"April In Paradise" depicts some of Mother Nature's treasures that I associate with April where I live in SE Tennessee. The dogwood trees, which I was amazed to discover growing wild as part of the forest, burst into bloom with big pure white blossoms this month. At about the same time, the first ruby-throated hummingbirds return to our area after wintering south of the equator. So this painting celebrates both! "April In Paradise" was accepted into Knoxville Tennessee's Dogwood arts festival and chosen by popular vote as a finalist. The original is sold, but I have giclee prints which beautifully match the original, both on canvas and on fine art paper, ranging in price from $17 to $425, framed and unframed.
The forest around my house amazes me with the flowering spring wildflowers - every year it seems I discover new ones! Years ago we had hundreds of Pink Lady Slippers, which flower here at the beginning of May. Sadly, when we got a direct hit by a tornado in April 2011, the pine grove which supported these acid-loving plants was largely obliterated… the Lady Slippers which had carpeted the understory never came up again. In the years since then I've found only a handful of them still gracing spots where some pines remain, and I treasure the sight of these precious wonders every spring. I titled this grouping "Three Sisters" - thinking of myself and my two sisters, Anne and Jean. The circular format was a new twist for me, and I managed to finely (and carefully) tear the full sheet of watercolor paper along the big circle I drew, to make the edge deckled. The original was painted in acrylics, used transparently on watercolor paper, and is sold. I have open edition prints on paper as 8" circles which sell for $100 framed and $15 unframed.
Wild daisies begin a long season of flowering in April here, and brown-eyed susans open a little later. This antique blue mason jar shows up in a few of my paintings, and seemed the perfect vase for a "Barnyard Bouquet," hung by its old-time wire holder. I painted this in acrylics on canvas, and loved adding the weathered details to the old fencepost and twisted barbed wire. The original of this painting is sold, but I have 11" x 14" canvas giclee prints, $175 framed and $115 unframed.
Sunflowers seem to make people smile, and these giant beauties actually planted themselves below our bird feeders! I captured this trio when the sun burst through after a light rain, so you can see the moisture still clinging to the petals. I actually painted "Sunshine On My Shoulder" to fit a frame I had bought at a yard sale; the frame was a perfect square so I thought it would be fun to find a subject that would fit well if hung on the diagonal, making a real attention-getter. The original is painted in acrylics on canvas measuring 24" square and is for sale for $850 in the wide wood frame with natural and green tones.
"Queen Anne's Lace" is a delicate looking wildflower and grows all along the roadsides here, flowering in June. I've learned to admire these flowers from afar, since here in the South they harbor minuscule red spiders on their undersides, which are the producers of nasty biting chiggers. In fact, a nickname for this plant is 'chigger weed.' Despite this association, the flowers still make a lovely painting subject. I saw these growing along the pasture on the land which borders mine and took reference photos to do the painting in acrylics on canvas. The original of this painting is sold, but I have open edition prints on paper, in 8" x 10" for $100 framed and $17 unframed, and 5" x 7" for $9 unframed.
I'm sure there are more flowers and more floral paintings in my future! Visit my online gallery to see more: judy-lavoie-art.com