Painting instead of planting

I could have titled this: How one thing leads to another and I end up with this painting. Or: How my failure to plant bulbs leads to a small success in learning to paint light. Either way, I had intended to plant 80 daffodils this fall, but only 60 went into the ground before an early freeze thwarted me. The thought of those 20 unplanted bulbs sitting in my basement has been nagging at me, so I bought an amaryllis in hopes that it would lessen the disappointment. Unfortunately, the amaryllis had already started to grow in the box—sending up a ghostly, stunted stalk. I rather liked the dried roots and the shape of the thing, so I painted it here, followed by the daffodil bulbs. And though there’s nothing spectacular about this page, I am pleased to have put my angst on paper, and I especially like the light-filled quality of the final bulb in the upper right.

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21 thoughts on “Painting instead of planting

  1. Haha! “If you give a mouse a cookie…”. Read your post after I got completely sidetracked myself. Instead of a shower I took care of my houseplants with prunjng etc. I do it all the time and am glad I’m not alone. However when I get off track I don’t document it as beautifully as you do. Keep up the gorgeous posts!!! Cloudy Dory

  2. I love your painting, but hope you did not abandon your amaryllis. Mine came the same way. I planted it yesterday and already this morning it is straightening itself out. Fondly, Judy Middleton

  3. Jean, I always enjoy your “postings” ! I still am enjoying the Killdear drawing that I got from you. With best wishes for the Holidays.
    ———Dane

  4. Plant them indoors and enjoy the show earlier than ever, Jean! Maybe you can paint them as they grow for a spectacular time-lapse series in the journal. I love watching you work.
    M.

  5. This story makes me smile. I should be thankful that a freeze is unlikely here, so the daff bulbs sitting in a storage bin outside can still go in – when I get to it! I remember planting them in December in Connecticut, near the coast – whole different climate than yours, right? Even though it’s not so far away. And the amaryllis bulb – I’ve seen that happen, too, I admire you for just painting all of them. I like the empty area on the left – the light – on that one bulb. You’re right, you were given an opportunity to shed some light on these bulbs, as long as they’re not under the earth. Now I hope we’ll have an update on that amaryllis! I’m wondering how long before it greens up.

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