Muddled Buddleia

Butterfly Bush blog

Buddleia (A5, watercolour and ink on Hahnemuehle paper, 2016)

I’m not a fan of painting flowers. Even the most skilled watercolourists end up with something that looks like a botanical illustration, I find – often losing that elusive beauty of the flower in nature. I always want to paint them like Stanley Bielen or Lisa Breslow but lack the courage to be that loose. Reducing something as complex as a flower to broad brush strokes must be immensely satisfying, and very effective as we see from Bielen’s pictures. Push it further still and you can end up with a painting that is more or less abstract, as in Debora Stewart’s work.

Alas I wasn’t feeling that brave, or that innovative, on Sunday and ended up with something that was neither realistic nor abstract. However, my ever-supportive partner liked the result – without my prompting her! – so here is my somewhat muddled Buddleia.

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39 thoughts on “Muddled Buddleia

  1. Another fine artist you discovered, Lisa Breslow. I tried to simplify my brushstrokes as these two artists do in their paintings, but strangely it’s not that easy. I finally concluded that it is a process that take years of mastery.

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  2. Yours has life and style – what more do you want?? Well, the elusive ‘loose’, obviously, but that’s greatly overrated, because this is loose too, just differently loose. And going out of the lines a bit adds to that here – you could have let it happen a little more on the leaves? I really like it πŸ™‚

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  3. I really like that it has the realism to evoke how a Buddliea looks to me but the way you painted it captures how a Buddliea ‘feels’ the sort of energy I feel when I enjoy looking at them. Sometimes botanical diagrams lack that energy; Buddlieas are full of life, butterflies, scent, the move in the breeze. You said that with your rendering, imperfect as you might think it!

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  4. every one of those leaves, is just right… I love them!! brilliant actually. and if they were more colored up – then, they’d take away from that Gorgeous, stunning flower you created! A very cool painting πŸ™‚ cheers, Debi

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