As summer heat slows everything down, 2 beauties begin to proliferate, flowers and butterflies. So many things are wilting in the heat but Black-eyed Susans are taking over the flower beds. The lantana also seems to love the heat. There among the flowers are where the butterflies are too.
Former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson is quoted as saying, “Where flowers bloom there is hope.” Letterpress Play says, “They represent joy and growth, and they bring color and wonderment to everything they touch.” Letterpress Play has a paper toy and greeting card that turns into a vase with paper flowers. 15% of proceeds they give to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. When things continue to heat up through July and into August, the flowers do give us hope.
As the butterflies flutter all around, they remind us of the cycles of life. While they are flitting around they are laying eggs so the next generation can begin the process of overeating to building a cocoon to transforming into a beautiful butterfly to giving joy. In a post about butterflies, Everyday Power. com tells us, “We can learn a lot of lessons about our own growth process from the butterfly life cycle.” That is so true.
As the summer heat drags on limiting many outdoor activities, it’s an easy thing to look out the window and marvel at the butterflies among the black-eyed Susans. It’s also a great time to paint flowers and butterflies. Not a bad idea to contemplate the cycles of life while painting the summer beauties either. And maybe wonder with hope for fall and the next cycle of life.
In painting daffodils and sunflowers, Yellow Ochre is the winner for the subtle variances in petals.
Yellow is yellow. Or so it would seem. Or is it? Yellow has many variations though it doesn’t appear to. When painting a daffodil or a sunflower, are there any yellows that can be used besides Lemon Yellow or Indian Yellow, my favorites? I confess to a dislike of any variations of yellow other than these two. If I need to paint shadows in either Lemon or Indian Yellow, I most often use purple for Lemon Yellow and Prussian Blue for Indian Yellow. But what about painting those little nuances in petals that can quickly go flat with too much of the purple/blue additions? Digging around in my yellow paint drawer, at the very back I come up with Yellow Ochre.
Yellow Ochre comes in just about every packaged starter set of paint, oil, acrylic or watercolor. If you’ve ever bought a set, have a look. In every medium-sized set, yellow ochre is nearly always the second yellow. Sometimes buying a set can be less expensive than a single tube, if there is a sale on. When I get those, it’s usually for the browns. The yellows promptly get thrown to the back of the drawer until spring flowers pop up. Then back in the drawer again until late summer when the sunflowers are in force. That’s when I realize I am dissing a timeless classic.
Winsor Newtontells the story of how Yellow Ochre is an earth-based pigment, a staple of artists until the 19thcentury when synthetic Mars Yellow took over. Pigments through the Ages says that original Yellow Ochre is made from silica, clay and an iron oxide derivative, goethite. Today’s Yellow Ochre is almost entirely made in a lab but don’t let that keep you from choosing this originally earth based paint in the painting of earth subjects.
In painting daffodils and sunflowers, Yellow Ochre is the winner for the subtle variances in petals. Yellow Ochre can also be quite effective in the variations of bird feathers as most birds are colored naturally in earthy hues. While Yellow Ochre comes up as number 6 on my list of essential Yellows, it is never the less essentially, essential. When adding a bit of dirt in your art, don’t forget this important yellow once made from dirt.