Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Learning to Paint Sunflowers

One of the things I have loved about our move to the lake has been getting involved with the Lady Lakers. In anticipation of the community work we'll be doing this fall, the group decided to focus on "fun" for the summer. We started with an outing to Two Amigos in Oneonta, where, among other things, I got to know my tablemates a bit better, and Carolyn got to don the sombrero in celebration of her (85th) birthday! Thanks to Connie for sharing the pics.

check out Susan's very large
margarita :)

The Birthday Girl!

Lady Lakers!
We also gathered for a painting class (with delicious finger foods, too, of course), which was a great learning experience for me! We each had 11 x 14 canvases, and we were using acrylics. Judy Ritter served as our instructor for "Dance of the Sunflowers." (you can see the "model" piece at the above link)

see those squiggles?
I learned so much about painting!

1. The focal point of the painting will be where the darkest spot meets the lightest spot.

2. Use A LOT of paint. Be bold, not tentative!

3. Do not mix more than 3 colors - or your results will be "muddy."

4. Adding "squiggles" will add movement to the painting. (I really loved the squiggly parts!)

It was incredible how unique and beautiful everyone's painting was, even though we were imitating the same piece of Judy's work. Not sure if it's a left-handed thing or a "got to be different" thing, but the orientation of our model piece didn't resonate with me, so I turned it upside down and painted mine that way. :)
Carolyn, Irene, Cathryn, Connie, Susan, Allie, Grace

After I got home I decided to work on improving my canvas... I've got no wall space, and it's all about learning, right? So why not?... using paint I had at home, I brought my petals down around the seed pods on each of the smaller blooms. I learned it just didn't pop, because I didn't have the same paint colors! AND THEN... I painted over the entire canvas - a nice soft blue - to try something else. Maybe even another sunflower, I'm not sure yet. I got sidetracked with a fall quilting project. More on that soon! :)


  1. A fall quilting project? That sounds wonderful. Leave it to you to flip that sunflower for your own version. So fun to see everyone's rendition. And to see your Lady Lakers at lunch! You can tell Carolyn that I want to look like her when I'm 85!

  2. The group sounds so nice to be with, Irene. I love your painting, caught on camera, now a good memory.


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