I recently finished this painting of “fresh cut roses” from my yard. It was done in acrylics on canvas. These flowers actually bloomed last August. I took a reference photo of them at the time, and finally began painting them in early December. No winter wonderland scenes here. Mostly because it doesn’t snow where live. It is cold enough to make foliage look dead and crispy except for seasonal cyclamens.
The photo that I worked from is merely what it is: a reference. While the shadows were easy to follow, color and texture in the photo was dull so recreating the beauty of these flowers was largely left to my memory and imagination. I made the yellows and pinks brighter. I highlighted the tips and curves of the petals, and rounded them out. I altered the color and texture of the background wall from flat boring beige to a dappled, complementary powder-blue. I eliminated background objects such as chairs and counter clutter, except for scissors. In the upper right corner, I alluded to the encroaching palm trees cast with afternoon sunlight.
One of the things I like about using reference photos or my paintings is that it allows me time to use my memory and imagination together to enhance a flickering moment that caught my eye. Petals wither, and blooms fall apart. For me, painting them helps preserve the memory of their beauty.
What can I say? I love flowers, and I love growing them. Painting them is an extra bonus. I guess it’s my way to continuously enjoy them through winters.