Blue Lupins Painted from Life Instead of from Photos

My knee started to go on a Manning Park hike up the Three Brothers, so I sent everyone further on and settled myself down amongst the mosquitos with my sketch pad and did these drawings of lupins in the wild.

Pencil drawing with watercolour added of Lupins against a weathered log.Pencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins up on a Manning Park hike up the Three BrothersPencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins against shards of granite. I quite like the quirkiness that sometimes happens when drawing from life as opposed to working from a photo. Pencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins up on a Manning Park hike up the Three BrothersHere are some photos of Lupins when we came back through Merritt this summer.Blue Lupins up at Glimpse Lake, CanadaA lupin in the sun. I can’t begin to imagine how different the drawings would have been if I had done them from photos.Blue Lupin in the sun up at Glimpse Lake, CanadaAnother time I saw masses of lupins was in Arizona. This is a photo of the desert scene with Cholla and Prickly Pear Cacti amidst a once-every-four-year-bloom of orange California poppies and blue lupins. Because this was taken back in the days of film I didn’t actually see the photo until much later, and found the colours quite subdued compared to the way I remembered them.   in a desert in Arizona, USAThis is how I remembered the place in my mind and painted it in my sketchbook while I was still in Arizona – a sea of orange and blue. Again, if I had used a photo to paint from the result would have been very different. desert in bloom - Sketchbook from my 2001 Trip to ArizonaI’ve been thinking about the difference a lot as I paint from photos during this time of COVID. Moving around outside allows me to gather impressions and process them in a way that is totally different than working from a photo. The photos for some reason remove me from having a personal take on anything and I end up painting much too realistically. My creativity seems to be lost…

12 responses to “Blue Lupins Painted from Life Instead of from Photos

    • This post was part of a discussion with a friend about artists and creativity – one of the conclusions was that the most important thing was a sort of obsessive passion – we have several friends with more talent than us but they don’t have the passion so they don’t keep at it. At any rate, your passion for photography shows through, and I bet you don’t even notice the time it takes…

  1. Very interesting Elizabeth. For one who has absolutely NO talent for painting I envy your ability to see and portray things differently. Excellent example of creativity!

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