Thursday, October 19, 2006

Please Paint a Peony

One happy peony sitting nest to Pierre Hermé's Carrement
Pink Peony, 12" x 15" watercolor
You give me ideas. Not so much directly when you tell me what to write or paint. More indirectly, more intuitively, when you mention something in passing, and it strikes a chord.

 I just gave you 3 peonies in one day. OK more peonies.

I remember a peony I met in Paris last May...
Next door to my pied à terre was a tiny flower shop, just a closet really. I wanted one flower for my still lifes so I went in for a look.
The owner was cranky...
Was he going to let me buy one flower?
When I heard the price for a bud, I hesitated..
M. said, Oh you didn't go in there?
Trop cher (too expensive!)

That one bud lasted for 2 weeks. Opening a little more each day, quite happy to try different poses and very pleased to sit beside Paris' best desserts.

Manet's lush peony There's something about a peony.
The Last Flowers of Manet (Abradale Books) Manet was smitten with peonies and painted them over and over, all colors. During the last 3 years of his life, while gravely ill, he painted on a smaller scale. Friends would bring the convalescing artist bouquets of flowers. Those flower paintings are his most poignant, most evocative, most intimate. Did that cranky florist whisper sweet nothings to his flowers when no one was around? Yesterday, Naturegirl said...please a...peony


  1. Beautiful paintings and post, down to the last petal!

  2. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Carol, I just love peonis. At walmart they had boxs of bulbs on sale and the poor bulb I bought was all white and dried. I planted the bulb with loving cate on the side by the kitchen door. With food and water it has grow for three years and is really big with beautiful pink and white flowers. My friends bring me there flowers also. In fact I dry them and I have a whole glass full in my bed room. They are beautifu and youre paintings are so lovly of them .

  3. Do you know, that is the most witty yet beautiful piece of writing I have read in a long time. This girl's talents are endless.

  4. I just caught up on all the posts I've missed in the past week or so. What a treat and inspiration to see and start my day with! I to will paint the same thing over and over until I like it. I enjoyed seeing the studio photos (and glad the messy one wasn't yours as I first feared til I read on). I wonder if bibliophilia is somehow related to painting...your book reading and collecting sounded all too familiar. It was also interesting to read your response to all the comments that make clear your focus. By now you're in Paris so I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful results here. By the way, I've been painting with my Kremer watercolors a lot this week and have found a really enjoyable way to work with them and ink (on my blog Monday and Wednesday).

  5. I was tempted almost every day for the last week or so to comment on your posts, for one reason or another, always a pleasurable one. Today I have got to: pink peonies are my favorite flowers! I love the peonie in your second try at painting the Mariage Freres black tea tin box in yesterday's post.

    When I was still working in Rome, my colleagues would present me with an armful of pionies from the nearby Mercato Rionale in Via Cola di Rienzo. They didn't cost a fortune then as they do in Washington, DC, where you may pay 4 or 5 dollars for a blossom.

    Here a picture of a peony I found at one of my favorite cafes in Vienna.

  6. Thank you for all the beautiful paintings and poetic descriptions. Yes...there is something about peonies. I love them loose in the bud just emerging..bursting life.

    Sometimes I find a peony in fullness to be too showy and extravagent. Is that strange?

    I do love elegant simplicity and your work reflects that.

  7. Anonymous2:49 PM

    peonies are a favorite of mine ... blousy and fabulous color ... truly lovely ... you capture them well.

  8. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Carol, I felt everything I wanted to say about your very beautiful and poetic post today was said by others. Still you really outdid yourself on this one!

  9. Anonymous6:01 PM

    The peony is my very most favorite flower in the world. But sadly, the country that I chose to live in - Morocco - does not have them. Woe is me. Thank you for giving me the painted version.

  10. Anonymous7:09 PM

    Lovely, full of music and grace...

  11. Blanche Odin did marvelous watercolors of flowers.

    Lovely painting, PB!

  12. Carol, I just thought of something I'd love you to paint - a Diptyque candle! Oui, non? This task, of course, would incorporate the wonderful process of buying said candle - any excuse, I say!

    Hope you have a fabulous time in Paris.

  13. I've always loved peonies - from the moment I saw my first one, at school, years ago. Yours is beautiful! :-)

  14. I am so impressed with your talent! I would give you ALL my peonies as your subtle brushstrokes of color capture the most intimate beauty of the peony!
    I THANK YOU for these paintings of one of the finest creations blossoming from the earth!! hugs NG

  15. Oui... peonies are my favourite.


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