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Updated: Apr 13, 2020

All during the winter months of January and February, S & S Organic Produce, where I shop for groceries, had been featuring these beautiful anemones. I took them home each week, enjoying their fresh beauty and schemed about how I could watercolor them inside a heart for Valentine's Day. Once the Valentine season was upon us, I was too busy with other things in my life to paint. And on that exact special day, Hub and I had plans to celebrate, but our plans were altered. Hub had a hemmorage beneath his retina and we spent a good part of the day at the Chico Retina Center waiting for him to get an injection in his eye and the rest of the evening he rested in his chair. Now, until his sight returns back to normal, he is legally blind and I'm doing the driving for two. We had our Valentine's celebration a week later, at The Red Tavern my favorite restaurant in Chico.

Hub’s Valentine was postponed until he could see again. However the painting in my mind haunted me, until eventually, little by little, I was able to work out the steps toward a completed painting.

Here are my process photos in reverse, starting with the completed painting above, then working down, showing how I sketched, studied, and doodled until finally I drew out a heart, then penciled in the flowers within the heart.

As with all of my paintings, when I reach the pen and ink stage, the hard work is behind me. I place it on my light table, lay my watercolor paper over it and trace lightly with a mechanical pencil. With that done, the painting begins.

Here are the doodles and drawings that led up to the pen and ink within the heart.

I'm so pleased I persisted. I am happy with the end result. The top photo shows exactly how it looked in my mind. I don't always have that success at the end of a painting.

We all have to start some where, and this is how my paintings usually begin. Doodling the composition out. Learning about the subject. Getting to know the subject with my pencil.

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