|Reference photo for "Spring Woodland"|
|Uncommonly pretty "common silverbell" bush|
Lately I have been haunting Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria, VA. I was afraid in particular that, if I were idle, I would miss the dazzling explosion of spring wildflowers along the Virginia native plant trail, as spring was zipping us by stunningly fast. Early spring flowers that should be still with us are all gone; azaleas and lilacs are already blooming. For two weeks, I went to the garden park every other day; I was "casing the joint," so to speak. I was there on Tuesday afternoon. Woodland poppies and Virginia bluebells were finally blooming in plenty. But the sun was on the wrong side.
So I went back on Thursday morning. It was a partly sunny, partly cloudy day--not an ideal condition for photography. Fortune, however, favors the persistent and determined. As I entered the wooded trail, the sun came out to stay. Wow! I saw several plants which I have never seen. The park authorities have been busy and kind with labels, but they couldn't possibly tag all the clumps of ground-hugging wildflowers. Alas, some lovely flowers will remain nameless for me.
A couple of years ago, I had painted woodland poppies--"Woodland poppies in Spring Woods." I wanted to paint them again, hopefully better this time. "Spring Woodland," however, turned out to be a different sort of painting. The cheerful, bright yellow, woodland poppies are there, of course. But they are just one of the many flowers that populate this airy, light-filled, enchanting, spring woodland. In the distance, one notices the pink redbud in bloom. In the middle ground, the dainty white bells of the common silverbell arc gracefully above the carpet of yellow poppies. In the reference photo, I noticed other tiny flowers on the ground as well, which I decided to edit out. I think I captured in the new painting the atmosphere of springtime in the woods. What do you say?
|"Woodland Poppies in Spring Woods" (oil, 20" x 16")|