Tulips: Acrylic on Paper (12″ x 14″)

I always know when I’m ready to paint something when I start imagining the brush strokes I might use to capture the feeling of that shape, just as a violinist might imagine how they would bow out some melody while looking at a score of music — the long, flowing, continuous sweep of legato, or the sharp, brisk accented attacks of staccato …

in this case, I wanted to try and capture the crazy, swirly, wild bendiness and decadent dissolution of tulips just before they begin to fall apart.

We were staying up at Sakinaw Lake at my sister Paddy’s place. I had taken her a bouquet of bright orange tulips. Several days later they were resting on a wooden table glowing orange in the late afternoon sun.

On the left is a photograph of the painting framed.