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Peony Dreams, Numbers One and Two

Absolutely love how these two paintings turned out. For the last two years, our wonderful peonies have not bloomed. This time we decided to make our own to fill the void. These are experimental canvases of “mixed media” work. In this case, that means mainly acrylic paints with a little fabric thrown in for texture, dimension and plain old fun.

Peony Dreams Number One, the yellow painting, resulted from improvisation based on a quick sketch from memory of the general habit of cut peonies well into their life in a vase. You have some fresh blooms still stretching tall, while others are beginning to lose a little of their zest, getting a little droopy and losing a few petals. The flowers have multiple layers of acrylics, applied with brushes and palette knives, and then scraped away or cut into with a wood screw to reveal multiple layers. Then it still seemed like they needed a little more pop, so we cut strips of sheer white fabric and sewed them on, looping and bunching them along the way to hide the stitching. Finally these fabric strips were touched up with more white acrylic paint to give them a little more depth.

Peony Dreams Number Two, the black painting, is a bit more ‘abstracted’ from the true habit of cut peonies in a vase, with sharp, angular stems and leaves. This canvas began with two coats of thick black acrylic edge to edge, and then the vase, flowers and stand were painted on top of that. Got some interesting looks on the stems with different thin green paints revealing a little of the black underneath, and the same for the small white stand. The flowers we wanted to have more ‘thickness’ than that, so the black undercoat is almost completely obscured. The process started with brushes but it was unsatisfying, so we simply finger painted them on! Scooped thick blobs of paint off the palette and pressed them into the canvas, using different swirling techniques to create the petals, which are mainly white but have hints of hot pink and bright orange. Absolutely love how they turned out, like cotton candy. The bright green/yellow vase was then spruced up with a piece of ‘fancy’ New York remnant circle fabric, each circle being tacked down at its center with black thread.

We made the frames for both paintings from tulip poplar painted with complementary acrylic paint blends. These canvases both measure 48” tall x 24” wide. The frames are 1 1/2” wide and deep, making the total height 51” and total width 27”. These paintings can be purchased individually or as a pair. There is a little discount if they sell as a pair as it would be nice if they could stay together. They complement one another.

Shipping for these items is high relative to the cost of the paintings themselves because they are so long, and also because they require custom made packing and this cannot be helped.

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