This week as I wandered around the garden wondering what to draw, mulling over my skills, I realised that I had been avoiding flowers with too many petals. Too hard, too complicated – nah not for me, I can’t do that yet. Despite my doubts I left the garden with a marigold in my hand, and decided to give it a go. As I sat down and started drawing in dawned on me that it was not the shape or the number of petals that was going to be the problem but the colour. What a bright orange, what a singeing eye popping colour, it really does not look like a natural colour – it is just way too bright.
Orange, is a strange colour, many people don’t like it and I can understand why, it is very fierce and in your face, it is a Marmite type colour, you either love it or hate it. Maybe not quite like Marmite as I have converted from hate to love. My conversion to orange came many years ago when I was still a quilter and a completely lurid piece of orange fabric came into my possession and dominated my stash. I decided that instead of throwing the fabric away I would use it, and I pieced it into one of my very first ‘art’ quilts, and found to my surprise that it was the orange colour made the quilt sing. The quilt was not brilliant but it opened my eyes to the magic of orange. After that, most of my textile work had a sprinkle of orange sparkle and were all the better for it. (Apologies for the rubbish photo)
Back at the drawing board, I was struggling with both the colour and the shape of the marigolds and now that I have finished a few and photographed them and looked with new eye I can see how wobbly they are and how very ‘off’ I am in places and how I have failed to match the orange.
So although not satisfied at all with my coloured pencil efforts, I really enjoyed the pencil drawing, a marigold when studied closely has a complicated and interesting shape, the leaves wrap around the stalk and they twist and spiral outwards. The bud is tightly wrapped with a calyx with spikes that curl beautifully. I found the structure fascinating and a real challenge to draw.