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Botanical Painting

Usually I start by bringing a plant into my studio. If it is a common plant, or something from my garden, I may dig it up and move it into a small pot. If it is very large, then I may put it into water and bring it in with a vase. Getting to “know” the plant is important. Does it move with the sun? How are the leaves attached to the stem? Are there stipules? Thorns? Coloration on the stem? Is it blooming? Which flowers open first? Which flowers will be the last to bloom? Does the color change as the flowers age? It’s a bit anthropomorphic to say plants have “personalities.” But they certainly have defining characteristics, ways of moving, and fragrances. I think that live plants have a spiritual base, different from animals, but poignant nonetheless. A good botanical painting captures some of these indefinable qualities. That is what I aim for and what I hope will be captured on paper. My intentions are to paint unique characteristics of a plant and to present them in ways that create a beautiful composition for even the most ordinary “weed.” 

Susan McDonald2.jpg
Susan McDonald.jpg
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