The rhododendron blossoms in my Brooklyn backyard never last long enough.
These blooms are like huge wads of crepe-paper pompoms. I will remember this spring of 2019 as a glorious one; the rhododendrons were especially larger and more numerous than in previous years. Is it any wonder then that as the thermometer climbs over 90 degrees today that I long for the cool spring days of softer light and intense pink colors? But it is summer: I delicately prune off the spent flowers, I run the sprinkler each morning to provide the necessary water, and I watch out for chewing and boring insects as instructed by the arborist. I remember the winter when the freezing temperatures cause the leaves to contract and curl in tightly and I always wonder if the 20-year-old twin shrubs will survive. Then it’s once again spring, and the process—hopefully—will begin anew.
Painting the rhodos in the studio extended the season a bit. I opted to work this on a piece of Aquabord and it took some trial and error to remember the challenges of working on this surface. Paint doesn’t adhere as easily, layering washes is more difficult, yet the ability to remove paint and lighten up areas is fun to work with. I explored the dappled light in the background as a contrast to the shape of the blossoms. Next up, I will seal the surface of the watercolor with fixative and varnish, and it will be ready to display without a traditional frame.
Aquabord, 12″ x 16″