“At the end of your brush is the tip of your soul.”
~ Andrew Hamilton
This week I decided to tackle the bird of paradise flower once again. To make things more interesting I challenged myself to move away from the photographic composition I was working from. I used my photo just as a reference.
Bird of Paradise Flowers
Watercolour with a touch of gouache
Having seen these flowers growing in large clumps in Madeira recently, I knew there was nothing soft, gentle or wispy about them. These plants exude substance, strength and structure which meant in my mind a painting of them needed to reflect their fundamental characteristics.
Having sorted out the direction of the painting, I then proceeded to figure out how I could inject more of myself into this painting that was obviously going to rely heavily on structure. It did not take me long to realise that my natural style with watercolour would kick in to sort out that problem. At that point I stopped thinking and just got on with painting. Sometimes it is best not to think too much and just allow instinct to take over.
Of course it takes years and years of practice to become a truly instinctive painter. Even now, after all these years, I know I still have lots to learn. My artistic path will never be content with just being able to draw or paint for the sake of producing a simple painting. It will always be motivated to learn and explore more.