Tea for Tulips, watercolor, 12 x 16 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Some Tulips in a Teapot, “Tea for Tulips”

Tea for Tulips, watercolor, 12 x 16 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Tea for Tulips, watercolor, 12 x 16, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I knew I’d love to paint the tulips, but I really needed to learn to paint the rust on the teapot. I intentionally kept the background vague and loose in shades of green and neutral tones to complement the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows and extreme detail in each of the tulips. The frothy white curtain, minimally worked, rests atop the flowers as if a spring breeze from the open window has whipped it up and gracefully placed it there.

I patched this together from a bunch of source materials in 1998—a bunch of tulips from a seed catalog or a photo someone gave me of their bunch of tulips that I really wanted to watercolor with a couple of photos from the drapery section of the  J.C. Penney catalog and a teapot I’d photographed in a vintage/antique shop. Painting the tulips was fun but far easier for their detail than the loose brushwork in the curtain, table and the rest of the background. And I did figure out how to paint that rust.

In the end I was pretty pleased that my first “large” watercolor, larger than 8 x 10, turned out the way I visualized it—not exactly because some magic happened while I was painting that I did not consciously plan. That’s what makes it really exciting for me.

Get a print of “Tea for Tulips”

Tea for Tulips was originally a watercolor, 12 x 16, painted in 1998. The original is sold, but digital, giclee and canvas prints as well as greeting cards are available here.

You’ll also find other paintings like this in my Still Lifes and Florals.

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