"Opening to the Sun," original watercolor, 8x8, unframed.
My "bonus mom" has a home just below Snow Canyon in St. George. One spring day she called me on the phone and said, "Jana! You need to drive down here right now. The most beautiful flowers have just come into bloom and you need to come paint them! I have no idea how long they'll last, but I'm telling you, they are celestial!"
How could I resist that invitation? I jumped in the car and drove the four hours straight to her house, where the biggest, brightest-white blossoms were just opening from their crimson-red sepals, reflecting the brilliance of the sun. The contrast of the prickly cactus spines and joints to the fragile softness of the blooms was jaw-dropping. And the word she used to describe them (celestial) seemed fitting as well. This flower was another desert metaphor for the atonement.
The technique I used is called "negative painting," which means painting around the forms rather than inside of them, which creates layer upon layer of transparent color, and an astonishing illusion of depth. Done well, it will draw no attention to the brushstrokes, but will almost look like the flower just magically appeared. Despite its name, there is nothing negative about this technique, which glows with light, and serves to accentuate the positive. Desert Metaphors series.
AFFIRMATION: I WILL OPEN MY HEART.
"Opening to the Sun," 8x8 original watercolor, unframed. Save $50.