Ear Full of Buzz, Eye Full of Yellow (with thanks to Jo Shapcott)

Painting this piece was a song in my heart almost from the beginning. Well, actually from the beginning, but I haven’t learned to trust that song quite yet.

I had been saving this 16X20 panel of white pastelbord for something special. It was a gift, and that’s a good thing because that stuff is expensive! So I was saving it.

In my mind, I knew I wanted to try another flower painting without using a reference. I learned a lot the last time I did it, and won an award with that painting (that’s how I got the pastelbord).

So last Saturday, I boldly unwrapped the board, mustered my courage (and my composition plan), and began with an oil stain underpainting in alizarin crimson, cad yellow and Prussian blue. I winced a bit over it when I was done… It was very garish, and there weren’t the interesting effects I expected from the oil stain.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the bare underpainting, but here is a photo after I started putting in some darks and painting my focal point flowers:

Although you can’t see that extremely bright yellow under the blue sky, maybe you can imagine it with the glimpses available.

My heart was singing at the underpainting, but I didn’t trust it. However, as I began to add the darks, sky and flowers, I began to hear it loud and clear! I was so excited! Oh, and I wanted to be so careful to paint thoughtfully… To preserve the red underpainting, to give a journey to the eye, to tell a story… And not to overwork!

Here’s another progress shot.

Finally, I finished, though I feel that at a few points I did overwork it a bit. It’s still singing to me… My heart is so joyful over this one!

Here’s the finished piece.

Yellow flowers with blue sky and bees

16X20 ampersand pastelbord with oil stain underpainting… Did you know that bees ‘sing’ to flowers so the flowers will release their pollen? The Creator is amazing! Jo Shapcott wrote a poem containing the phrase with which I titled this piece.

What a heart song this one was! And it was so needed… So many sadnesses in our world this week. It’s such a gift to be able to push back at the darkness.


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