It looks like it’s a “GO!” to put together a series of Random Acts of Flowers Bouquet Paintings for greeting cards! With that in mind, here are a couple of insights into the current process for creating the paintings.
The bouquet-creation process is described in detail in my previous post at http://www.gallerynouveau.biz/index.php/2014/09/arranging-flowers-not-so-random-acts-of-volunteers/. That is the social part of the process for me, and being there as the bouquets are created gives me a powerful motivation for painting. I don’t just get to play with flowers and chat with the other volunteers as they work their magic. I witness the inspiration and inner workings of the organization, like I did this morning: the door opened and a dripping woman appeared out of the driving rain, pushing one box through the door and going back for another. “These are from my daughter’s wedding this weekend,” she said, “and since your kindness touched me so deeply two years ago when I was ill, we wanted to be sure these came to you.” She had already made most of the flowers into small arrangements, the ideal size for an RAF delivery. The few loose ones were scooped up almost immediately by delighted volunteers who needed just those two daisies or that one piece of greenery to finish off their bouquet. Recycling flowers and smiles at its best!
So here are the steps to a painting:
Step 1. Show up. (Woody Allen maintains that this is the key to success no matter what you’re doing.)
Step 2. Photograph some of the Fabulous RAF Bouquets – not fancy photos, I’d say they are more like utility photos to use as memory aids. There are WAY too many bouquets to choose from and they show up on the back shelves at a fast and furious pace, so this requires mostly good timing to snap the shot before they get loaded into the delivery van.
Step 3. Go home, and start with a quick and loose “underpainting” in watercolor, based on memory and the photograph. A glass or two of chardonnay is useful for encouraging what we artists like to call “spontaneity” at this stage.
Step 4. Draw in some detail, usually in waterproof ink.
Step 5. Optional: Add more detail with whatever media works. For a spattered, textured look, start flinging paint, or soak an old toothbrush in juicy paint and pull your thumb down over the bristles. Or, grab the nearest three-year-old, take cover, and let him do it!
Step 6. Scan or photograph the painting, process it in PhotoShop as needed. I’ve begun adding a green border to the paintings to add some consistency to the format.
Et Voila! The two bouquets in this post were created at RAF on Tuesday, September 29, 2014.