Spring has Sprung

It is still rather cold and bleak outside here in Maryland, so I have been working on still lifes lately using the ubigquitous harbinger of spring, the daffodil. I love seeing them in the landscape. They bring joy to the eye. I am not fond of putting them in a painting because yellow is a very hard color to deal with at times. Surprisingly, by the end of the daffodil series I became rather fond of this little flower.

DRAWINGS: It always helps to begin investigating with drawing. The daffodil has such a distinctive shape. The six triangular petals and a tubular trumpet shape in the middle.

Next I set up a very very ambitious still life with many diverse elements. In hindsight I think it was a bit much but a very good exercise in painting.

This was the original set up. I decided to add more elements….. big mistake? Actually, I like the addition of the turpenoid bottle and the photo but it did complicate things.

“Daffodil and Forsythia”. (9×12) oil on linen panel. Painting yellow flowers is really a challenge, especially when the cool yellow melts into the canvas. Think I might be looking for a higher chroma yellow. We shall see. This ended up working out though because I used the complimentary violet/gray background which activated the yellows.

“Yellow and White Daffodil with Forsythia” (11×14). Oil on linen panel. I added the white double bloom in the upper middle of the painting for an accent.

“Study for Daffodils”. (8×8) oil on board. Continuing on the daffodil series. Liked the challenge of the square format. First time painting on gessobaord. Very slick but a beautiful surface. did not “fill in” all the areas. I rather liked the feeling of a painting that had open spaces, similar to a drawing.

“Three Little Daffodils” (5×7) oil on aluminum panel. First time painting on an aluminum panel. Very slick but nice to use with soft brushes.


I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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