While out side having breakfast one morning I noticed a few unusual bees hanging around the plants with purple flowers. Possum cottage garden is new to me and I don’t know what every plant is called yet, as I know more about veggie than flowers.
Anyway the way the light was falling on the flowers and the background was almost black I thought it would make an excellent black label painting with a few additional bees since I’d scared them off.
I always try and paint different subjects and I think this is the first time I’ve painted a furry looking plant. So this meant I had to learn something new, after a little bit of experimentation I discovered that if I paint hundreds of little dots this makes a furry looking leaf.
The down side to this is that it took ages to paint and this is what I achieved on the first half of day one.
I did manage to paint the first of a three bees, even though it was a little more camouflaged than I hoped for.
Once I started on the undercoat for the purple petals the painting instantly look more like a completed painting, this however was so deceiving as it took me another 3 weeks to complete all the petals.
I just finished painting the white part of the flower and the next day my parents arrived.
Brian took one look at my painting and said all he can see is Pennywise the clown from a Stephen King Novel, IT. The white parts are the face and all the purple is its fluffy top and the stalk is the clowns spine. Hence the title “Bee Aware of Pennywise”.
This wasn’t that helpful as now I had to complete my painting with a killer clown staring back at me, because I’ve read the book and seen the movie too. All that was missing now was a red ballon filled with helium.
So I tried to make this painting look more like a plant and less like a killer clown, but all the purple flowers didn’t seem to help the cause any.
This part of the painting took me weeks and each semi transparent petal with all its different shades of blue and purple were so difficult to paint.
I’d paint a few petals and get annoyed that the colours were so different then I’d leave the painting for a few days. When I’d start painting again I would forget the order I painted the blues and purples to get a matching colour, this leading to more frustration.
This evil clown was getting the better of me and I thought these petals were never going to end. I’d finish one then see a mistake in another.
These are the parts of the artist life that you don’t see, the problems, things not working out, the mistakes. What I have learned is that taking photos of the process and writing about them can help with future ideas and a guide to look back on to remember the process.
As they say when you buy an artists work your also buying all the mistakes and all the experience to get to the painting your looking at to date.
After going slightly mad I attempted two more blue banded bees to balance the painting up.
Trying to paint something furry this small was almost impossible, the paint was drying too fast and it wasn’t giving me a thin enough line. when the days are 37 deg with no aircon it tends to dry the paint quickly on the brush.
I add more water and the line was too transparent I added more paint and then paint with give you a few dots rather than a smooth thin line. Eventually I got the combination of paint just right and if the three bears were artists then the middle one would be very happy.
Sometimes it’s hard to make a painting process sound interesting once you reach more than a hundred blogs so an attempt at humour is needed. I blame it on my stepdad bringing Pennywise into one of my paintings.
So I tried to embrace the clown and gave it a red ladybug nose, but it looked dreadful and was removed.
Final image without the ladybug disaster.
Hopefully whoever buys this painting likes clowns and reads the blog before purchasing IT.
For my Black Label collection I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Black Colourfix Art Spectrum Paper or Black Mi-Teintes Touch Canson Paper.
My painting come from my own experiences that I have experienced and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com
Enjoy, Chris Osborne