Spring comes slowly to the Adirondacks. Mid-way through the second week of May we watched the snow fall on the trees whose leaves were still (wisely) too timid to come out. Now we have a riot of greenery, and lilacs, while just a few hours south in the Northeastern Corridor, the lilacs have had their day, and the lilies are going to be in their glory.
While all this is going on, I'm planning a farmhouse/apple blossom painting, and working on a blown milkweed painting--out of season, yes, but I don't question my muse. It's about color, form, and value. Somehow I've been drawn to subjects with a wealth of chaotic grasses behind them. They are challenging. You don't want to tell too much, yet be authentic. It would be easy to be messily impressionistic, but the textures, and the direction of the background grass tells part of the story. In addition, it is in such contrast to the frothy, showoff-milkweed that more detail is warranted--at least to my eye.
This is being worked on a charcoal-colored sheet of Pastel Premiere, one of my favorite surfaces to work on, and I'm using Terry Ludwig soft pastels, with (in the early stages), some fixative, a few paint brushes, and a hairdryer.