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?

So much to paint so little time

I am seriously restless

I think I have a huge case of spring fever once again.  Working away on two traditional watercolours  paintings "Cascading Blooms" the climbing rose and "TBD" rhodo.  Oh and a rather large landscape commission in acrylic that I cannot share with you yet (this is torment).  And all the while dreaming of Arizona and the PACE (Plein Air Conference & Expo) in Tucson this April. I have already started my what-to-pack list.

WIP Poured Painting Demo Piece by Shideler

Does this ever happen to you

When out of the blue I started thinking about poured watercolour paintings. Ok, not really out of the blue..I have to have a painting in progress to take to my talk at the Saint John Art Club meeting on March 24th.  But I have so much inspiration! I honestly do not know where to start. I love my creative life and love that sometimes I am on inspiration overload and cannot seem to finish anything and then almost cannot start something new because I cannot choose...but have many paintings progressing.

WIP Secret Commission by Helen Shideler


I have an image in my mind of a series of seascapes hanging on one wall in a show.  It's my around-to-it.  Thinking that I may kick start that series I decided do a seascape as part of my poured painting demo.  H: pouring paint does not create soft edges.  Helpful hint: Clouds and water are soft and free-er with no hard edges.  Unsure how this one is going to develop - I have my fingers crossed. The salvation is it could always become a mixed media painting.  I always maintain there is nothing you cannot fix with acrylic paint (except maybe an oil painting).

WIP Poured Painting Demo piece by Helen Shideler

Doubting myself

And then I started another for the demo.  My just-in-case painting.  My backup plan so to speak. A safer subject.  Once drawn out I realized this would be a real cool full sheet poured painting. Maybe for another day.