your new piece is my favorite of this series. The colors and design really appeal to me.

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  5. wonderful! why don't you just smooth over the surface of your old paintings with a white gesso or something? I reuse old canvases I actually buy cheap at thrift stores. They are great for doing large abstracts especially. I buy Kilz by the gallon for such things at Home Depot. It works great. I have paintings I have had for 30 years have no problems with this process.

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    1. Hi Lavon. When I painted smoother I would sand a bit and then do as you say, but my work for the last few years has been more textured, and it would leave unpleasant raised marks which I found went against the grain of the new strokes and I definitely did not like the effect. I do agree about Kiltz ( not the water based one) being an excellent cover of oil paint and it prevents the dark areas bleeding though over time. You are so nice to pass on the information, Lavon. It could help an artist who reads this part.

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  6. What a lush painting! Peonies seem to evoke lushness, don't they -- they are so full blown, almost decadently lovely. This painting also has a feeling of another time; it reminds me of a Renoir.
    Like you, I often think I might save a failed painting by revision, but end up tossing it. I cut them up because I wouldn't want someone to find it and judge me by a discarded piece.

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    1. I am one happy camper...Leesa above said it reminded her of van Gogh and now your speak of Renoir. My head is going to get big. I admire both those guys.
      I like the way you describe the peony -lushness, full blown and almost decadently lovely. Yes, it is almost a magical flower to my senses.
      I understand exactly what you mean by someone judging your work by a discarded piece. I knew a highly respected artist and on her unexpected death, her family flooded the market with her studio stash.of what I knew were rejects. It was really sad to hear the comments and see the once looked up to artist decline in so many minds. Never want it to happen to me.

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  7. You continue to inspire! We have a large yellow Peony bush across the driveway so it's the first thing you see when you open the doors. Your painting is beautiful.

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    1. I have never seen a yellow peony. ..it sounds very special.
      How are you Blanche? Are you painting at all or maybe going on a nice vacation.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Sherry - I felt the same way when I saw your beautiful Plaza painting.

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  9. This is SO beautiful Julie! I love the dark vase ...it brings out these amazing peonies! Congratulations on selling it...

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    1. Hi Hilda - the dark vase is a deep purple and goes beautifully with colors either side on the color wheel. it is a steadfast studio friend! Wondering what you are painting? I know you must be busy with another new masterpiece!

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  10. The placement of the vase with peonies whose outstretched branches reach beyond the edges of the canvas is such a compelling composition. Somehow it makes one feel intimately part of the scene!

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    1. Hi Carol - the flower arrangement was rather large so it was a matter of convenience to paint it going off the sides. The cruciform design always been something that is not easy for me to make look natural. Graphic designers use it a lot. I am so pleased you felt it captured an intimate feeling.
      happy painting, Carol

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  11. Your peonies are gorgeous. I wasn't aware they were declining in favour in the UK, the reason may be that they don't seem to last very long at all, especially when we get a wet, windy spring (and summer!).

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    1. Hi Sonia - I saw an english garden show about a lady trying to get more people to plant peonies. Apparently they used to be in nearly every garden and due to their short lifespan, fell out of favor. I bet the wet spring you mention is correct!.
      I am excited about following your Shirley Trevena project. it is a great idea. Love the start you did.

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  12. because most of my art is done on paper, I can just rip it up before it goes in the recycling

    very pretty pink peonies :)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I make hand made paper with my watercolor rejects but now with the Yupo I just wash it off. Great!
      I have enjoyed the variety of subject matter you have chosen to do so far on your sketch a day project.

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  13. Congratulation Julie for your very wonderful flower painting !!!
    Have a nice and creative summer week !!!

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    1. Thank you.
      Enjoy your week too.
      Love your ew painting.

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  14. I love the beautiful peonies!I also love the color of the vase. It makes for a gorgeous composition!

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    1. Thanks so much Celia. The vase is a fav.
      I enjoyed seeing your white hibiscus and the steps.
      You have a great sense of color, Celia. they glow.
      ..

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  15. Oh Julie this is sooo beautiful. I can't imagine why peonies would lose favor. They are the queen of of my garden. I would never have thought about someone rummaging through the trash and stealing your paintings. Made me smile when I saw your grass clippings in the bag. Hope your studio is in good shape and you are back enjoying creating. Have a grand week. Hugs!

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    1. I like that - the queen of your garden.
      Happy anniversary, my friend. Neat we share the same month and year we got married

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  16. What I loved? The edges! What a lovely mixture of soft and some hard. Very, very nice work.

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    1. Hi Helen - I really enjoyed seeing your abstracted landscape. What you said about my painting I can see the same edges and soft and hard in yours. Loved the colors you used too.
      Thanks for the visit.

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  17. Julie, this is so gorgeous! The colors are so happily married. I can't imagine anyone not being in love with peonies!

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    1. Thanks, Miss Sharon. I like that expression "happily married."
      Hope you are painting and recovering nicely from that ferocious bug you had.

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  18. I was visiting my sister yesterday and shared your blog with her. She loved your paintings and enjoyed seeing your yupo pieces. When I told her you've painted some while riding in a car she couldn't believe it.

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I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at juliefordoliver@gmail.com
Cheers,
Julie