November 21, 2013

A Tangle of Colors and Textures in a Fallow Field

Late in the Fall, my husband and I visited a fallow field in the South Carolina countryside. Uncultivated areas of wild and wooly growth abound in this state and particularly in Orangeburg County. Finding them is a joy of botanical and wildlife discoveries. These are the sites where we stumble across old farmsteads, sharecropper’s homes, and abandoned vestiges of gardens where old varieties of flowers still sprout and bloom. Sometimes we’ll find the rare bobcat, or a larger than believable fox squirrel. On this particular trip we found a ten foot high wall of wild flowers growing next to a cotton field. The flowers were small but in a rainbow of colors ranging from white, violet red, blue, and splashes of yellow and orange. They seemed like exotic things that one would come across in a rainforest. I took many close-up photos of these as well as the interesting cotton pods which I had not fully noticed before. I used a few of these in paintings earlier but today decided to paint not from photographs but from the memory of these spots of color within the chaos of underbrush. The result was a miniature painting that was an impression of what I had seen earlier, an untamed uncultivated expression of textures and colors.

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