I have subjected myself to various forms of painting under pressure this summer: chasing the light outdoors, trying to complete two paintings in one day at my first plein air festival. This was another.
A recent spell of extreme heat and humidity made it too hot to work outside, so I stopped at a farm market to buy some flowers to paint. The flowers in the field were drooping, but there were buckets of beautiful gladioli for sale in the shade of a red tent.
I carefully chose a dozen stalks, trying to gather a full spectrum of colour while dodging wasps buzzing around them. At home I photographed the flowers indoors, but the photos were way too dark. The blooms would have quickly wilted out in the 40 C degree heat.
Nothing for it but to paint them from life, next morning when the sun would hit my studio. …
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