First for 2013 or last for 2012, whichever a recalcitrant painting indeed



Some painting just flow onto the page, there may be a couple of hesitations as you consider colour, technique or composition, but they just work.  Calm, smooth and satisfying, like good quality chocolate.  Others do not, you struggle with them, you struggle not to throw them aside, you struggle to get them to work.  This one was the latter, and I am not sure if it has worked yet or not, we need some time apart for tempers to settle.

It was just plain recalcitrant, what a great word, I had to look it up before I used it, just to ensure that I had the meaning right.  My dictionary said

“resisting authority (that would be me) or control, not obedient or compliant, refractory.  Hard to deal with, mange or operate”.

It started out so beautifully, a dear friend bought me a lovely bunch of Gerberas for Christmas and they were so fresh and happy I decided to paint them.  Trying to find a different take on them I decided to paint one from underneath.

My major issues were

  • Tricky perspective that hasn’t quite worked in the stem.
  • Petal Colour, I really wanted to get the clear soft pink, which I think has worked, but I tussled with the difference between shading and the different colours in the petals.  Still not clearly resolved.
  • The background had a couple of attempts, happy with it, but not sure if I like it more than the white paper backgound of my other paintings.
  • The outline, I used my new Sennelier inks and it was such a gorgeous dark black, but too black and I ended up going over the lines again in grey pencils to knock them back a bit as they dominated the picture.

So I put this one before you, and as I started it in December and finished it in January, not sure were it fits.  Any ideas on it are welcome, we clearly need as much help as we can get to  repair our relationship.  (Or should I not take this so personnally?)


7 responses to “First for 2013 or last for 2012, whichever a recalcitrant painting indeed

  1. What a lovely painting to get, especially with using new materials! My very first thought was, “What a lovely composition!” I like the way you have filled the frame and gone off the edges and left interesting negative spaces.
    I think part of your fight with the stem is that the flower has shading to make it dimensional, as does the stick, but the calyx appears flat. The sepals on the edges as they curve away from us should be darker. Also, I think I’d make the underside of the petals on the far side of the flower different (darker, lighter, or less intense) than the petals in the front.
    And I too often like my paintings better after some time away from them, especially if I have been fighting with them.

    • Thanks Ruth, Yes I agress I have looked at the painting in parts not as a whole. Each segment of the calyx has been shaded but not it as a whole, The petals also have been shaded but not the flower as a whole.

      With a little more time apart, I have some ideas of how to fix this painting. Thank you, fresh eyes are a must.

      Although I haven’t mentioned it before it is a big drawing, the full size of an A1 piece of paper, so I would hate all that work to be wasted. I also hate to give up on a painting that works so well on any other levels.

  2. I very much like the composition Karen; and especially love the background colour.
    If I may offer my completely unqualified suggestion(!), I wonder if the darker shade in the petals could bear a little more depth, to balance and match the background hue?
    It’s not always easy to pinpoint the simple change needed … ah, I do know this feeling well.

    • Hi Karen, Yes I agree with your suggestions, thank you for your insights (Your opinions are far from unqualified). I have made the foreground petals too dark, they should have been almost white. I may need to go back and repaint those petals again to get them pale enough. I could darken the back petals but I would loose the pale pink of the flower. Part of this excercise was to shade the petals without loosing their colour, hard with very pale or white flowers. The struggle continues, but I will not be beaten!

  3. This is such a powerful painting! The graphic nature of it works well, and I see you say above it is A1! Wow, HUGE! My only comment would be to make the petals on the right hand side either darker or duller (a little more tertiary) so that they fall away more. It would be stunning on a wall!

  4. Pingback: Gerbera Re-worked | occasionalartist

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