One-flowered Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora)

One flowered broomrape watercolor

fact sheet: https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/one-flowered-broomrape

image reference: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daves_wisconsin_wildflowers/47924744111

donate: (Minnesota wildflowers reference website) https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/page/donations

inspiration:

Mike and Marcie O’Connor have a farm in Wisconsin where they are restoring native prairie. A note from Mike inspired me to look, this month, for threatened native wildflowers. This sweet flower popped up. Its simplicity is lovely. The color of its stems is unexpected.

Creation:

Before painting: I plan to focus on the blossoms. This requires blocking in a green and dark background to set them off as the blossoms are the palest of purple. I think I should paint the yellow areas first. I’m thinking of a combination of yellow and purple to create stems. This will be a short painting time, as I have been ill. We’ll see what emerges…

After painting: I painted a contour of the stems and flowers in light green to hold space for the white. Then, as promised, I laid in yellow in the right blossom and the right sides of stems. I worked a little in purple to start to define the blossoms. I spent a lot of time with the greens of the background. I thought I would stay light green and then realized that going darker would help me create the whites of the flowers. After the flowers were set off by the darker green background, I returned to purple to individuate flower petals.

Insights:

  • I enjoyed most painting sessions. Yay for that!
  • In future, if I’m painting something light, remember to go dark in the background. I didn’t remember that I planned for that, but I wish I had. There are parts of the dark green that are overworked and outline the edges of the flowers too much.
  • I just pulled up the reference photo and the finished painting side-by-side. Ouch! Even though I’m not trying for realism, I wish I had gotten the relative dimensions and petal shapes accurately from the start.
  • I chose this image because the flowers are delicate and endangered. That is its own kind of weakness. My tendency to judge myself harshly when I feel I’ve missed the mark is a different sort of weakness. I am making progress, but I have a long way to go!

Insights about my insights:

After sitting with these insights for a day, I realize they represent a struggle between accuracy and meaning. Question: what do I want art-making to be for me? Answer: a celebration of finding and participating in making beauty. No side-by-side comparisons or postmortem analyses of what went wrong are necessary. I saw and responded to beauty. Mission accomplished.

Skills

Posted on

May 30, 2022

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