Corners are Important
My mother loved Peonies and I was crazy about them. They are challenging to paint with their multitude of petals. At a girlfriend’s shower, hosted by Patti Pratt, her husband George helped out by creating breathtaking bouquets he modestly said “were thrown together from what was growing in the garden”. First, long leafy branches were embedded into the foam and stems of Purple and Yellow Iris buds were woven into them. Then, partially opened Peonies were carefully placed along the low horizontal arrangement and topped off with a few whimsical Daisies. After expressing my deep appreciation, George graciously gave me one of the arrangements to take home to paint. My gratitude and fascination grew. I took several photographs of the arrangement and painted the Peonies many times. The arrangement changed as the flowers opened up inspiring my Tapestry Collection.
Midnight Tapestry, created in 1991, was a challenging floral contrasting the colors Royal Blue and Gold. Borders full of peonies were added providing an opportunity to explore them more. Corners are a very important part of any painting, but you do not want to direct the eye there. I use a helpful guideline that suggests creating and uneven balance of values (the lightness or darkness of a shape) among the corners. For example, a painting might have three light corners and one dark corner OR three dark corners and one light corner. A viewer may feel a bobbing affect when looking at a painting when two corners are light and two corners are dark. When all four corners are the same value, monotony not only happens, but it can close up a composition. By adding the borders, they actually gave me eight corners to play with. When you are finishing the fourth corner in a painting, this guideline is very helpful as it simplifies the decision.