I have gone through a bit of a crisis in confidence during the creation of this painting. I think it comes of having to contend with too many interruptions. I think it is also to do with a shift in how I am relating to my work. I have a feeling that this painting is not for me, but for someone else. Perhaps just by writing here about the problem I have with selling my work, I have somehow broken the spell. I have been questioning why I am painting, and realizing that I have to be more proactive if I really want to make a living by it somehow. I think I am going to start making two sorts of paintings, ones for me, and ones for other people. These paintings are likely not going to be just of flowers, but of people and animals too.
The beautiful brushes did arrive the next day I ordered them, as if delivered by fairies, which was wonderful, but then it was so hot the blooms closed up all day. When they opened in the evening I realized they had changed so much that I was going to have to resort to painting from a photograph. It's something I find very unsatisfactory. My eye is no longer responding directly to the light shining on the subject, but is deciphering the pixels on a flat image. There is not the immediacy of time and place; instead I have to step through a kind of mirror on paper. It is like painting from a ghost of a living thing. If I'm not careful my obsession for detail takes over, and spontaneity is lost.
It is a very light, bright image. It just didn't look right when I obeyed reality and darkened the centres of the flowers. The singing stopped, but when I wiped out the colour and just squiggled tiny bits of blue and green in the singing started again. It really does seem to me that all the flowers are singing from the centre of themselves, and they are singing out the colours and textures of the background.
The best piece of advice anyone has given me about painting was 'paint what you see'. I was 12 and the advice was from a graphic designer friend of my Mum. I paint exactly what I see with my eyes, and in the process paint what the superconscious and subconscious aspects of my mind perceive at the same time. So I have painted nicotiana, but I have also painted lots of souls singing with one voice together, like stars twinkling in the cosmos.