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Through the dancing poppies

Dancing Poppies original monotype by Rebecca Vincent summer garden drift of poppies evening light painting
Dancing Poppies - original monotype - 50 x 74 cm - £1,150.00 framed in oak with art glass, £975.00 mounted, £950.00 unmounted

Last summer, in our allotment, my husband grew many kinds of poppies - Icelandic, Californian, Shirley, Himalayan - it was a visual feast of artistic inspiration! All through the summer I tried drawing and painting them in situ with mostly terrible results! What I enjoyed most was sitting on a warm summer's evening and enjoying the sunlight illuminating the flowers from behind. I took a lot of photos but it's quite a difficult effect to capture well.

Rebecca Vincent Dancing Poppies painting monotype poppies summer garden
Dancing Poppies detail

Since then, I've been turning over the idea in my mind. I've realised that drawing and painting things as they actually look doesn't really get me to where I want to be with my work. It's the idea of the subject and how it felt to be there rather than a view. With this in mind, I sketched out a large composition of a drift of poppies with the sunlight behind. I drew rapidly without worrying about botanical accuracy. I took myself back to the summer and how the light on the flowers seemed like a glimpse into a heavenly realm of beauty.

After a couple of failed attempts at translating my sketch into monotype, I felt conflicted between using my usual crisp stencils to create the flower shapes and taking a more impressionistic approach. In the end I did both! In the video above you can see me working with paper stencils to make a crisp design with graded colours.

Summer Dreams original monotype by Rebecca Vincent summer garden drift of poppies evening light
Summer Dreams - original monotype - 50 x 74 cm - £1,150.00 framed in oak with art glass, £975.00 mounted, £950.00 unmounted

Above is the more impressionistic version. To achieve this effect in monotype, I had to change the way I normally work: I experimented with translucent colours that were sheer like voile fabric. I mixed them quite oily so that the ink was very responsive to marks made with a cloth. I also used a large light box so I could wipe away in the right places and register layer after layer of thin colour. The process was very intriguing and I know I will use it again to give these wonderfully soft effects. The video below shows some of the highlights of the process. It was actually completed over several weeks as each layer needs time to dry.

Rebecca Vincent Summer Dreams monotype painting poppies flowers summer garden
Detail of Summer Dreams

"Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole

A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul;

And shaping visions all about my sight

Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light"

Rebecca Vincent Californian Poppies bi-coloured
Californian poppies in our allotment. They are normally plain orange but these ones were very pretty bi-coloured ones with fluted edges

Rebecca Vincent Californian Poppies
Close up detail of these lovely Californian poppies. They only open in the sun

Please get in touch if you are interested in making a purchase or wish to discuss framing options. Simply phone on +447717 256169 or email me Framed artwork will be delivered in the UK by specialist antiques courier. International orders are sent unmounted rolled in a strong tube.

If you enjoy the theme of garden flowers then you may also like this original monotype which is currently for sale in my website shop. This photograph also shows the style of framing if you order a framed one.

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