100% cotton tea towel with a cheery painted yellow tulip garden flower pattern by Amy McCoy

so many tiny flowers. so many objects.

The flower pattern on the tea towel pictured above is one of the first that I had painted, back in 2017, when I was just getting back into painting again after many years away. 

In the meantime, I had made handmade paper, and Polaroid image transfers, and had kept drawing, but this was the first time I felt like I was getting the cheery vibe that I wanted across in my painting work. 

At the time, I was taking classes from (the very lovely person and fab teacher) Rachael Taylor, and one of the perks of this particular class was that she did a critique of each student's work. For this pattern of mine, she said something along the lines of I can see you being known for this style - which was thrilling, though it also made me wonder just how many little flower gardens I could possibly paint in my lifetime. Wouldn't I get bored? Or just run out of flowers? 

Of course, a lot of that comes from the self doubt that most artists (people? in general? I think so!) have, and also who could EVER run out of flowers to paint?

Loving cute little flowers as I do, it was just a matter of time before the tiny flowers found their way onto other things, and because I also love taking classes, in a recent class I took, the (also very lovely) instructor, Victoria Johnson, provided a long list of possible approaches to our class assignment, one of which involved cut paper (I also love cut paper, just sayin'), and that got me thinking that I could do something more like a stencil - which is one of the techniques used in hand papermaking (for example, in these pieces here).

handmade paper crescent moon and abstract piece with squares and lines by Amy McCoy


I cut out some holiday ornament shapes (which is to say a couple circles and an oval!), then started painting into them and was pretty much instantly smitten.

ornament paintings in indigo by Amy McCoy


So, naturally, I cut out more stencils, and made more painted-into things like this unfinished dress.

floral painted dress by Amy McCoy


Then I thought, what if I draw the outline of the shape in paint THEN paint into it, rather than cutting stencils for every single object on the planet (because I'm pretty sure this could go on for a while, and my exacto knife and I don't need to spend that much time together - also, I fear for my fingertips when I'm using the exacto), and this was right around the time that we started talking about vaccines getting us out to our 4th of July parties, so I started planning (in paint) for beach visits and pool parties. 


swim trunks, bikini, beach bag floral paintings by Amy McCoy


As mentioned, there are a LOT (!!) of objects that could stand to be made out of flowers, so I expect that this approach will continue for a bit, though I do also think one has to be a little judicious (one being me, I have to keep this somewhat under control, I think!), or run the risk of absolutely everything I paint being an object made of flowers. I'm sure I can draw or paint some objects with solid colors instead here and there!