The Making of: Repurposed

Repurpose – To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis,without alteration.

In this “Making Of” series I’ll be showing the progress of a painting I completed in 2011 from photographs I had taken in the early ’90’s, the planning sketch, the painting progress, and even the “making” of the frame.

As is typical of most of my paintings this one comes with its unique story.

The house I lived in from 1992 until 1998 had been the home of a wonderful elderly woman.   Outside the house stood evidence of a life lived through the enjoyment of trees, shrubs and flowers. There were lilacs, ornamental pomegranates, azaleas, pecan trees, roses, and chrysanthemums. Among these were perhaps my favorites:  four Camellia bushes that graced the front of the 1950’s brick ranch house.

Today many colors and varieties are available but the solid and variegated  red and white blossoms were on the bushes I enjoyed.  Their thick, glossy leaves were evergreen and the blooms had an exotic feel.  Their origin goes back to eastern and southern Asia.  At the time I had only seen one or two of these bushes because the area in which I lived was pushing the northern-most hardiness zone for them.  (Since that time there have been varieties developed that will grow as far north as New England.)

One of my early spring joys soon became their buds and blooms.  Two of the bushes produced double reds, the other single red, and the last a variegated, single red & white.  Every year their blossoms accented the deep, glossy green of their leaves with deep red and true white.  I often clipped single flowers and floated them in water but also trimmed short stems of leaves and flowers for vases.  This was especially true if we were having a hard freeze during their bloom time.  (In the pictures is included one of the Camellias encased in ice from a storm of freezing rain.)

Most of the time I used unusual ‘vases’ for them in the form of old milk bottles that had been found in the woods.  One day after arranging some of the blossoms in those bottles as well as floating in an antique glass refrigerator storage container – without the lid of course – I decided to photograph the arrangement. (I’ve included digital copies of those original photographs.)  I did this in anticipation of a painting down the road never realizing it would be 20 years before that painting would materialize.

This ‘Making Of’ is of “Repurposed” in acrylic on a canvas panel.  For the frame I took an existing wooden frame painted it blue, over-painted that with a white wash, and dabbed until I got the look I was after.


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