I haven’t shared the process of a painting for a while, and so today I’m showing you the development of ‘Wishing Buds’, my latest painting. It’s a good example of a painting that started in one direction and made an abrupt detour into something I liked much better. 🙂

Some Most of the photos are iffy because when I’m in flow I apparently don’t have time to make sure they’re in focus. And painting at night, well, you know how it goes.

So at first I thought it was going to be a figurative painting. Or rather, abstract figurative. I had a vague vision I started mapping out in some light colours, thus:


I was really keen on exploring a lighter colour palette than I usually use, but it turns out there’s a reason why I don’t usually go for pale and interesting. It just doesn’t suit how I paint.

Then I left it for a bit because I knew it wasn’t working and thought I’d wait and see if it could be resuscitated.

And then one evening I felt really weird, realised I needed to just move some paint around, and this one was on the easel so I just went for it. Instant therapy. Not to mention an excellent exercise in non attachment and letting go. 🙂 I do love painting for that.


I didn’t have any plans beyond just painting; I knew I could start to put something back in when I was ready.


Which was a good thing as I didn’t like the green and yellow choices at all. At this point {below}, it was getting ugly, so I ferreted out a reference image from my stash and started painting that in.


A bit of a jump because the next photo was SO blurry it was impossible to tell what was going on. Also altered and simplified the palette to my usual faves.


I had a lot of fun messing with the negative space and painting the light falling onto the buds.


I didn’t want to paint in the table it was sitting on but it was a bit too ungrounded, so I just played with adding some more colour to the bottom left until I was satisfied.

I also found some gold paint and felt compelled to put some of that in. It’s very subtle but helps to tone down the primary colour feel I think.

the wishing buds

A few last minute additions and lo, Wishing Buds. Named by a friend, and a reminder of the coming spring and new beginnings.

Wishing Buds / Tara Leaver

Wishing Buds ::  51 x 51 x 4cm :: acrylic on canvas