Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paintings from the Past-#1

I want to start showing some of my paintings that I did in the past. So now and then I will put up an old one and tell you something about it.

Here is a painting I did when I was taking painting in college.  

This is a cactus flower. I don't now what type it is. I was inspired by my grandfather. Grandpa chickens.  We called him that because he had chickens. He had a farm in the San Fernando Valley, Ca. back during the depression. It was there until the Northridge earthquake which was a huge story in the news. It took down freeways and the new Olive View hospital where my Grandma Jane worked.

So we would go visit my grandpa a lot. He always had us eat outside at the picnic table. There was a big umbrella tree. I don't know if that is a real name or just the name he gave it.  He also had a grove of olive trees.  I can remember that he was always raking up olives so that we would not step on them, then track them into the house.

Well next to the picnic table he had this big pot with a cactus. The branches were flat like a christmas cactus and the flowers were similar. But his flowers were about the size of a large rose. My grandpa was so proud of his cactus flowers.

So here is my painting. I was working on shadows. Also I was trying to make the color of the flower pop.  I did this by mixing the complementary color of the orange, which is blue into the background color. The background was started with blue then I added burnt umber and black till I achieved the color I wanted.
A blackish color is so much more interesting to look at if you make it with other colors. Also one doesn't really know why the flower sings unless they understand the concept of color placement.
I will write about color in another post. 

I worked on fading the green branch into the distance. 
The painting is 18" X 24"
The paint is gouache and watercolor. I used the gouache where I needed it to be opaque. I used the watercolor for the rest. 

So that is the painting from the past. Grandpa's cactus flower. 


  1. Very beautiful. You have a vast wealth of talent.

  2. I miss Grandpa and Grandma. I have such wonderful memories of times with them. We were so lucky to have had them in our lives. Love the painting!!!