Picture Profile 2013: “”Three Plucked Petals” (Anemone hupenhensis)
2013 Three Plucked Petals (Japanese Anemones, Anemone hupehensis)
Artist Code 2013. Started September 2020 on black paper completed 12 January 2021. ORIGINAL – Gouache A3 Royal Talens van Gogh black water colour 100% cellulose paper 140lbs. SOLD 13 January 2021—Private sale
I began working on this painting in September 2020 and it nearly went into the bin then! I had purchased some black water colour paper to try (as mentioned above). It was on offer and once I started working on it I realised why it was less than half price!
For someone like myself, who paints very nitty-gritty, 100 per cent cellulose paper is like painting on rough bricks. Not good at all for botanical work for which I usually use 100 per cent cotton rag (although I thought flowers on a black background would be lovely to do, ever since I saw a painting at Kew Gardens in Dr Shirley Sherwood’s Gallery of a pink rhododendron on a black background, but painted on calf-skin vellum. It was so vibrant I determined that day that I would do a similar painting sometime). The rest of this black paper will be relegated for use in my “moody” painting sessions.
Late last summer (2020) I played tennis at Cambridge Lawn Tennis club where I am a member and there were a few pink Japanese anemones still flowering in the border around courts 1 and 2, so I asked permission to pick a few. I came home all excited with my prize and could not wait to get started. However, after sketching out my drawing on white paper to transfer onto the black stuff I realised that I did not know how to transfer a drawing onto black paper! In the end I managed to scan the sketch and print it on to the paper with a very feint green line. When I started painting with water colour, I was devastated that the paint just seemed to “roll about” and disappear! I tried with oil pencils, but that did not look good, and then with acrylic: better, but still not the effect I was seeking. Very disillusioned, I cleaned my palette and put the painting away.
I turned again to the “black paper” at the start of the current (January 2021) lockdown, and re-drew the picture with white gouache and paintbrush. This worked very well, so I purchased a few gouache colours and set to work. This is the result.
As you can see above, I completed this painting on 12th January 2021 and sold it the very next day – how wonderful is that! And thank you so much to the purchaser.