Highlighting the journey of creating a summer collection of flowers that come into season and the local scenery of Frontenac County.
I don't know about you but I find May to be the best smelling month of the year here in Sydenham, Ontario. Everywhere you look, you're bound to see lilacs growing wild in fields or in people's yards. This flower holds special memories and significance to me as it was our main flower for our wedding - oh so long ago!
Daily walks down my neighbours path to Sydenham lake and strolls along the cataraqui trail and Clearwater Road are heavenly this time of year in May. You can smell the lilacs before you even see them. I also have this lilac shrub that you can see from our living room and porch which, for some reason this year has been it's best year so far - fully loaded with dark purple blooms.
The creative process
Lilacs are not the easiest of florals to paint. You have to choose how much to paint in detail and how much to just be a hint of the flower. My process had me experimenting with both watercolour and gouache, along with some oil pastels in the mix. I have these handmade watercolour papers from Montreal that I'm loving for it's rough texture and deckled bottom edge and smaller handmade paper from Parwana paper that you can see the cotton and silk fibres coming through.
I purposefully tried to capture the lilac colour, details in a minimalistic way - not trying to paint in every detail but choosing areas to highlight and others to leave vague.
With the mini gouache paintings, my focus is on a simplified floral with a block of colour to pop out the painting as well as showing the raw natural handmade paper. A bit more on the illustrative side of my brain for sure.
I really like trying to start with some structure but then let go during the process and just paint what I feel. This doesn't always work out and not every painting will make it into the final collection but I feel each piece is trying to teach me something new.
Launch date for summer collection: August 2021. More to come!
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Morning Sunshine, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge, approximately 4.5" x 6.5"
Some day maybe, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge approximately 5"x 5"
Silly Dreams, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge, approximately 5"x5"
Over the moon, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge, approximately 5" x 5"
Ochre Mood, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge, approximately 5" x 5"
Royal Lilac, gouache on handmade paper with deckled edge, approximately 5" x 5"
Sweet Lilac 9"x10" on handmade watercolour paper
Lilac Envy 9"x10" on handmade watercolour paper
Lilac Branch 9"x10" on handmade watercolour paper
More to come! Take care and stay safe.