Paintings have their subjects and their stories. Resting Lily began with a pond of wind-tossed lilies – the lilies were, as one, pushed across the pond by a sudden micro-burst storm. Leaves and tree limbs foundered. By the time I arrived, the winds were gone but the pond was covered with assorted leaves and clumps of lily pads with a few surviving flowers. I decided to paint the lily that was tipping toward me.
And so I started, and almost finished, a painting which was truthful to nature but failed to distill the beauty of the what I had seen. The drama of the events leading up to the subject seemed to be missing. After a year of pondering the piece, I dove in this week and repainted much of it, simplifying some shapes, adding more contrast and a bluer sky, exaggerating the floating willow leaves, and changing the color of the flower to pink. The flower had survived an intense storm, and I needed a more intense palette to tell that part of the story.
Below, you can see the not-quite-finished version of the painting that stared at me in the studio for a year.