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22 July 2010 @ 05:56 am
Pink Azaleas  

The lady walked into my booth at the art festival earlier this year and looked around at my paintings of the big cats and landscapes of West Texas. Then she did something unusual. She sat down in my chair and started staring at a recent painting that I had done of some flowers. The painting she was studying so intently was only my second attempt to do a watercolor painting of flowers. I don’t know how long she sat there without saying a word, but it must have been twenty minutes or more. I could tell she was studying every square inch of that painting.

Finally she turned to me and said ‘Why don’t you have more paintings of flowers?”. I responded that the painting she was looking at was only my second attempt at painting flowers with watercolors. Without saying anything else, she turned and studied the painting again. Her friend, wondering where she had disappeared to, came into the booth. I heard the lady studying the flower painting comment to her friend that the flower painting was only the second flower painting I had done. Finally, she stood up and looked me in the eye with a serious unsmiling face, she said “You should paint flowers, forget all the other stuff.” I think of her and her comment often.

It is interesting to me how our lives are influenced by other people and events beyond our control.

In October of last year, I got to go on my first painting trip with the Geriatric Art Society (GAS). This is a bunch of old guys that do watercolor painting trips together twice a year. On this trip, we had gone to a lodge out in the country a few miles west of Nacogdoches, Texas. It was terrible weather for a painting trip the whole time we were there. We were trapped in our rooms because of the constant rain from the low dark clouds. In one of the lulls between the rain showers, I took my camera and ventured out on the grounds of the lodge. I found a flower garden. I got to looking at the flowers in the garden that are commonly called “Tiger Lilies”. I became intrigued at the possibility of doing a watercolor painting of those flowers. They had basically all the elements of a good design. It had only taken me seventy four years of living on this planet to finally stop and study the design of a flower. Little did I know at the time that when I found those flowers on that rainy day, that I had come to a fork in the road of my life.

On this new path, I have now done sixteen paintings featuring flowers in some way. The path ahead has many twist and turns and I can’t see just where it is going, but I am going to follow it for awhile just to see what happens

As an aside, please send me your comments, but not pictures of flowers. I have to do my paintings based solely on my photographs for the paintings to be eligible for competition.