I've been incubating a post on this topic for a very long time. Recently the inspiration for it came as the result of receiving an email from a gal named Shelly which included images of six, different, little flower paintings that her mother gave to her. She wrote: "I have always loved these pieces, they have been hanging in my parent's house since they were purchased".
|Varnishing a number of finished flower paintings, in the staff house at The Banff Park East Gate, March 1975|
The memory of how I actually conceived the notion and then embarked on this collection is lost in time. It may have been the result of finding (in 1973) cute 4" x 5" frames at the Calgary Hudson's Bay Company store and then figuring out what to put in them. For the background, using a roller, I applied a blended a gradation of raw umber and white oil paint on small masonite panels. Once the background dried the flowers were painted on, also in oil.
I first sold these floral paintings at Norrell's Art Gallery, in Calgary, and at the Tamarack Gallery in Banff. Later, the Moriane Lake Lodge gift shop became a very viable outlet, but it was Rundle Photo Shop, Banff, that sold the majority of them. Chuck Hester, then manager of Rundle Photo, became a tremendous supporter of my art and a life long friend. Back then you could purchase one of these paintings, framed, for $15. I tracked down the company who supplied the frames to The Bay. Oxford Picture Frame Company, Toronto, was willing to wholesale these frames to me at $2 each. The shop's commission was 1/3 meaning that for each one sold I received $10. Actually, $8 when I factored in the cost of the frame. Sales were brisk as folks happily collected multiples.
|Wild Rose - one of the first paintings in the series SOLD|
It took me about one hour to paint one on the dried background. I could paint several a day. My record was eight in a day. Speaking of records, I'm still annoyed with myself for throwing out the sheets on which I kept track of them all. So, I can't say just how many different wild flowers I included in the collection, but I'll guess at about a dozen.
|Wood Lily - the only one I numbered and kept NFS|
|Saffron Lily 2011 oil 5" x 7" SOLD|