30 x 45" original oil
Last spring, I set out to photograph tulips at my favorite place: Thanksgiving Point Gardens. It's quite an ordeal - I sacrifice a day in the studio and all of that production to traipse around a man-made wonder, hoping to find subject material fit for a painting and worth the studio-time sacrifice. I pack a bag with my big camera and battery, I pack snacks, I pack an ice pack for my sore back (for the ride home), I put on sunscreen, I put on my comfy shoes, I double-check that I have my garden pass, and I get in the car. If I didn't stop to photograph, it would take me an hour just to walk the loop of the gardens. They are huge. There is no quick in and out.
On this day that I headed out to Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the sun was playing peekaboo with the clouds and it was so windy. Like blow-your-hat-off windy. Usually it will be sunny at my house and cloudy at the gardens. They are situated in a low valley at the point of a mountain and seem to create their own weather. However, I can't waste a sunny day in spring so again, on this day I headed to the gardens hoping to be in the right place at the right time with sunlight and a great patch of flowers. I knew it was a bust about twenty minutes into my route. The tulips were fast asleep in their tight buds and at least a week away from being good subject material. There is a spot in the gardens that gets early sun and is unusually warm, but like running into Wal-Mart for just milk, this place in the gardens was in the very back. Nothing. All of the tulips were totally dormant.
I came around a cold corner high with mature pine trees, and bam, daffodil land. There on a hill with east sun, daffodils waved and nodded in the freezing wind. My numb fingers snapped a few photos and I called it a day, retreating to the warm shelter of my studio and hoping the day wasn't a total waste.
I looked through my shots later that night and saw this reference. I immediately fell in love. It had back lighting, balance, strength, and depth. I knew I'd paint it large, and I've been waiting for the right time. My first spring show, Art & Soup, seemed like a good time to debut this sunny beauty and usher in the Spring.
Sometimes you get a little lucky and have something wonderful in your path that you were not expecting, and I call this painting Serendipity to honor the situation that brought it to me.