"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Diversion ...

Framed and ready to go

The Watercolour Society of WA Annual Exhibition was a great success in terms of numbers attending and artworks exhibited - almost 300 which were received with great enthusiasm.
My botanical rose painting looked a bit subdued in amongst the vibrant colour and movement of the works in the gallery - portraits, landscapes, architecture etc  with many artists taking advantage of larger sheets and full colour to portray their subjects.

Initial washes

I love to see work in progress photos of watercolour paintings to see the layers and detail bringing it to life.  Sometimes I think I prefer those images to the finished piece!

Starting the leaves

Rose leaves are so complex, take longer than the flower

 I knew my painting would be the shy girl in the corner - botanical art is the kind of work that the closer you get to the painting, the more you see - everything is in focus and detailed.    Many mainstream artworks are best viewed from a distance where you can get the full visual impact whereas botanicals invite you to step in closer ... just as in nature.

I always do a quick check of black and white tonal values:
© Vicki Lee Johnston

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way" 
 - Edward de Bono.
This quote was posted online recently and resonated strongly with me, thanks to friend Sarah from The Natural Year

The artistic path has led me down many roads and the newest route is taking somewhat of a detour to my norm.  I am working on a couple of projects to explore a slightly new way of working.  My subject is still nature - still botanically correct - but there will be some subtle changes and shifts in the way I present the work which is already bringing in positive new energy and optimism.  We have to find the fire that lights the creative juices and keeps us inspired and motivated, even if it takes us on the path less travelled.

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  1. A great discussion of process and inspiration. I love your openness to experiment. Gifted lady!

    1. Thank you so much Elaine, I appreciate your feedback. It's time to play a little more and relax the rules.

  2. I can't imagine that this rose could have possibly looked subdued. It is glorious!
    Loved seeing the photos of your progress. I'm in awe of your talent Vicki!
    I look forward to seeing where this relaxing of the rules takes you.

    1. Oh thank you so much Wendy - it really was a little too demure for this exhibition but that's okay, I only had a short time to come up with something and now that there is a platform for bolder works I can be more playful.

  3. Beautiful rose! And I also love work in progress photos so thank you for sharing yours with us! :)

    1. Thank you so much, I always enjoy your blog and WIP images, very helpful to see how it unfolds.