The Three Graces is a new, large composition that explores both the beauty of water lilies as they open and the complex effects of reflections and dappled light at the pond. It is based on a series of photos taken last summer, plus a good dose of serendipity. As with the rest of the series, this painting started with a roll-up of blue and black paints, though I left more of the panel bare. Working into the wet paint film with an oil and solvent mixture, I spread the paint film using plastic wrap and a chip brush. Into this I sprinkled and spritzed solvent, blotted, and wiped out the flower forms. Some scraping helped to define the lily pads. I followed up with traditional glazes and direct oil painting techniques. As I worked on the reflections, I remembered Paul Cezanne’s portrait of Madame Cezanne in her striped skirt, and decided to nudge the treatment of the reflections in that direction. Details below. Enjoy!