I ended up painting another flower gouache for a gift and the birthday girl loved it. I was relieved. But I don’t think I’ll paint flowers for a while. It’s back to landscape painting. Painting flowers is much more difficult than you think. It’s finding a balance between simplicity and complexity. Between life and death. Between light and dark.
You’ve always got to focus on what is the essential element in your response to the flowers. Is it the colour, texture, composition or all of them. In the greatest flower paintings it’s all of them. But I had limited time so I focused on colour.
Flower composition is interesting because flowers naturally arrange themselves into quite complex arrangements. It seems like you’ve got ready made compositions and don’t have to do anything but you do. Radical simplification is needed to make them paradoxically look like they’re natural.