Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spring Comes to Portland

Spring conjures so many images and memories: tweeting birds, blue skies, sunshine, new life, that lush spring green color as trees team with new buds, color, warmth, love... the list could go on and on indefinitely. As I was sussing through these ideas and accompanying visual representation, I kept coming back to this photo I'd taken in front of my house a few springs ago.

The photo was taken from a low perspective. I probably knelt down on the sidewalk and shot up. In the foreground, a bright yellow daffodil juts forward as big as the sun. Behind the flower is your typical Portland sky- gray, cloudy, the color of "blah" is how I typically describe it. The overgrown shrubbery lean in, as dark and looming as the sky. The photo has always appealed to me; the smallest thing in the scene becomes the brightest most dominant in the photo by simply manipulating the view point. Sometimes you need manipulate your scenery here in the Pacific Northwest, with nearly nine months of gray, sunless days, you re-train your eye to find joy in the subtle bright spots mother nature tucks away in plain sight. Every spring since I've moved here, just as I'm about to go crazy from missing the sun, the daffodils bloom and bring cheer to my otherwise gloomy days.

"The Bright Spot" was painted from the photo described above. It represents spring in my world: the Brooklyn neighborhood of Portland. It was really nice to have a deadline associated with this painting. It forced me to paint, on days where I would have preferred to do anything but. It also forced me to stop. Labeling something as "done" has always been an allusive challenge for me. Consequently, I have an apartment full of almost-done art work. And really, I could just keep working on this one too... forever. Without further adieu, I post my solution to the Spring project. Keep scrolling down to see the process of getting from there to here.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nicole, I love that we both did BIG FLOWERS! I can see the awesome Van Gogh/ Gauguin influence...love the greenery in the back. WOW.

  3. I thought the same thing- how funny that we went in the same direction without discussing it at all. We'll have to choose a tougher topic next time and see how similar we are at the end. Coincidence? I think not.