"Cleome and Larkspur"

Lessons learned late.


Nancy Herman

oil on canvas board

9" x 12"


Today's painting had me bogged down for quite a while.  All the intricacies of the Cleome taught me several lessons that I should have learned by this time.  

One is not to tackle such a complicated subject in such a small space.  

Two, use a separate brush for each color - I am naturally rather parsimonious but the various shades of pink and purple in these petals had me constantly washing my brush and interrupted the flow.   I am off to purchase many brushes of my preferred size.  

Three, mix a new batch of colors every day.  The difference between paint that is freshly mixed and a pile that sits for even one day is the difference between happy sailing in a light breeze and sitting in a row boat without an oar.

I was dimly aware of all these things for some time, but it was only after suffering through this painting that simply would not move along that I vowed to act on this awareness.  Nice to know that I am not too old to learn something, even if I am a very slow learner.

I like one of the nicknames for this flower, Grandfather's whiskers.  It could as easily be called Grandmother's whiskers I might add.  The many, many seed pods carried on its long "hairs" makes it a constant uninvited guest in all parts of the garden.

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Amanda Mahnke July 16, 2012 at 01:13 PM
This is beautiful, Nancy! I don't think I've ever seen this kind of flower before.


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