Peony in pencil

I never liked peonies before. I always associated them with Chinese paintings and bad tattoos. I’m not a fan of either.
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But ever since I first found them in the market here in late April, they’ve become my favorite flower. I love the huge blossoms (statement blossoms?), especially the ones that are colored intense shades of fuschia and coral. And I love how the petals don’t dry up or simply drop off, but fade slowly to white, each blossom at a different pace. Death by ombre, what a way to go.
The only thing that I could conceivably hate about peonies, I discovered during my last Monday sketching session. And that is the fact that they are a real b*tch to draw.

I almost gave up a couple of times. Now I know why the Chinese have stylized their shapes, otherwise these would never make it into traditional motifs. The repetition would have driven the illustrator (at least, a lesser one like myself) totally nuts.

Luckily, we have scanners and printers today. So, working with some fluorescent papers I bought for my Singapore job hunt more than three years ago, I reproduced the sketch I made to create my own peony print. I used Mod Podge for the first time and had awful wrinkles everywhere. Thankfully, most of them disappeared with a little ironing.

The fluo on black kind of reflects how I’ve been feeling about having these flowers at home: they were the only visual bright spots for me during the first two dark, dismal weeks of “summer.” Summer, I’m beginning to suspect, is a figment of the imagination over here, with as tenuous a connection to reality as corporatese, or marketing jargon. 

Ah, enough about this fictitious summer. If I can’t get it outside, then I’ll just have to find some way to enjoy it in my home. In petals or on paper, by nature’s hand or by my own.

Lovely comments:

  1. beeyooouuttifffull

  2. @tishushu says:

    lovely!

  3. Wow OMG so beautiful!!!! You are so talented!

  4. I'm inspired to draw again.

  5. Thank you all!!!
    Daphne, didn't know that you draw. So that's where your girls get it. Go go go!

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