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Beauty in the Ordinary

Fleeting Florals: Calla Lily Yellow

Calla lilies! Decided it was time to paint another one, went out looking for white ones and discovered there are yellow ones, too! That looked like fun to paint, so brought one back to the studio and chose to do another painting knife piece.

Just as in the white Calla Lily piece, the challenges of…

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painting flowers with a hard edged knife is how to create soft edges. It’s easy to create crisp, hard edges, like where the bright yellow petal is adjacent to the dark background; it’s a bit more difficult to merge the layers of paint into a soft edge, like those areas where the shadow areas of the petal turn into the lit areas.

In the concentrated process of painting from life, I’m always fascinated to see how much more detail I perceive when paying such close attention to the subject. One example of what emerged while painting this calla lily, was the variety of colors in the petals: while at first glance they look just yellow, on closer observation, there are greens, grays, whites, and lights and darks of this variety of colors. It’s memorable to see such variety emerge! This practice of artful awareness can really enrich perception!

Calla Lily Yellow, oil on canvas, 8″ x 6″
Oil painting by Seamus Berkeley

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