I have finally finished and delivered Tisra's Christmas present to her. It all started last year when Tisra, Mary and I decided we'd do a handmade Christmas, which I'm sure I mentioned. So I decided that, among other things, I'd do a painting for each of them. Mary's was easy peasy but Tisra's- not so much. I can honestly say that it was the most re-worked, frustrating painting I've done to date. I thought I took more pictures of the mayhem but I can't find them. The closest I could find is simply when I painted over the stems of the red poppies. Initially, the painting was the red poppies you see, only with an oddly shaped, bright blue vase positioned on the right side of the canvas. I wasn't sure about it as I painted but a lot of times if I just leave it alone and come back to it then I'm OK with it. But it didn't matter how many times I came back to look, I still hated it. This was the day before the Fadely/Button/Kelso Christmas party and I realized that I just wasn't going to finish in time. So the Fadely's and Kelso's got throw blankets instead with a promise of paintings to follow.
I bought opaque white to cover the blue vase and the flower stems that, I swear, looked like bamboo. I was seriously questioning why I decided to give a painting as a gift to an artist at this point. But in a happy accident (I have several of those when I'm painting) the background ended up looking textured which is what I wanted to begin with but hadn't acheived. Then I painted the brown vase (Tisra's favorite color) and connected the stems to the poppies. Then I questioned why in the heck I put the poppies completely at the top of the painting. I also wanted to use a glazing technique because the stems of the sunflowers pictured above turned out really flat and I didn't want that to happen again. I mixed acrylic medium in with the paint to make the glaze but it also helps to slow down the drying time- acrylics dry pretty quickly. So, I applied several coats of glaze/paint to a bunch of poppies and stems and here's the finished product.