Visiting new places is always fun and inspiring for artists, but many of the best paintings have been made close to home. One of my favorites is one that Renoir painted of Monet in his garden. It’s just a homey painting of a backyard with other houses in the distance.
Today I decided paint a scene that I see every day from my breakfast table. It is of my garden this month with the tall sunflowers and multi-color zinnias and other flowers. The rest of the garden is still producing but is beginning to look a little straggly this time of year. We’re still getting plenty of tomatoes, eggplants, beans, and peppers. But it’s the flowers that I really love. The birds and butterflies love them, too.
I got out early to take advantage of the cool morning and the shade. The canvas is primed with a beige color and painted black on the border.
The first step as usual for me is to lay in the general composition and the dark colors. As you can see, I did some editing, removing the line of trees in the background and just including a few big trees. I also squashed things together a bit for the composition.
Next I laid in more darks and some brighter greens as well as the sky. I wanted a rosy early morning sky….so I made one.
Actually the most difficult part was painting the flowers. It is so hard to get them bright without being gaudy. I ended up painting a light wash of pale green over some of them to tone down their brightness.
The entire painting took about three hours minus some time for a phone call to a friend while I was waiting for paint to dry. The point here is that you don’t have to travel a great distance to find something worthy to paint. A good subject might be just outside your window.