|Two Amaryllis' by Alan Krug|
Months ago I started a painting and then halfway through I stopped; it just sat there ... glaring at me from my craft shelves, shaming me almost for not finishing it. I just couldn't. It was a plant the activities director had given me to give color to my room. Spare and bare, it was lifeless. A pot with blooming red Amaryllis' seemed just the trick. I put them on a table outdoors and could see them from just about anywhere I sat in the room.
I took a liking to them but just couldn't seem to capture the colors and that spurred me on. Sadly, the original photo, now deleted, that I took and printed also just didn't capture what they represented to me. So, with some pluck I took artists license.
First I painted the background in DecoArts Black Green mixed with a little Brown Umber and then adding olive allowed the colors to lighten from upper right to bottom left. It seemed a perfect background for the colors that were to follow.
Using a white pencil I sketched out the flowers easily enough but kept getting lost in the petals complexity. Finally I gave that up and just sketched and painted the outlines when I realized that I would lose everything else when the background color was put down first anyway. It was at this point that I started to lose it. I just couldn't go forward.
Using a back stapled canvas I allowed the background and flowers themselves wrap around all sides. It just seemed to make sense and wouldn't require a frame. Once the red petals were put down and some of the stem and leaves were indicated I stopped. I just simply stopped. It wasn't that I didn't have the time ... man do I have time around here. I just found other ways to use that time. I started going to the gym, got a bit more involved in the home, made a few friends, read more and found myself watching TV more too. In the past I would paint and use the TV for background noise. Now, I actually watched TV and found some wonderful PBS shows, HBO had some movies and documentaries I had never seen ... the list went on and on. In fact, I have written columns of what I have seen! The one thing I didn't do was sleep more. Night time gave me at most 5-6 hours a night and maybe a nap after lunch. What I did do was try to walk at least 30 minutes every day. Maybe that's it. You NEED sleep to be creative!
Then a week or so ago, I looked at that darn painting and feeling sorry for myself in the midst of my radiation treatment, put my painting apron on, retrieved the colors I had used originally and started painting. Here I was in the midst of radiation therapy and had to stay close to home, actually close to a toilet as diarrhea was a very real symptom that hit me the hardest. Tired of TV and reading, I found myself immersed again. It didn't take but two more days of maybe 3 - 4 hours a day. People don't realize the amount of time painting, crafting, writing ... any of those things take.
One of the delights of an Amaryllis is that it is very sensuous. The way the flowers open, leaves rise up and then twist and turn about the flower stem. The throat of the flower is usually one color and literally splashes out onto the petals in vivid contrast and surprising ways. The stamens are also wild and plentiful and colorful picking up the color of the throat. Truthfully what's NOT to like? Only I didn't. I couldn't wait to give it to the person who gave me the flowers to begin with. Why? Because it would remind me of a period that I wanted to forget. Hopefully the gardener it was given to will appreciate his gift as much as I appreciated the gift he gave to me.
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