I painted the Allium in the mobile art studio on our way to Mount Ayr. Much of the detail was done with a needle.
My family and I were making the 4+ hour trek across Iowa for our annual Memorial Day family reunion weekend. A tradition I have been part of for 20 years or more. My husband always prefers to drive, as he cannot do anything in the passenger seat due to car sickness.
So, in typical Marie Stephens fashion, I brought my oil paints and some tiny canvases to work on for the ride. As we were about to leave, I scanned our garden, and noticed that my Allium flowers were absolutely perfect. So in less than 2 minutes, I ran into the house, grabbed my pruners, and a cup of water that would fit in my little crate of tools and paints. Then I ran through the flowerbeds and snipped stems of all the most beautiful blooms...especially my Allium, jumped into the van, and off we went.
It was quite an eventful journey. One hour in, and our phone alarms went off, warning us of a tornado siting 10 miles south of us. We were told to take cover immediately, but from the looks of the wall cloud, that looked about 10 miles away, we decided it would be safer to keep moving as far away from it as possible! At this point, I was an hour in on starting this painting.
Painting an Allium from life, while riding shotgun in the mobile art studio/family van, across Iowa during a tornado siting. It just seemed like this was something I should write about! I wasn't able to complete the entire painting on the way to Mount Ayr, due to the slight tornado distraction, but worked on it throughout the weekend while sitting out on the back patio with family, enjoying the fresh air and conversation.
Larger prints of this painting are available.
If you'd like to learn more about the making of "Firework" and see a side by side comparison of the original, and the print, I made a Facebook Live video all about it! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and laugh along with me as I learn how to use this new technology and tell you a bit about this painting: VIDEO