Monday, April 11, 2011

Tulips and apples

When I first started this blog, I mostly painted fruit.  That was a big enough challenge for me.  I avoided more complex subjects, because I didn't think I could paint them.  I kept telling myself that I can't paint flowers, but that when I become a better painter, I'd try.

So something shifted in my brain this week.   If I want to learn to paint flowers, I need to start trying to paint them!  Doh.

I realized a couple of things while I was painting this:

1.  It's really too large for a small canvas.  I should just try to paint a couple of flowers instead of a large vase full of them.   Next time I'll do that.

2.  I spent 90% of my time on this painting on the tulips, trying to make them have volume and "read" as tulips.   I painted the apples and fabric in less than five minutes.  That was an eye opener to me.  I knew how to paint them!   All that practice.  Maybe after another six months I'll know how to paint flowers!

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel


  1. Hi Virginia,
    yes this painting is unique then any other painting of yours, i love the colors of the background and the clot's can try lot like this it looks perfect for me.

  2. Helen Van Wyk is an expert on flowers! check out her videos/books. I can't believe you got all that on an 8 by 8! I think you did pretty good!

  3. I really like this! I don't think it is too large at all for the canvas- it looks great. Good job and like all the interest in the whole piece! I did learn early on that tulips are tough because they change so quick on us- opening or drooping- you did great and love the shapes.

  4. Isn't it great when the painting is easy and isn't it great when you try something new and really learn from it!

  5. I love the open tulip in this painting and summer breeze in the post below. Had to follow and now I am going to see what else you've done. Thanks for posting.

  6. Hi Virginia,

    Yes by all means check out Helen Van Wyk dvds, she was a great teacher. Your painting of flowers is lovely. I agree with you, the only way to learn something is trial and error. There is no safe way to paint, but oh how wonderful it is to try, fail, then succeed.

    All the best to you

  7. Thanks for the suggestion about Helen Van Wyk. I used to watch her on PBS years ago. I didn't know there are still DVD's available.

  8. Beautiful flowers. It doesn't look too complicated to me. I suppose it's just a matter of what one likes.