It’s all magic – the way flowers come back every spring and the way new lilies open every morning. The temporal immediacy of water lilies calls for a light touch, and I’ve been trying to refine mine. Letting the lily pads be “lost and found” adds more mystery to my pond – and it’s more fun to paint their disappearance. The feel of the bright spring sun on the flowers sets off the darker reflections in the water. Details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: I’ve been experimenting with different ways to depict the water lilies and their surrounding pads in hopes of finding a more essential way to capture their poetic grace. When Lilies Open relies on watercolor techniques translated into oil paint. I used transparent pigments and lots of alkyd medium in the glazes. I used mostly watercolor brushes so that I could apply the paint thinly and blend the edges. One of the greatest difficulties is finding a way to paint the flowers that “matches” the techniques used on the rest of the painting. I used a rag to keep wiping out the paint on the lilies, so that the shadows would be a mere suggestion.