"Paeonia the Nymph", 18x24" oil on panel $4,500.00 available for sale at https://www.wimmerswoods.com/prints A beautiful Nymph sits down to admire the beautiful flowers in bloom, and quickly falls into dreams.My wife and I are often helping each other with our creations, and are often ispired by the same things. We were hosting my children in Savannah this summer while they were visiting and were dining at one of Savannah's most delightful restaurants "The Vault". The food was delicious and the conversation engaging. We both noticed a beautiful young lady waiting on our party and both thought at the same time that she would make a wonderful model as a "Sprite" a "Fairie" or "Nymph". My children have grown up with dad often asking total strangers if they would be interested in modeling for a particular character in a book or advertising campaign, so they were not surprised when my wife and I asked our hostess if she might pose for us? It is always startling for those who we ask, but when we show them our work and then get to know us, it is soon obvious that we want to be part of something that everyone can be proud of. When my wife set up the phot shoot at the park, I was there to mostly follow with the camera and equipment but also took plenty f photos from a distance. This was one of those lucky observations. Jime had asked her to pose in the rose garden at Forseyth park and when she lay down I was captivated by the casual pose of a garden nymph lying down to take a nap, as the quiet and stoic cherubs patiently watch over her.
Oh boy, the flowers. I premix a number of warm and cool pink variations in various value ranges and start laying the flowers wet into wet, dark to light and all the while being careful of the hard to soft transitions needed to capture the softness of the petals. This just takes patience and some inspiring music.
I've repainted the legs with a translucent scumbling of colors in a mottled approach, pressing in the color with a small palette knife. I learned of this technique reading the painting methods and biographical notes of William-Adolphe Bouguereau. This gives a very subtle skin-like quality to the finish, and then subtly paint over the darks and shadow transitions.
Towards the end, I allow the painting to dry completely and then will oil in areas to check the color brilliance and while the surface is wet, glaze in very delicate variations such as lips, eye shadows, shadows temperatures, (i lightly glazed a bit of sap green in various places to mimic the reflected green light of the garden). This is done all over the painting. It's a matter of taste and judgement, always standing back, squinting, hmming and harruffing and then finally calling it complete.
Mike Wimmer is Professor of Illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA and formerly served as the Distinguished Visiting Artist at the School of Visual Arts in the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University. He maintains his studio in Savannah, GA.with his wife Jime. Together they have 4 children and two grandchildren.
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