A Time to Shine
© A.K.SIMON - A Time to Shine - 8"x8" Oil on Linen - $85
There is such a fascination between the artist and the peony. I've seen so many artists, including myself, mesmerized by the vortex of petals. Peonies always make me slow down. I always "lose my place" when painting them and often get frustrated. This one is a "romanticized" yellow tree peony. The "Scarlet O'Hara" of peonies if you will (can you tell I watched "Gone With The Wind" last night?). I normally don't like to paint with such a feminine palette but the peony just reminds me of those great gowns of the south with all the crinoline underneath (of course you'd have to knock the girl over to get this angle).
The peony is practically the national flower of China and is often referred to in poetry and literature. Peonies are one of the main motifs of Chinese decorative arts and can be found on porcelains, in woodblock and screen paintings as well as embroidered onto tapestries and clothing. Got to this sight and read some really interesting history about peonies: http://www.paeonia.com/html/peonies/history.htm
A little about technique: I started this on a peachy/orange toned canvas that was totally dry. What seems to work best for me is to take care of the majority of the background so I can picture the placement of the petals (don't ask me why it's just a "me" thing). Then I carefully try to carefully place the shadow and light shapes then fill in "bridge" colors.