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Botanical Art ~ Magnolias

Sunday, July 24, 2016 | 9:45 am | Media

Botanical Art ~ Magnolias ~ In Progress

My current work in progress is another favourite of mine, a Magnolias botanical in watercolour. I know you love them too, and it surely is the season!

The magnolias are just starting to bloom, bringing the dreamy promise of spring right to our hearts. Mother Nature is kind that way. In the heart of winter she floods our chilly surroundings with the brilliant sun-gold drenching yellow of the Acacias, making the landscape seem somehow warmer than it is. ‘Its not forever’ she reminds us with her whispering ways as we hop that last leg of the cold weather to the spring.

She assumes we’ve heard her, or in the very least that we should know better by now that change is on its way. Her message told, brilliant yellows soften as she exhales, fading with the winter to delicate butter yellows. Spring arrives in pink and purple, and a new story comes with the new season. It is time for new beginnings, new life and the reliable momentum of change. It is the season of Magnolias.

The season tells its story, the magnolia its own… and an irresistibly beautiful one it is too.

The anticipation of Magnolias in bud is the very definition of anticipation for any botanical artist! We watch with delight as the buds begin to form then plump up, snug in their delicious, furry little cases over the winter months. Plans for paintings begin upon the first sign of their arrival, picking up all the plans you didn’t quite complete the Spring before with renewed enthusiasm… You swear as you’ve done every year before this one ‘this spring its ALL I’m going to paint’ forgetting of course, how miraculous and overwhelming the spring is as a botanical artist… Botanical Art is such a wonderful addiction!

I try to produce at least one magnolia botanical illustration every spring, its simply essential to my happiness, and this year is no exception. The diversity and options to choose from are delightfully endless with this subject, but I have selected 3 different magnolias to feature in this painting, illustrating the beautiful range in colour, shape, size and appearance they come in, in all their graceful glory.

As a botanical artist, my particular love with magnolias is to capture the delicate, leathery textural qualities of the petals and the utter grace and delicacy of their form… to capture their story just as they tell it. I think there is no artist in the world who could truly reflect its beauty adequately, but I sure like to give it my very best shot!

Id like to take a moment to share with you the progress of this piece, and a collection of previous examples of my Botanical Art around this beautiful magnolia focus. Some are early works, created in my early 20s moving right through to more recent works, with a few examples of how I incorporate birds into the botanical work for an entirely new dimension and complexity. I hope you enjoy this little showcase of paintings around my magnolia botanical art!

 

© 2016 Heidi Willis. All rights reserved.