Oh dear. This attempt to capture the fabulous ruffliness of a peony has started with disaster. This poor thing looks like it is made of a clump of wax. I think it has something to do with the brown shading (raw umber) and the shine on the petals which I will get rid of. In fact I will have to repaint each petal this morning to try to revive this dead old thing. It is so much easier to take a snap shot with my little point and shoot. But the end result of a photo wouldn't be the magical world of flowers and dancing weasels that I have in my mind's eye. It will be worth the effort to get this little oil painting right. I hope.
It is always nerve-racking at this stage in a painting in case it all ends in failure. Just like growing a real garden I suppose - tending living things brings the risk that they won't make it. But also the chance that they might turn into something magic.
I always forget who described having children as being like watching your heart walk around outside your body. We are all so vulnerable to hurt - parents, gardeners, painters. We put our hearts out there every day knowing that we are risking heartbreak. But the rewards can be so huge that we keep loving the children, weeding the garden and struggling with the paintings. And mostly, it seems, our bravery is rewarded. Here's to the bravery and hard work of creative people.