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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jimson Weed Refreshed

Jimson Weed, 2002, 18x14, oil on linen
Here is a painting that I gave my daughter years ago when she asked to hang it in her room. This Datura was in my garden and I am fascinated by them. I think they have great color and great shape. You can see why bats love them.

Last week I was helping my daughter hang her art in her new place. This one was rather dark for the wall where she wanted it and in that particular light the painting and the frame just did not work well together. I brought the painting home to refresh it and see if I had another frame in case the painting still did not work in that frame. Linen-lined frames can be problematic in that way. The reworked painting needed a new frame.

To begin with, I thought the flower not very pretty with too much harsh gray and not enough nuance. But I decided to start with the leaves and work my way into the flower. My memory and my photo references told me the leaves were too green, so I went towards blue green. I used ultramarine blue and cad yellow light to get my blue green. Adding more yellow where I wanted it to be more towards the green and younger leaves and flower buds and then more blue for the depths. The stems I wanted to be more purple to add a richness and color. Every so often I would throw in Quinacridone Violet for a deeper color and to tie in with the purpley stems (QV and UMB and white). The dirt I also played with making my own brown and adding orange and QV to give it more variation in color yet keeping it in the light.

Since I had no photo reference for this particular painting I went to the internet and found a pretty good match for the angle of this flower and used it for form and color. I fixed the form to make it less angular and stilted. I softened the edges and toned down the value. I wanted the stamens to stand out more and even though the shading in the revised version is lighter overall because it is more uniform the stamens now pop out. It is subtle but I used yellows, blues and violets to make the form of the flower.

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