Picture Profile 2013: “”Three Plucked Petals” (Anemone hupenhensis)

Three Plucked Petals. Artist code 2013. SOLD

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

Framed and in its new home: beautiful
The purchaser of this original painting sent this beautiful photograph on 19 August 2021 mentioning that the flowers in his garden looked “NEARLY as good as the painting” – lovely!

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.

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