Monday, 21 September 2015

Beware of the Agapanthus

Agapanthus flowerhead (work in progress) Shevaun Doherty
Agapanthus II (unfinished) Shevaun Doherty 2015 
"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill."
Christopher Parker

I love what I do, but sometimes it’s a struggle. On my easel is
another Agapanthus flower, promised long ago and so has to be finished. They are beautiful flowers, but at this stage, I’m a bit Agapanthus-weary. I have found myself doing absolutely anything rather than sit down at my desk and paint. My house is spotless, my ironing is done, I've even submitted my UK VAT returns!
But paint I must!

So work begins!

Another day, another bit added
My Agapanthus flowers, so carefully brought back from Bantry House, were already beginning to fade.  The flowers never really opened, which actually suited me fine. The buds are easier to do and still very attractive. However every time I moved, a few more buds would drop. 

 I needed to include a few flowers, so dug out my earlier studies. 

Using an earlier study to add a few buds
People have often asked me why I spend so much time doing colour charts and studies, but it really helps. By doing colour studies, I become very familiar with the flower and how it grows, far more so than if I had just taken a photograph.

Borrowing a flower
Painting from a study is so much easier than from a photograph

Slowly slowly the Agapanthus begins to grow on the page.

Oh dear!! It wasn’t long before even the flowers had lost all patience with my procrastinating!
Thank God I had enough visual references to finish this off!

Using an earlier painting to help me find flowers for the back of the second painting
Tracing paper is invaluable!
I've still got to do a lot of work to finish these paintings off, particularly as I can hear the loud tick-tock of an approaching deadline, but it's buds and leaves now, so I'm on the homestretch! 
No more procrastinating- it's back to work!

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Jim Rohn


  1. Agapanthus blossoms are very daunting--no wonder you struggled to keep at it. I find that the normally boring task of straightening a messy closet becomes irresistibly inviting when I am faced with a challenging botanical subject, but thank heavens for deadlines! Your painting is beautiful--I look forward to seeing the finished piece!

    1. I'm laughing here, Janene! Yes, my wardrobes are all sorted and straightened! Yes, thank God for deadlines because it pushes you to get things done! The painting is beginning to take shape now (yaay!), so I can see an end of blue flowers in sight. I'm not sure that I would rush into doing another just yet! Thanks though.


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