Lilac Bush Life Cycle
Studio studies: The Life of Flowers
The Lilac Brush: Ink Washes
Early March greeted me with Lilacs beginning to bud and an opportunity to follow their life cycle. I warmed up with walnut ink wash drawings in the cold March weather. I moved on to larger paper with sumi ink, watercolor and permanent ink. Identifying the strength of movement and patterns in the branches was my goal. I was not interested in completing the bush but understanding aspects of it. The bush tells a story of survival and determination in how new growth comes out of broken parts.
Mostly I completed wash drawings in one sitting but a few I worked on over time and was able to add the blooms as they occurred. As the Lilac bush grew and expanded it became a beautiful balancing act of leaves and patterns that I loved drawing. Returning to the Lilac bush and other foliage everyday became a moving experience in intimacy with a nature. The process of drawing became more of a daily meditation. As the weather warmed the imagery became more gentle and curvy in contrast to the angular earlier work. Yes Spring is mellowing!
I am always eager for spring. In the winter of 2015 I created the painting "Yearning For Spring" in the middle of recurring snowstorms. A painting of rebirth with new yellow leaves on bare trees as they appear over Puget Sound.
Art work with a desire for spring started this year when my dried Amaryllis found its way on paper with pencil, watercolor, and ink. These once magnificent flowers became so delicate and fragile. So interesting to draw but I needed spring so it was on to live bouquets and sumi ink.
I can't help but be influenced by Picasso's line drawings of flowers but I am not seeking a pretty image, perhaps something more raw. These works developed with a process of direct drawing in sumi ink that was selective of the flowers drawn. This process continued when I went outside to work in my garden.