Baby Hydrangea, oil on panel, 6x6"

Baby Hydrangea, oil on panel, 6x6"

I’d heard that saying before, “Little Pitchers Have Big Ears,” but without giving it any real consideration, assumed it had something to do with Little League baseball pitchers. Wrong. According to The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, “Adults must be careful about what they say within the hearing of children. The saying refers to the large handles (ears) sometimes attached to small vessels…” like this little pitcher.

My other reference for the saying is the refrain in John Prine’s touching song, “Sam Stone” about a Viet Nam vet returning home.

Hydrangea and pitcher preliminary sketches

Hydrangea and pitcher preliminary sketches

I was looking for flowers to paint and this little lavender hydrangea was hiding at the bottom of the bush all by itself. I did the value/composition sketches above and set about painting, completely forgetting the first step that I usually find helpful: doing a quick and simple 2-value block in using thinned paint in one color (usually Ultramarine Blue) first.

I think it worked out OK anyway, and in the next painting I did (still waiting to get photographed) I remembered to do that.

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Category:
Art theory, Flower Art, Oil Painting, Painting, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Beautiful painting!

    I’ve heard that saying before, but never gave it a second thought what the literal meaning was. Very interesting!

    I love your style! 🙂

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  2. Dear Jan thank you for teaching us ,but please add more steps-
    your hydrangea was perfect

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  3. Lovely little painting.

    I look forward to your comments about doing 2 value preliminary sketches.

    Thanks for this blog.

    Wendy

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  4. Great art as always! And an education, also as always!

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  5. Oh I love it! Your paintings are so lovely. I hope one day to get to see one up close and personal!

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  6. I have never heard of that phrase – but illumination is a beautiful thing.

    Awesome art, as always Jana!

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  7. I remember the phrase from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Your pitcher is lovely!

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  8. such a beautiful still life, very direct and lovely

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