Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas

TM9278 Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas 30 x 40 oil on panel

Distance can be good. I painted Hydrangeas on a sunny morning a few years ago, and for some reason kept it at the studio. I found it again when I was recently reorganizing, and decided it needed more life. The painting was satisfactory but lacked a sense of the life spirit of the hydrangeas – how they felt. Back on the easel. The newer version, retitled Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas, feels more real somehow. These hydrangeas are really saying Good Morning to me, and evoking my reaction of Good Morning to you too! Details below, along with the earlier version of the painting. Enjoy.

TM9278 Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas – detail from upper right
TM9278 Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas – detail from lower center

Technical painting notes: When I decided to rework the painting, I started by rolling and smudging brighter blues in the sky, then rolled semi-transparent grays and green into the flowers to create more interesting surface textures, (and to obliterate my idea of what the hydrangeas looked like). With the new surface, I went back to developing the lights and contrasts in the flower heads, rolling then adding details alternately. With the flowers becoming mor interesting, I acted similarly with the leaves, using small rollers alternating with brush work. I wanted to catch a sense of abandon, the way air circulates through the plant and the plant dances with that breeze.

(first version) TM9278 Hydrangea Morning 30 x 40 oil on panel
(final version) TM9278 Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas 30 x 40 oil on panel