Friday, March 22, 2013

{process} - guide to spring flowers

sometimes i have a funny tendency to paint what i need.  here’s an example and here’s another...  so recently, when i was commissioned to make a painting for a local auction, i did just that!
even though the calendar says it’s officially spring, as i look at my studio window everything is covered in fresh snow because we had a big winter storm here earlier this week. {insert sad face here} it’s hard to believe that last year at this time it was in the 80s and i was able to break out my favorite sandals...   oh, i miss them... 
in order to get out of my “it doesn’t feel like spring yet" funk, i decided to paint me some spring!  (sidenote: yes mom, i know that is a grammatically incorrect statement.) 
i thought it’d be fun to share the step-by-step painting process.  i’ve done this sort of thing in my book and in magazine articles, but i’m not so sure i’ve ever done one for you here!  i feel a new series coming on...  :)
okay, here it goes...  my guide to spring flowers painting from start to finish!
just starting out 

i had a specific vision in my head of what i wanted as the focal point- loose spring-like flowers with stems, inspired by some freesia that a thoughtful friend had gifted me, but i just couldn’t get it right.  so, i decided to try to let go of that vision and wait for more inspiration to strike... luckily, while folding and organizing some old clothes of ada’s, i found what i wanted!  one of my favorite little dresses of ada’s (1) was photocopied (2) and enlarged, then i traced (3) and tweaked the image a bit. from there i used transfer paper (4)to add it to my painted background.  

 mid-way though detail late at night “the ugly stage”... getting there... originally inspired by these flowers given to me by a friend... finished on the wall (detail) on the wall!  voila!

phew! it’s done!  i spent A LOT of time on this one and it was actually hard to let it go... but i really like how it finally turned out!  

two important things -
*today is the last chance to get in on the spring newsletter... it’s going out tomorrow! if you are at all interested in my workshops, you won’t want to miss the news, so be sure to sign on up here

*also, do you want to see more of these sorts of painting process posts here? (say that 5 times fast!) anything else you are wishing for? let me know in the comments!  thanks! 

happy weekend!  xoxo *s


  1. Beautiful! I love it!

    Yes, lots more painting process posts please.

    Sarah xx

  2. yes yes yes yes yes yes yes more posts like this please :)

  3. Yes! I would love to see more about your painting process. I purchased your book a while ago and love it! I have reread it twice. There is so much inspiration there for me. I really like how you described your journals and how you use them in your process to create your paintings. It would be fun to hear more about that!

  4. Yes, please. :) :) Would also love to see pics of your sketchbook if you're working in one.

  5. I love the step by step process! Keep it coming! It is one of the things I love best about your book. The step by step also helps me as a painter because I can look to see how you make things pop and come to life. Thanks Sarah! I also appreciate the burst of spring, winter is kicking my butt!

  6. I'm voting more process posts too! I'm in MA too and the snow is completely bumming me out.

  7. I love seeing others artists process. This piece is beautiful! So springy! A happy and cheerful painting. We still have lots of snow here in WI and I'm very tired of looking at it. Great work.

  8. Sure!! More painting posts would be lovely! :) I adore your style!! I am very much enjoying following your blog! Thx Sarah! :)

  9. I love seeing your painting process, Sarah, and love also seeing ways you are weaving creativity into your day-to-day with that sweet girl of yours! :)

  10. Love your painting and would really like to see more of your painting processes. Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. Thanks for the peek into your process! I love it! Please do more.
    ~Julia in MI
    p.s. We had snow most of the week, and I share your longing for spring.

  12. Yes--your process is very inspiring! Please share more! (I have many scans of children's clothes in my collection as well!)

  13. Yes yes yes yes.... please. I love your work - I have your book and it is sooo inspiring. Would love to see more of the process - you are awesome! Love from South Africa xx

  14. Yes please, i love seeing how your work unfolds, that was a really inspirational post. Might even make me dig out some of my paints for the first time in weeks ! Here's waiting (not so patiently) for spring x from New York.

  15. That was a great post! I got your newsletter and cannot wait for another workshop but in the meantime I will be happy to read more about your process until the summertime shows itself. It's 50 degrees in my part of MA. and the snow is starting to fade (but not fast enough for me). Loved your new springtime artwork.

  16. Thanks so much for sharing - what a cool trick - to photocopy one of your daughters favorite outfits - love it! Yes I would love to see more on your process to learn little tidbits just like this. Thanks so much - beautiful work!

  17. thank you ALL for so many sweet comments! i think the vote is keep these process posts a comin’! i will! thanks so much for the positive feedback! i truly appreciate it! more to come and happy spring to everyone! xxoxoo *s

  18. I love this process post! Can you take it down to the level of a rank beginner? Like, what surface are you using? How'd you come up with the background? What'd you use? (paint, crayon, cut-outs? decoupage?) I love the loose, colorful, flowiness of your style!

    1. hi rose- in general i use gessoboard, acrylic paint, collage and pencil. you may like to check out my online workshop and book as resources for much more detail and technique. i’m glad you like it and thanks so much! xo *s

  19. This was a lot of fun to see Sarah! Yes, I would love to see more of your process posts for sure!


thanks so much for saying hello! i do my best to reply to comments, please know i read and appreciate each and every one! xo *s