brilliant projects heretofore unpublished: painted delphiniums (delphinium I)

Delphinium I
pencil + watercolor on paper
22" x 30"

Delphinium I, detail A

Delphinium I, detail B

Delphinium I, detail C

Artist's Statement: T.A. Turner
These botanical pieces are more a labor of love than an expression of my aesthetic. The process of creating one of these pieces is similar to that of a person sitting down to work at a loom or to sew a huge quilt together from small pieces of material. 

The subject matter is fairly benign and the reflection of myself as an artist perhaps can best be read in the time and concentration it takes to complete one painting, usually two to three months.

Currently I am finishing a commission which has taken me over 1,500 hours and over 13,000 individual applications of paint.

These paintings are the starting point for my technique. In time, I would like to use this technique to paint more expressive statements of content and composition.

Another lifetime ago, I was a painter. I painted these watercolors. I called them botanical, but there may be more to botanical art than I know. My primary subject matter was delphiniums. In fact, I was obsessed with them. I had been through a very traumatic breakup, and this is what I did with my time while I was trying to pick up the pieces of my life. 

I don't know where I developed the technique I used, but each little piece of each plant is painted individually, with a miniscule gap in between each piece. Meaning each piece has to dry before the adjacent piece can be painted. Painstaking! But I was up for the challenge. And by up, I mean up at one or two a.m., painting until it was time to shower and go to work, asleep by 6:30 p.m. and up again by one or two a.m. Funny way to spend your bachelorettehood, but it was a great way for me to hide out and do something that made me feel like a was creating. 

I thought I'd start with the above "Delphinium I" first, and then work through some of the others later in the next few weeks. This one was one of my favorites, and I ended up giving it to my mother. 

Meeting my husband and having children nipped this type of time-intensive work in the bud, but I do expect to return to it one day. I have a lot of other things I'd like to paint besides flowers.


  1. Oh my goodness! This painting is incredible and beautiful!!! How big is the piece? I hope you return to it too!

    BTW, I remember some things I had time for too before husband and family. I used to ride a bike; that bike has over 15 years of dust on it - sad!

    1. Hi Ann. Thank you! I've got more on the way. I just updated the post....this one is 22" x 30". I am chomping at the bit, now that I'm not costuming as much right now. But I find myself on the floor playing trains, instead!

  2. Beautiful, you can see the detailed work that was put it into it. Isn't it amazing how you can gather the energy for that creative outlet while balancing a day job too? I'm running on empty half the time but at least I feel like I get it out of my system.

    I can't wait to see more...once you start again :-)

    1. Thank you, Tania! Isn't blogging a super-addictive sort of creativity? It's one of my major outlets right now, as I think it is for many of us. :)


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