Seeing it on my Facebook page made me want to get out the original painting. I still have it in one of my studio drawers. It's one of those paintings that I think I will hold onto forever as it has special significance to me.
It was the first painting I did after a long creative hiatus. Emma had just started high school. Chloé was still in elementary school. I hadn't painted for a few years and I was feeling very stuck. I wanted to start creating art again but had somehow convinced myself that I couldn't. I was spending an unreasonable amount of time reading books on painting techniques and consulting art websites (I spent weeks on 'Handprint'--an amazing source of information on watercolour paints and materials.)
The thing is that I already knew how to paint. I had painted for decades previously. What I needed to do was to sit down with my paper and paints and start again. (It sounds easier than it seemed to me at the time.)
This snowdrop painting was the first watercolour I completed after that period. I wasn't trying to choose a subject with deep meaning. I just sifted through reference photos I had taken of flowers in my garden and selected it.
Without trying to choose a subject with a deep meaning, I did. The snowdrop (Galanthus) is one of the first flowers to emerge in the garden after the winter. What better subject could I have chosen after a long period of creative block.
I still like the painting. It is simple and elegant.
It seems like the perfect image of hope as I deal with my annual case of February blues and as many of us deal with this difficult winter. In Montreal, we have had ongoing snow accumulation and intense cold but nothing like the extraordinary blizzards and snowfalls on the east coast of Canada and the US. I feel for you.
If you need a little spring encouragement, I sell my snowdrop image both as a print and note card.
|My 5 x 7 snowdrop print|
|One of my snowdrop note cards|
❤ ❤ ❤
LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
William Wordsworth (1819)
I also wrote about my snowdrop painting in this post from 2012: