Pitcher perfect no stress abstract art bouquets.

All art should be no stress art but let’s face it, when a commissioned portrait is at stake, there is always a degree of stress.

Will the client like it?

Will it look like the animal I have not seen except for the photos I have been sent?

When I need a change of pace from painting pet portraits, I most often turn to flowers. They can be painted in so many different ways.

The flowers in this series are “found’ in old art. I look for shapes in the paint that suggest a flower. Then, I use a black marker to outline the shape. I will add other details such as stems and leaves as needed. Finally, I paint over all the unnecessary previous markings.

Reductive technique used many times over the years.

Reductive technique (often used with charcoal) quite simply means that part of the art work has been subtracted or removed either by erasing or painting over some sections.

I love this technique - there are always surprises that emerge and a natural softness develops around the shapes (see below). Because I outlined the shapes with a marker in today's floral series, that much desired softness is missing.

Dance of the Hummingbirds - going beyond my comfort zone
Dance of the Hummingbirds

I painted my Dance of the  Hummingbirds in 2017 using this same technique. A Bird in Hand, and A Little Bird Told me so are other examples where the underpainting served as inspiration and then was to some degree, painted over.

Simple, intuitive (mostly) flowers.

What does each arrangement in a pitcher tell us about the owner?

While working intuitively and very loosely, I didn’t think about where the vase might be displayed. Once I was finished, I imagined these little vignettes.

Pitcher Perfect Floral Arrangements.

A more traditional arrangement in blue sits atop a baby grand piano. In this house, appearances are very important. A minimalistic look is preferred by the owner who has no time, in between rehearsals, and concerts, to look after any type of flower.

Simple floral by Louise Primeau
Simple floral

In this mostly orange and teal arrangement, the flowers are big and somewhat untidy. This bouquet is for a home that is welcoming to all who show up at the door no matter the time of day or night.

Big Blooms in round pitcher by Louise Primeau, Ottawa artist.
Big blooms in round pitcher

This bouquet and pitcher is all about excess – lots of pattern in the vase and so many different flowers in the arrangement. The stars of the show are those white flowers – probably lilies.

Lilies in a pitcher by Louise Primeau.
Lilies in a pitcher.

Big peonies take centre stage in this pitcher that does double duty. It is usually filled with lemonade but today, it sits on a table in a country home.

Peonies in lemonade pitcher by Louise Primeau.
Peonies in lemonade pitcher.

The children offered their mother carnations and some blue spiky flowers. It was a surprise. Mom was equally surprised when the next- door neighbour dropped by to ask (with a smile on her face) if she knew who had cut all her blooms.

Blue on blue pitcher by Louise Primeau
Blue on blue pitcher.

Lastly, big daisies and lots of greenery fill an old pitcher that has been in the family for over thirty years.

Daisies in pink pitcher by Louise Primeau.
Daisies in pink pitcher.

No stress art – never throw out “failures”!

Seeking Summer Sweetness
Hummingbirds hover over tantalizing pink blossoms.

Never throw out old art. I have a stack of painted papers that I will search through when I want to create no stress art.

Sometimes I will paint over the entire old painting but if I can, I prefer to let sections of the old art peek through the new creation.

Or perhaps I can find something interesting by flipping the paper in another direction. I might see a flower or a face or whatever that will inspire me in my next no stress art project.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London.

8 Responses

  • I enjoy reductive painting also. I disagree with Jack London’s quote. I have so much inspiration that it becomes overwhelming. How can one person do all that I want to do in one lifetime. LOL. Fun to read your post and see your art always.

    • I know what you mean! I have 6 projects on the go, and so many more I wish I had time for. Always lots of inspiration and always so much to learn, so much to try.

      But in the context of the florals I painted, the quote seemed appropriate because I was pretty heavy handed even though I had lots to work with intuitively. It seemed to me that I had used that club when it came to all the additions in each vase.thanks for stopping by!

  • What beautiful selection of pitchers with flowers. I love also your hummingbird pictures. Wonderful!!!!

  • Lovely still life floral artworks, Louise! I also think that the “Dance of the Hummingbirds”, using the reductive technique described, is wonderful. 🙂

    • Thank you Phil. I love thé surprises that show up with this technique. It forces me to be more intuitive and less methodical. I appreciate the kind comment. Cheers!

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