Past its prime

I think this bouquet started out too beautiful to paint. I tried it when it was fresh but because it was a perfect arrangement of tulips, irises, daffodils, freesia and hyacinths — each one a different colour — I couldn’t make it work. I waited a few days until the blooms were past their prime, sagging and shrivelled at the ends, and then tried it again. At this point the colours have softened and faded, making it a somewhat easier target to capture.

27Bouquet


24 Comments on “Past its prime”

  1. wildsherkin says:

    So vibrant and beautiful!

  2. Alison says:

    Sorry for repeating myself, but I LOVE YOUR FLOWER PAINTINGS! They always capture a hidden essence that our naked eye can’t see. It’s magical!

    • Alison, thank you. I still have the bouquet and even though I haven’t posted more sketches of it, I am still sketching its decay. We’ll see how long I can keep it up before all the petals are off.

  3. Louise says:

    Shari, I think both your post and your painting are very profound, for they remind me of ‘wabi-sabi’ … the Japanese art of imperfection. When things are too perfect, they seem to lack interest or character. As an organic process of decay sets in, something more beautiful is revealed when we take time to look for it and see it. This is more than a sketch of flowers past their prime. It is a lesson about art and beauty and how to see and appreciate what is before us no matter how superficially imperfect it may be. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Louise, thanks for your thoughtful words. I often draw decayed stuff (rotten bananas are a special favourite) but have never thought of it like that. Of course I had to look up wabi-sabi, which I’m sure I have read about in the past. Thanks for sharing that. It’s always wonderful to hear from you.

  4. And you captured them beautifully. Oh to paint as loosely as you do. I’m working on it though. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. joantav says:

    Nicely done! I sometimes find that when the flowers are too fresh and perfect they are harder to paint.

  6. M. L. Kappa says:

    I find this is specially true of tulips which acquire ever more interesting shapes as they wilt. Lovely sketch! I’m always doing bouquets too – I like having flowers in the house and then I can’t resist them. X

  7. Beautiful very nicely done! I love the colors!

  8. anne farmer says:

    I agree about tulips – as beautiful dead as alive!

  9. Monique says:

    I agree about wabi sabi..I read a book on it..and although perfect watercolors that look like photographs are created by very talented artists and they are beautiful..I am more attracted to imperfection..charm..or different brushstrokes..etc..

  10. Susan says:

    Gorgeous. Just what we need on a day like today.

  11. Mary Duncan says:

    I love this delicate painting . This exactly how I would like to paint . Here in Arizona we have such beautiful delicate cactus flowers in our gardens I would love to capture the way you do . I eagerly look each day for your sketches!

    • Hi Mary. My cousin spends winters in Arizona and often posts photos of the cactus flowers she sees on her hikes. One of these days I would love to visit her, follow her on her hikes and sketch the flowers.


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