It struck me this week that lilacs are in my top 5 list of favorite flowers. Let’s see. Why not list them and the memories they evoke:
1. Peony (their smell…soft white petals..farm house and the big window above them…and…ants?)
2. Lavender (Washington…fields upon fields of purple hills…and the smell, oh man the smell!)
3. Lilac (tearing around on my bike next to the bushes on the farm…the sunshine smell…my mom)
4. Rose (the old-fashioned kind…my bike was my “horse” and I speed around the bushes super fast)
5. Dahlia (my house in Portland…my little boys running around catching praying mantis and other critters)
Huh. What does that say about me? All these flowers are old-school flowers! Does that mean I’m an old fashioned kind of gal? Nah. They just smell heavenly and remind me of growing up on the farm.
Lilacs by my front door
I finally have lived in a house long enough for the lilacs that I planted to bloom! Every house that we built, I would plant lilacs, with dreams of someday gathering them into my greedy clutches, planting my nose deep inside their purple-ness, and inhaling their memory-inducing bouquet. Then, I’d clip them into a huge white bucket (oh, the senses!) and bring them indoors to fragrance the whole house. Alas, we always moved before my bucket-of-lilacs dream came true. Until now! I have two large lilac bushes near my front door, and if the deer don’t chomp them down, they bloom like crazy. So, in response to the Bucket of Lilacs dream, I decided I’d paint just that.
Lilacs for the painting
Yes! I DID place blooms into my painting. Carefully clipping each tiny bloom, I placed them in between newspaper and flattened/dried them overnight. The next day, I used matte Medium to adhere them to the gessoed plexiglass panel. It was so much fun, I thought I might plaster them everywhere! But I had to use restraint. I had only clipped a few lilacs and it was time to paint. No time to waste!
First wash, showing general layout and real lilac petals
Okaayyy…great idea, hard to do. Have you ever painted lilacs? Or tried? A bit difficult, I can tell you. As always, I concentrate detail in a few areas near the focal point, and leave ya’ll guessing for the rest. The most difficult part of this painting was trying to get the mass of blooms to have depth and structure.
Detail showing real lilac petals
Detail showing real lilac blooms and paper texture
The colors in this painting? Yummy. I hope I gave the impression of lilac blooms?
Bucket O’ Lilacs. 16×20 watercolor on Gessoed Plexiglass. $750 message me to own 🙂
Can you recall memories of lilac-filled days? Maybe you can smell them?
Or maybe you have strong memories associated with other flowers. What are your favorites? When you see them or smell them, what memories flood forth? Comment…I’m interested 🙂
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