Daffodils for Maggie

Since I last wrote I had been spending a lot of time with Maggie our lovely 15 year old white tabby. She was dying of cancer and Dennis and I  knew that our time with us was limited.

I lavished her with love, play and attention whenever she wanted it. It was both a sad and a happy time.

Magnoia Rose

Magnoia Rose

Sadly almost three weeks ago she died from a very brief stroke. But she and I had almost two months to indulge in petting, loving, special foods and new games.

To back track, I had received an assignment form a client to do a watercolor for a  very large Daffodil flag. I was alone with the cats for four days while Dennis went to the Atlanta gift show. We usually go together but this time I stayed home with Maggie and Louisa and Buster.

I decided that I was painting these flowers for Maggie. That way I could be thinking about her while I painted and be offering these flowers as a tribute to how beautiful she has been in my life.

I did this sketch for the flag after looking at pictures of daffodils and made some decisions about colors.

pencil drawing for Daffodils

pencil drawing for Daffodils

My first go round was not great.  Then I tried another simpler approach

and liked these better. They were small (maybe 5″ tall) but simpler and I liked them.

small painted daffodil

small painted daffodil

Another small daffodil

Another small daffodil

I also did a swatch chart of all my yellows and then played with them to get used to how they mix, whether they were transparent or more opaque and how they layer.

Mixing is combining two colors while wet either on my palette or dropping a second color onto a wet layer of watercolor. Layering (also called glazing) is basically letting one color dry and then putting another layer of color over it. In all my years of painting I am embarrassed to admit that I had never really done this except spottily as needed. Always too impatient to get right to painting. I discovered how wonderful gamboge yellow is and also cadmium yellow light. They are both transparent and very versaitile. Gamboge has a more orange or peachy hue to the yellow and the cadmium yellow can go from very pale to bright.

Now I had been painting for almost three days and I sent the smaller daffodils to my art director. She liked them but needed to see everything painted injust like my sketch.

Finally round three I decided to paint the flowers really big and use my new # 16 brush. The small ones I used as studies at this point.

 And that was the perfect solution.   It was fun, and much easier I found than painting small. Also I could stay simpler with more ease.

These measured about 10 ” from stem to top petal. it also gave me a chance to stay loose and still do nice detailing in the ceter. Flower centers are truly amazing when you start focussing on them. That was what Georgia O’Keefe was about. Getting us to really see what was there.

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Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow daffodil watercolor

Yellow daffodil watercolor

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After Dennis got back we sillouhetted the flowers and  I also painted some extra leaves. Then I sat with him as we arranged them according to my sketch.

Final flag design

Final flag design

I was tired but happy. Maggie was hanging in there and I had been successful. Painting yellow flowers had been one of the

hardest challenges for me and I had finally figured it out.

Maggie and Me

Maggie and Me

Our friend John took this photo about a week before Maggie left us. She looked like a ragamuffin but she was our ragamuffin and a totally loved cat.She was still enjoying life’s

feline pleasures including her new discovery. The joy of drinking water from the sink and tub faucets.

From now on I will always think of Maggie when I am painting flowers. And daffodils for sure will always be Maggie

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13 Comments

Filed under Atlanta Gift show, Cats, Daffodils, Flowers, Maggie, Trade shows, Uncategorized, Watercolor

13 responses to “Daffodils for Maggie

  1. txht

    I love Maggie and Miss her but never met her. Your writings are beautiful/ she was definitely loved

  2. Hi Andrea (and Dennis)
    As a cat lover and owner of several over the years, I can empathize with your feelings. She was a beautiful feline and I’m sure she had a wonderful life if that’s a comfort.
    Your daffodils are just beautiful as I would expect of your work – keep it up!
    Best,
    Maureen Lorenz

    • Hi Maureen, So nice to hear from you.
      Cat lovers do totally understand. Maggie appreciates your praise of her. give best to Al. Hope Christen ( Hope my spelling it right)is happy and doing well.
      No watercolors with me on vacation now. Only my sketch journal.
      Warmly
      Amdrea

  3. Terry Duenzl

    What a beautiful tribute to your darling Maggie. Now she will always be springtime in your heart!
    Love, Terry

    • Hi Imlove what you said. Maggie will always be springtime in our hearts. Especially mine. I really sweated out those daffodils.
      So happy that we spoke and I know all is well with you.
      We arrived at Leetes Islamd yesterday. Takes three or four days to really be here and let go of the city. Take care and we will get together in your birthday month.

      Much love andrea

  4. Chris Cluckey

    Dear A&D,
    We lost our little Sock to a cancer last year and your memorial brought it all back to us again, in a good way. It’s amazing how much love the furry little beggars coax out of us. . . and give back.
    Miss you,
    Chris and Suzanne

    • so great to hear from you guys. so glad that Maggie,s memorial was shared with you.I do remember when Sox died. We are on vacation now at Leetes Island. Maggie’s photo is on the table and she is definitely with us.Loisa May our 9 year old calico has now become best girl #2. Best girl number 1 has been retired as a number. One willwill always be Maggie. Much love Andrea and dennis

  5. Hi Andrea, so sorry about your loss of Maggie. Our pets hold an unique and tender place in our hearts. This was a lovely and beautifly created post, i have been looking forward to the reading as they come to my inbox. Thanks, janet

    • hi Janet,
      So nice to hear from you. I’m really glad that you liked the post.Sometimes it seems such a fine line between being personal and being professional. but since out cars have always enjoyed sitting on my watercolor paper and knocking over my brush jar They are indeed a part of my professional life too.
      I’m going to checkout your site and see what you’ve been up to.NICE TO HEAR that you look forward to the posts.
      Warmly
      Andrea

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