I Paint Flowers to Keep Me Fresh January 17, 2018

Sunflower – Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting on Fabriano Artistco

I love flowers. I am an avid gardener, and during most months, my yard is filled with flowers. When it is too cold to grow flowers outside, I go to the flower market at least once every week, and I buy them. I buy flowers simply to enjoy them, but I also buy flowers to paint them. The ability to see and to apply color freshly and spontaneously is key to my artwork. I paint flowers to increase my agility and to keep me fresh.

Janis Joplin – Jack Kellum Watercolor

When I prepare to paint anything complex [i.e. my Janis Joplin], I do extensive value studies in pencil, When you look at my best watercolors, it appears that I did absolutely no preparation and that I just slapped the color on, at will. That is actually an illusion. I work very hard to get the values correct–before I paint. Then, I throw away about 50 near-misses.

You might say that most of my final “good” paintings — my keepers– only require a couple of hours of work–sometimes only minutes–but in reality, my best paintings have taken a lifetime to complete.


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