I have always loved geraniums. Especially beautiful red ones. To paint a still life with flowers is a real challenge because the flower is a living thing and subject to change. This painting was completed in two sessions. On the first day I concentrated on the form of the flower and took time to do a loose drawing first. I wanted to get the exact proportions and also keep a nice gestural flow all around not concentrating on one form but the whole composition.
On the second day, I spent alot of time trying to render the geranium petals. I had to concentrate on each flower separately because they were already starting to change. The leaves were much more of a challenge then I expected, due to the backlighting. I loved the warm and cool colors of the leaves.
Finished Painting “Geranium by the Window” oil on linen panel (11×14)
I always like to have an inspirational painting and this was one that is a favorite geranium painting
“Rubens Peale with a Geranium” at the National Gallery of .Art, Washington, D.C. Rubens Peale with a Geranium is an 1801 oil painting by American artist Rembrandt Peale. It is a portrait of Peale’s younger brother, Rubens, who helped run the family museums and raised plants and animals.”
These are very strange times we are living in. We are still in quarantine and have been so for over three weeks due to the coronavirus. It is a hard routine to get used to and yet for the life of a painter I spend a good deal of time alone with my paints. But this. of course, is definitely not the same.
I pray that a vaccine can be found and we can get back to normal. In the meantime, I have decided to continue painting still lifes rather than chance going out to paint the landscape. This painting of a geranium ended up being a very symbolic painting for me. We see the beautiful healthy blossoms stretching out to catch the sun from the nearby window. As your eye travels downward you see the faded blossoms below. Rising up again, you will see there are also many more young buds ready to open and take the place of the blossoms that die. Like the geranium, we will go through the cycle of life and death. It is a cycle no one can escape. The pandemic experience has reminded me of how very fragile we are and how dependent we are on one another. Life is always full of uncertainty but let’s hope this will not be the new normal. I have faith in God and faith in Science. We will find a vaccine but when we go back to our normal routines of work and play, I hope we will heed the warnings of the learned Jane Goodall who says,
“The coronavirus pandemic was caused by humanity’s disregard for nature and disrespect for animals.” We must stop talking about everything as it benefits us and start realizing that the reason for this pandemic now is because we have shown so little respect for the natural world, with destroying more and more forest and animal species being pushed together. Viruses spilling over from one species to another, which normally wouldn’t [happen]; animals pushed into closer contact with people [farming], for example, another opportunity for spillover of viruses. And then of course, the animal trafficking and export and the number of animals that are being sold in these so-called wet markets in Asia, but also the bushmeat in Africa.“
“These viruses have been predicted for many years and [were written about] in the book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. People haven’t listened; they haven’t learned from the last SARS epidemic.”
I hope when this nightmare is finally over we will listen to the words of Jane Goodhall and strive to be real caretakers of our planet. Learn to live with our fellow man and respect the rights of animals and their habitats. In the meantime, I will continue to paint these little still lifes and I hope they bring some cheer. For more information please visit my website: http://www.jeaneansongcomartin.com