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Calla lilies are such interesting flowers—softly shaped white petals with yellow pistils—making them a perfect invitation to paint. There were three things I wanted to explore in this painting: the subtle variations of white, using a rigid painting knife to express softness and simplified composition.

I had fun playing just using a painting knife for this oil painting to create two very different types of edges: the sharp light edges of the petal set against the dark background, and the almost imperceptible edges of the slight color and temperature changes of the white petal itself.

The simple arrangement with most of the composition occupied with white surrounded by smaller dark shapes emerged by looking carefully until the simplicity became pleasing to my eye. A bit Zen, perhaps?

Looking at everyday objects in our environment in different ways is practicing artful awareness!

Calla Lily, original oil on canvas, 5″ x 9″

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