I have been encouraging everyone to keep painting and creating during this lockdown and I would never ask you to do something that I am not doing so here is the painting that I started 2 weeks ago and finished yesterday March 11. Hollyhocks are a favorite subject of mine and I actually saw these during a workshop in Steamboat Springs. The size is 22 x 30 inches and I must admit it was a real challenge. GETTING STARTED WAS THE HARDEST PART (I am sure many of you can relate.) Each day starting up again was a little easier and the last few days I found myself painting right after getting out of bed, even before brushing my teeth or eating breakfast. I think this was easier because I remember dreaming about the painting.
There were times that I felt like tearing it up but I realized that was just me being discouraged because it was difficult and I had trouble visualizing the finished work. For the preliminary drawing I just outlined the three flowers and a couple stems with the intention that I could create the rest as each stage developed. I have used this technique on all my large flower series so I was confident it would work. For inspiration, I surrounded my work table with other large hollyhock paintings, some are 40 x 60 inches, to the point where it was risky moving around. I used a door and a stool to set up a makeshift easel so that I could step back from the painting and also for the times when I wanted to work upright. I left some white paper as I painted the white flowers and the red one is a combination of rose dore, cobalt violet, mineral violet, and quinacridone violet. All the different greens were a challenge and they are mixtures of cerulean blue, lemon yellow, terra verde, ultramarine blue, olive green, perylene green, and transparent yellow.
So much of this painting came from my imagination and each time I added a new part I had to make sure it worked with everything that was already there. Some sections were whipped out and painted again and the challenging part was holding everything together. When I found myself struggling I stepped back and just studied what was there for awhile. There were other times where the painting took over and I felt like an innocent bystander. All in all, it occupied my mind for two weeks and that was a welcome relief. As I look at it now I am not sure what to think so if you have any impressions let me know. If you enjoyed this please post it on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton