Hydrangeas are my favorite flower. Perhaps because they love water as much as my brush does...thirstiest flowers ever! Also, the way they change colors mimics the subtle transitions of a watercolor painting. Love!
The dry Utah climate is not ideal for this thirsty species—me or my favorite flowers! I've tried to grow hydrangeas here with minimal success at best. But England provides exactly the right growing conditions for these water-loving beauties. They grow as tall as the rooftops there, with flowers the size of volleyballs.
The most beautiful specimens I saw in our time in England were in the courtyard of the Victoria and Albert museum. There were hundreds of them lining the walkways, surrounding the reflecting pool. They were taller than I am, boasting beautiful splashes of vibrant color.
This is a painting of some of the blooms from that V&A garden...aptly named Victoria's Hydrangeas. It started with a wild, abstract wet-on-wet underpainting, followed by just the right amount of careful negative painting to make the blossoms come to life.
Happy May, everybody!
I am an artist and art instructor working in water media. Just knowing I can watch colors run together makes it worth getting out of bed every morning! Helping students capture the same excitement is equally rewarding.