Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Another Iris

Last week I posted an Iris and got a great deal of pleasure from having produced it and I tim I mentioned that I felt a series coming on. I also mentioned that I had been inspired by a post by floral artist, Yvonne Harry. In her post she mentioned that she had used a photograph from a book by Claire Austin with photography by Clay Perry. A quick trawl on the net had me finding a new copy that the seller was parting with for less that £3, I jumped at the opportunity and paid the asking price with some alacrity. The book duly arrived and it is the most wonderful source material for anyone wanting to explore images of Irises.

Out with a 16" x 12" sheet of Waterford and down to work. This is quite a large size of paper for subject matter like this and also the particular approach that I was adopting. For much of the image I was going to attempt a nearly straight  technique allied with a really loose background. The bloom that I selected was predominantly violet and this presented its own difficulties. Creating variation in the depth of colour was worked on by building up glazes with occasional lifting. There was also an awful lot of edge softening during that process and keeping the paint moist over big areas until working on the edges runs the constant risk of creating runs. All good practice but very time consuming. My admiration for floral painters rose by the wash.

The background was done in the loose way mentioned in the last post, with a little salt and cling film.

I'm looking on this piece very much as a steep learning curve in managing the working of paint. As I look at it I think I might have made better choices about the choices of colour and the treatment of the major colour by introducing some colour variation. Still, an enjoyable exploration.


Iris - Watercolour on Not paper 16" x 12"

15 comments:

Ray Maclachlan said...

The colours and effects are stunning Mick, well done. You really should continue to explore this topic. I find the dark triangle at the front a little unsettling with all the beautiful colours around it.

Nora MacPhail said...

Wowza!! This painting rocks!

Peter Ward said...

You are certainly trying something different Mick. I don't like trying to paint flowers from photographs. Yvonne does but also a lot from life. She is an expert flower painter though with years of experience. I suggest you try some life studies. There are always fresh flowers around although Irises (like many others) are seasonal. Wildflowers are a lovely subject.

Mick Carney said...

Ray - Thanks. I'm going to do a bit more of this type of thing, it fascinates me. I see what you mean about the triangle, just a little heavy with a shadow wash.

Mick Carney said...

Nora - Thanks a lot, pleased you enjoyed it.

Mick Carney said...

Peter - Cheers. Yes it's a bit different and it has me enthused at present. Good advice about painting from life. I do enjoy Yvonne's work, thanks for introducing her work to me.

Life of Brian said...

Nice work Mick. Like the way you xplained your thought processes. Very helpful. Doing series of subjects is a great idea.

Mick Carney said...

Brian - Thanks. I've come to the conclusion that working on a series can be a great way to expire your technique and imagination as you stretch yourself to create fresh work.

L.W.Roth, said...

This is beautiful Mick. I can understand your enthusiasm for the subject. The colors are invigorating. (I hate to use the overused word awesome, but they are awesome too).I'm glad I stopped over, I needed some awesome invigoration. Thanks

Mick Carney said...

Linda - Thank you for your enthusiastic support. It's wonderful to think that an artist like yourself can be so encouraging.

Yvonne Harry said...

Hi Mick,
I am not very computer wise, but think that I have just become a follower! Could not find an icon to leave a message on the first 'Iris' painting, but seem to have sussed this one. Both paintings are great, I will have to look to my laurels with all this great work being produced! Seriously, though, the Iris paintings are lovely and I look forward to seeing more of 'The Series' in the futurew

Mick Carney said...

Yvonne - Thank you so much for stopping by. As I've said previously your work has been an inspiration and hopefully your generosity with the advice in your blog posts will continue to be a source of learning for me.

L.W.Roth, said...

This painting is so refreshing Mick. I was getting the feeling that watercolors couldn't be any bigger than 5 x 7! Hardly enough room for a stroke with gusto. I like 16 x 12, you've made it okay for me to stop trying to squeeze a lot of information into a little rectangle. This painting is as glorious as the last. I love your expertise with overlays. And the colors are breathless comes to mine, but then irises affect me that way; they are glorious blooms and you did them justice.

L.W.Roth, said...

One more thing: I have been meaning to tell you that the title of your blog is absolutely right on. Everyday we do whack ourselves out stretching to do better.

Mick Carney said...

Linda - Thanks a lot. Working large is a different sort of challenge, the first being making sure you have enough paint ready for application for larger washes and also being ready to use larger brushes. I rarely drop below an 8 when working at this size. Glad you like the title, it certainly reflects my feeling about what I do.