Spring Scentsation

Spring Scentsation

Large acrylic painting of lilacs is finally signed and off the easel.  

Spring Scentsation by Helen Shideler

I think I heard a heavenly choir of angels 

Hallelujah!  Really I mean it. I have spent so much quality time with this painting.  First scoping all the lilac shrubs in Quispamsis, Rothesay and beyond.  Then taking photos. I scouted, I hunted and even had friends on the lookout for me.  Interesting enough these particular blooms grow in my own backyard.  

Worth crying over

Then I remembered what I forgot.  The wonderful scent of heavily perfumed lilacs are an allergy trigger for me. I managed to take photos through my watery eyes.  This was pretty funny. I was taking photos of the lilacs and my eyes started running. Not just teary, but full on running like a tap. Then my sinuses filled up and I was leaking everywhere.  I was literally catching rivers of tears off my chin! Not a cute image I know, but it shows just how stubborn I can be.  I stayed out there taking photos until I literally no longer could see through my tears and had absolutely no idea what I was getting. Confirming my suspicion that I am allergic to lilacs. And I did this repeatedly evening after evening until the blooms were too far past their prime.

Allergies will not stop me from loving and painting them!   Interesting enough, they were so imprinted on my mind that I could actually smell them as I was painting.  Then when I went to bed I continued to paint them in my dreams.  Really, really imprinted!

Size matters

Gary holding "Spring Scentsation"

The painting process was interesting.  At first I tried, honestly tried to paint loose and flowing. Determined to use some nice new #12 brushes. Oh the satisfaction from loose and flowing strokes!  Only I couldn't.  I gave up on the big brushes very early in the process and reverted back to my #2s and #4s.  Then I went back in and fixed the florets that I first started with.  Ah, my comfort zone - complexity and detail.  

I have another canvas or two this size.  What should I paint next?

Spring Scentsation Update 2

Spring Scentsation is coming along.  

I have finally ventured into new colour territory.  Bring on the Greens

Spring Scentsation WIP by Helen Shideler

I love how some paintings are a constant joy as your work develops.  

I have loved every floret on this work.  Interesting enough I am also loving the freedom of painting the background.  Well, after I paint the edges around the florets!

But with this much detail and painting with small brushes for most of this I have not grown tired. Each new phase is engaging for me.  Usually when a painting is about 2/3 through I retire it until I get the next painting to this phase. Then I retire the new one for a bit.  Then go back to the first. Been a constant pattern for me. 

Funny, when I started this I was so sure I would use large brushes and paint loosely. Started it.  Went back in to refine the details. And was completely hooked on my small brushes once again.  Painting detail is who I am.  Exploring is one thing as long as you are true to who your are I guess.  

Spring Scentsation on the easel

On the easel for awhile

This fall has had me going madly off in all directions.  Literally.  I have twice travelled across the country clearing four time zones in each direction.  Had two nasty sinus infections that literally had me down and out.  Add in a kitchen reno and phew a trip to Newfoundland!  No wonder these paintings are taking awhile to finish.

Spring Scentsation by Helen Shideler

It seems that every night after I have worked on this

and then lie in bed trying to go to sleep, my mind is so active continuing to paint the little lilac florets.  Sometimes I can even feel my hands moving. I enjoy every sleepless moment of it!  You see it is not every painting that imprints on my brain like this.  I think that is reserved for the special ones.  The ones that literally excite you to the point that they keep you awake at nights.  I so love the goopy bits of paint that help to define and sculpt the blossoms. And delight on the many colour variances in those little petals. From the various shades of lilac to the pinks to blues and how the colours are affected by the light and shade.