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Flower Art Glass Oil Painting Rose Still Life

Wedding Bouquet (Finished or Fix?)


I started this painting of my daughter-in-law’s wedding flowers soon after the wedding in January 2014 but wasn’t thrilled with the way it turned out so set it aside. I began reworking it again recently, and after several times reaching a point of saying, “Finished” and then working on it some more, I remembered the saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and decided it was simply time to stop. But there’s still one thing that bugs me in this painting and I’d appreciate feedback…

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10x8"
Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10×8″

I started this painting of my daughter-in-law’s wedding flowers soon after the wedding in January 2014 but wasn’t thrilled with the way it turned out so set it aside. I began reworking it again recently, and after several times reaching a point of saying, “Finished” and then working on it some more, I remembered the saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and decided it was simply time to stop.

But there’s still one thing that bugs me in this painting: the pink rose on the right just feels too Barbie pink to me. Every time I look at the painting it irks me. But I’ve repainted it 5 times and perhaps because the photo I’m working from isn’t very good, especially of that rose, it keeps turning out the same. I may try one more time. What do you think? Leave it or try again? Or maybe find another photo of the set up with a different view of that rose and try again from that photo?

My challenge in painting is always how to maintain the freshness of my original inspiration, color choices and brush strokes while holding back my inner perfectionist who wants to keep noodling around forever. Another challenge with returning to an older painting is that the fresh flowers are long gone and only a so-so photo remains to work from. Likewise all my new fresh ideas about painting have to be set aside to work on something from the point of view of a year ago.

By Jana Bouc

I am an artist who loves (and lives) to sketch and paint in watercolor and oils. I teach watercolor classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

22 replies on “Wedding Bouquet (Finished or Fix?)”

I don’t think it’s too “barbie pink” but I guess if you insist on fiddling with it, add a little more white to it and make it a bit paler? Or a bit of yellow?

No matter what you do, this painting is just beautiful.

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Thanks Carol, I went for grayer and a little smaller and paler like you said. Posted the finished painting today.

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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Hi Jana, I noticed that rose immediately, too. Perhaps a whisper of golden chocolate between some of the petals for a bit of shadow, which colour almost seems to be in the center of the most foreground rose. Truly this is a most lovely painting!! C-Marie

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Thanks! I’m glad that you noticed it too. That encouraged me to go ahead and fix it and I think I did (new post today). I’m much happier with it now so thanks for the helpful feedback!

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 1:23 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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Hi Jana – I think if you darken the leaf behind that so called “Barbie” rose it may push it to the back a bit more. I think this is such a genteel, soft and beautiful painting and what a nice memory of a family wedding!

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Thanks so much Jeanne! It is a wonderful memory and I did decide to fix it so thanks for the encouragement. I posted it today. I’d be interested to see what you think about the fix.

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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Hi Jana,
I’m a little torn. I love this picture. although the rose on the right is very pink – it also has a quality that takes my eye straight to it as if it were lit a bit by sunlight. If it had more contrast it would match the others and make the picture “all of a piece” in a way which to my mind might also make it less interesting. That rose almost tells me how a wedding is happy and sad, maybe filled with childish naive hopes, and also reality, and perhaps hardships to come – many elements all mixed together…. which I like.
(Just my two cents!) I like it a lot! Chris

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Hey Chris, Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! I did go back and fix that rose and posted the new, finished painting today. I’m ready to let it go now.

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 2:11 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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Thanks so much my dear! I did go back and fix it and now I am much relieved and ready to let the painting go to my son and daughter in law. Jana

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 2:58 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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Thanks Lotus! I agreed with you 100% and did go back and fix that rose. I posted the new painting today. I really appreciate your helpful feedback! Jana

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 3:53 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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I like this as it is – beautiful! But I would like to suggest that the pink flowers look like ranunculus to me, rather than roses.
Either way it is lovely .

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Thanks Cynthia. You’re right about ranunculus but it’s because the flowers were already past their prime several days after the wedding when I started painting them. l did go back in and (I hope) fixed that rose and a few other things. I posted the revised painting today.

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 9:11 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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I vote for leaving it as it is! It is a beautiful painting and if you’ve repainted five times already what would one more time do? But I’m new at this and tend to not be very analytical about my paintings!

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Hi Jana- The painting is gorgeous. I would put more detail into the center, white flowers and the right Peony. It looks now like a photo would when you focus on the front left and blur the right. Catherine

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​Thanks Catherine, Good suggestions. I did end up going back and working on it, trying to make the right flower disappear more like you said. FYI, they are roses that were past their prime (started the painting several days after the wedding) but you’re right, they do look more like peonies! Jana​

On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 2:20 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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