I've been feeling a little lost, out of connect with my artist self. Today, looking for a subject that would insist on being painted, I stopped after work at English Gardens, a plant nursery. I must have spent an hour and a half going inside, outside, and upside down, to decide on what would draw me into its lair. At first I was looking for a left over Easter Lily plant that might still be in good shape. Seeing them all bedraggled, I noticed some plants of Stargazer Lilies that were still blooming, showing off their inimitable forms. That was it for me. Of course, I had to see everything else that they have in the store at this time, to be sure this was the best of the lot.
I have painted this type of plant before, as well as the Easter Lily. What is always mesmerizing for me is that from the structure of the stalks (this plant has 3 stems) and their leaves protruding rhythmically around them, there is wonderful repetition and parallel forms to work with. The integers, of the leaf spacing ,and the negative spaces that shout at me, provide rich patterns to be conveyed to the page. Of course, the blossoms themselves are beautiful shapes, with their depth and their poetic sweep as the petals spiral back on themselves, again giving me much substance to play with as I commit a drawing to the page, the pristine white of the beautifully textured paper. This drawing will then consume my attention for a period of hours, flowing onto the paper with fits and starts in the same way the musician rcords bits and pieces of his music, as it shows itself to him, using his tentative calligraphy to convey what he is thinking and feeling. So this drawing for me is not a photographic representation of what I am lookng at. As I blunder along, as if blindfolded, proceeding down this path, it's all exploratory, and I follow its scent as if it were an enticing perfume leading me. My eraser is ever present, since I don't know how it's going to emerge, what exact form it will take. Once committed to the page with finality and a sense of every mark feeling right, I put away the plant and begin to paint, letting the colors and shapes guide me. Tonight I hope to begin developing the sketch. The necessary block of several hours will continue tomorrow. I'm posting below a few pictures I took of the lily plant, so you have an idea of where I am starting. When I finish the painting, I'll post that for you to see where I ended up...somewhere far away from photographic reality, but in a much more satisfying place. YOU CAN CLICK ON EACH PHOTO TO ENLARGE THE IMAGES.