flower exercise 2

Today was the day! As many of you know, not too long ago I started a website called Artists who Art, the aim of which is to help artist make art as often as they can by providing a weekly assignment to inspire them. I was so fortunate to have guest artist Melanie Morris create the assignment last week. Melanie creates absolutely stunning florals and her assignment was to set up a floral still life and paint it three times on small panels. The first time, you set the timer for 45 minutes, then 30, then 15. Well, I didn’t get around to it last week. But today was the day. And I LOVE this exercise. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to sharpen their skills.

IMG_2632On my first panel, I sketched the whole thing out first with some burnt sienna and then began painting. In the second and third, I just jumped right in. I got looser on each panel, but I found myself creating richer details in the third panel in only fifteen minutes simply because I’d been studying the flowers so long prior. Melanie recommended picking your favorite and turning that one into a large piece. I’m not sure which I like best, the second or third. Help me decide?

If you’re interested in giving this exercise a try, you can see the full description here.

And don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the poem. I think sometimes I wait for a perfect day/time/inspiration to try something new instead of creating the perfect day by just getting started. Diving in. Breaking the snow globe and freeing the people.




If ever there were a spring day so perfect,

so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze


that it made you want to throw

open all the windows in the house


and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,

indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,


a day when the cool brick paths

and the garden bursting with peonies


seemed so etched in sunlight

that you felt like taking


a hammer to the glass paperweight

on the living room end table,


releasing the inhabitants

from their snow-covered cottage


so they could walk out,

holding hands and squinting


into this larger dome of blue and white,

well, today is just that kind of day.