Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Revisiting Water Lilies


Water Lilies III, 18 x 24, oil on canvas
For my upcoming show at the french crepery Chez Elle, I had a lot of wall space to cover and thought that a large painting of water lilies would be appropriate. The place is a renovated old theatre from the early nineteen hundreds and being french made me think of the impressionists. A big Monet exhibition was in town so it seemed like a good fit.
Monet is one of my biggest influences and about every five years I find myself painting water lilies. I always go to Powell Gardens which has many types and is not far from where I live. The Monet painting that inspired me the most for this piece was "The Cloud." I loved the idea of using the reflections to show an inverted sky/landscape and was fortunate to have a partly cloudy day for my visit. I was shooting photos for a studio painting and with the sun almost directly overhead I was able to combine almost any photo into my composition since the lighting would be the same. I ended up using five different images. This is one of my larger paintings so I mentally broke it into smaller bites by painting each 'raft' of lily pads separately and then filling in between with the water. Making the pads look like they were going back in perspective was critical.

Water Lilies III, detail.

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