Update 5 Amethyst Shades of Blue and a few others

So happy when I reach this stage of a painting.  The main blossoms of Amethyst Shades of Blue are pretty much completed, at least for now.  I always reserve colour balancing for the last stages of the work.  And so now I am starting to work on the leaves and background.

Amethyst Shades of Blue by Helen Shideler

Magic of colour

This will be the last update of this painting until the whole piece is complete. I am thinking that I have to preserve some intrigue. What do you think?

I will say that his painting looks pretty striking from across the room.  It is large, (full sheet), pretty had to see the scale in a blog post.

I think that I have fallen in love with blue all over again.  There are so many shades. So many moods - from baby softness to stormy seas and moody skies.  The tender blue effect that I have been able to represent in this painting makes my soul happy.  Cannot explain it , it just does.  I believe that the magic of colour is to evoke mood and stimulate memories.

On another note

I am also working on a number of small oils.  Trying to do one a week.  I think of this as training for the Plein Air Conference and Expo in Santa Fe next April. The three I have completed are below. (They are available in the store section of this web site).

Oil paintings by Helen Shideler

And two more in progress Walk in the Park and Plein Air Painters are sketched out on panel with diluted paynes grey.

WIP Helen Shideler

Wish me luck with my adventure with oils.

Rhodo Rhapsody

I little over a year ago, I was out walking along the seawall in Vancouver when I came across this amazing rhododendron.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  And as good fortune would have it, I happened to have my camera with me. Pure rhododendron rhapsody.

Rhodo Rhapsody by Helen Shideler

The Vancouver difference

They grow to be quite huge in Vancouver - everything grows to be quite huge in Vancouver and, they have so many varieties.  I had never seen this one before ever.  It is amazing. I took many photos knowing I would one day be painting it.

I have since noticed that the nurseries in the Maritimes are now carrying them. We will be planting one for sure this spring.

When the sun shines

I love the play of light in this painting.  How the lower blooms are cooler and slightly in the shade. And how the top bloom appears warmer in the sun and how the bright sun affects the colours of the leaves.  The delicious little bits of light dancing across the leaves were so gratifying to paint. 


I felt that the painting was completed yesterday afternoon.  I signed it and proceeded to scrutinize it looking for areas that may require some colour balancing or attention in some way. Then this morning when I opened Facebook, I was presented with a memory from last year.  You guessed it (blush) - I started this painting exactly one year ago.  I could not believe it.  My how time flies.  In fairness I set it aside so I could work on a few commissions.  But a whole year ago!

WIP - Cascading Blooms Update 3

An interesting thing happened

when I was working away on this painting. I got distracted by another piece I had loosely sketched out.

Cascading Blooms by Helen Shideler


I realized I had most of the roses finished except for two in the background in the upper part of the painting.  For awhile I was not even certain that I was even going to add them in.  After starting the painting with a pretty loose sketch, I have been refining the sketch and pretty much drawing it as I work along.  Adding a leaf here and there.  Not adding in the large twigs.

Anyway, I have moved from the roses to painting leaves.  Now I love painting leaves.  That is often where the drama is.  Each leaf is taking about an hour or more to complete.  Then the strangest thing happened.  I started to get tired of working with green.  And I swear - I heard the sketch of the rhodos calling me.  Helen we are here, over here.  Come start to paint us.  We need so much more colour than green.  Really it is true.  

The hard stuff is next

The next phase in is painting is to cut out a masking film to cover and protect the roses. From there I will have to mask off the edges.  This will allow me to work the background with a degree of abandon and not have to worry about splashing dark colours on the blooms. 

The Lovely Miss Feya Lily

Once upon a summer’s day, while walking about in the ever charming St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, I stumbled across this sumptuous crimson tree lily.   It literally stopped me in my tracks.  It was tall and absolutely stunning.  Regal and proud.  Fragrant.  A real show stopper. 

Now anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love to paint lilies!  There have been many in my painting career.   And there will certainly be many more. 


With the aid of my friend Google, I did the research to identify her and perhaps locate where I may purchase one for our garden at home (and how to deer proof around it).  I am seriously considering tying to grow one in a container on our up high deck. Has anyone out there ever grown lilies in pots?   If so...some advice would be welcome.


Check out what I found:

We believe this to be the very BEST hybrid not only ever created by Washington State hybridizer, Mr. LeVern Friemann, but of all time, anywhere in the world. Deep maroon-red color front and back, blending to bright violet on petal/sepal tips. ....Blooms are very sun fast, a fantastic addition to the lily world, and certainly the reddest Tetraploid Oriental lily ever to be released. Grows 5 to 6 feet tall in full sun for us, expect taller stems under glass, or in light shade. Late July, early August flowering.

Fabulous lily of crimson red with purple stripes from the base and lightly spotted, just a hint of silver on the edge of the petals. Plants are tall and robust

Sumptuous crimson -maroon flowers

Rich, cherry-red petals with dark, almost black stripes and speckles are delicately outlined in bright white.