My Favorite Flower

Doodlewash - #WorldWatercolorGroup My Favorite Flower Purple Iris

I wasn’t immediately certain which flower I might consider my favorite. I’ve never really considered it before. So, I just sketched the first one that came to mind, which was a purple iris. I just remember this flower being one of my mother’s favorites growing up, so I guess I can adopt it as mine. Also, years ago, long before I ever started painting I loved macro nature photography and this was one of my favorite subjects to shoot. The transparency of the petals and the beautiful stripes and colors that were hiding inside them amazed me. I guess it’s no wonder, since this little flower takes it’s name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Over the years, these flowers have captivated painters and even found their way into Bombay Sapphire gin.

When it comes to sketching and painting, though, flowers are not my preferred subject. They’re so rare for me, that I can tell you this is only the 9th flower I’ve ever attempted to draw in my life. What’s wrong with him, you ask yourself? Who doesn’t like to paint flowers? Well, me, apparently, so I decided I would take a run at this subject once more. That’s when I realized this was my favorite flower. I actually enjoyed painting it because of the memories it evoked. Every animal reminds me of the zoo, for example, as it was my favorite place on earth as a child, and so I love painting them. And that’s when I realized that as random as all my subject matter has been over the past year of doodlewashing, there was actually something in common the whole time. Memories.

I don’t enjoy painting flowers because they don’t evoke any particular special memory for me. They’re lovely to be sure, but I often find myself finding more beauty in things that make me remember childhood. Perhaps if flowers had played a larger or more pivotal role in my childhood I might feel differently. In the case of this purple iris, I do. I remember wanting to cut some from the neighbor’s house in order to bring them back to my mother. Though, doing this once was met with a severe reprimand, it’s still a beautiful memory of growing up. A simple and meaningful connection to my past, found in the delicate form of a fragile purple iris.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Dioxazine Purple, Gamboge, Permanent Green Pale, and Ultramarine Blue. Sennelier L’Aquarelle Watercolours: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Teri C 6 years ago

    Now you have the flower memory of painting a beautiful flower. And it’s a beauty!

  2. theturtle 6 years ago

    And you’ve chosen a very beautiful one 🙂

  3. Laura (PA Pict) 6 years ago

    Your painting is beautifully delicate. I love the rich purple.

  4. Carol 6 years ago

    Wow, really wonderful, Charlie! 🌹

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    A truly beautiful iris,, Charlie, painted with all the delicacy of the flower that we love.
    Many years ago, I hand painted purple irises on wedding invitations for friends. For our own invitations, I painted yellow daffodils. Your iris reminded me of both moments, so thank you. You’re triggering my happy memories as well.

    • Author

      Aww yay! So glad this triggered happy memories for you, Sharon! And thanks! 😃💕 Flowers are definitely not a preferred subject for me (though I LOVE other people’s paintings of them! hehe) so I’m glad you liked it!

  6. YesterdayAfter 6 years ago

    Beautiful Iris and beautiful memory because you remember that is one of your mother favorite! You did great also if flowers aren’t a favorite subject for your painting! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carolina! 😃💕 I know I’m in the minority, but I just don’t get into painting them. Which is weird because I adore botanical illustrations!! hehe… I love meeting and featuring botantical artists and viewing their work!

  7. Jodi 6 years ago

    An iris like only Charlie o could do and no wonder Bombay is my favorite gin!!! 😉💜💙

  8. Jacob 6 years ago

    Delicate but powerful, rather like the commentary. Awesome! I don’t tend to touch flowers as subjects because I find they’re damn difficult; you’ve made this look a breeze though – go Charlie!

    • Author

      Aww thanks so much, Jacob! 😃 Yeah, flowers are deceptively difficult if they’re not abstracted (and even then! Lol). I love looking at the flowers of others a lot, though, so I think I’ll be sticking to doing that instead! 😉

  9. Susan Feniak 6 years ago

    Soooo here I am again wondering why you don’t paint more flowers Charlie. Just saying. 🙂 GORGEOUS

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 I just don’t enjoy painting them! 😊 But I’m a total botanical illustration lover! So it clearly makes no sense at all! Lol

  10. Margaret Parker Brown 6 years ago

    A beautiful job on your flower, interesting how you had a childhood memory with this and how it helped you to enjoy painting it. I love your stories!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margaret! 😃💕 Yeah… it’s the closest thing to a reason I could come up with for why I don’t personally like painting flowers. But I love to look at flower paintings, so I’ll keep on doing that! hehe

  11. Jill Kuhn 6 years ago

    My mother loved flowers! 💜🌺 I can smell the sweet scent of an iris flower as I enjoy your AMAZING painting, Charlie! 😃 Iris was one of my mom’s favorite flowers too. And one of the ways I connected with my mom. I agree that memories play a big part in what I enjoy drawing and painting. 😍 I imagine this wasn’t an easy flower to paint! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 And yay to wonderful times with mom! Yeah… I need to have some kind of emotional connection to paint I guess. Also… flowers are super hard to paint so if you don’t really love to paint them then it’s not super fun! My lovely friends (like you!) paint beautiful flowers so I’ll just cherish their paintings!!! 😉😍🎨

  12. Carrie Lynn 6 years ago

    Love the story behind this beautiful flower, Charlie. Agree with you, memories play a vital role with what we choose to paint and immortalize. 🙂 <3

  13. Purplicious….I love your stories, double talent my friend ❤️

  14. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Irises are a favorite with me, so thanks for painting one! And good words to go along. (K)

  15. artandmoondreams 6 years ago

    Absolutely stunning painting, love the depth and curves with all the detail, just brilliant. I would never have guessed this is only your 9th attempt, it is so beautifully expressed. Painting with emotions and memories are a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Haunani! 😃💕 yeah, you know you don’t favor a subject when after 397 days of painting you’ve only managed 9! Lol But no worries… I covet and love all botanical illustrations and their adept artists, so I shall continue to enjoy their amazing work and stick to random things and food!

  16. Irises aren’t easy but oh so beautiful! And WOW to your photos, Charlie, they are amazing! I saw so many that would make wonderful abstract studies. And realistic studies too of course. Would you mind if I used one and put a link back to both your sites with my post? I fell in love with many of your photos, never knew you had this added gift!! Amazing. And this is a terrific Iris painting. My fave color too. 💜💜💜

  17. whitefeatherfloating 6 years ago

    Beautiful, Charlie! Your highlights are amazing! Irises are a difficult flower for me because of all of those folds! I used to draw and paint a lot of flowers, too, until I became obsessed with sea creatures, especially sea turtles! 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Patsy! 😃💕 I highly support sea creatures as an obession!! Hehe… Love painting them! Almost made it the Doodlewash adventure theme this month, but figured I needed something a little broader. (though Prompt number 13 is Favorite Ocean Creature so I hope you’ll share yours that day! hehe)

      • whitefeatherfloating 6 years ago

        I just might! What is the date and where do I do it?

        • Author

          August 13th! Post wherever you like with #WorldWatercolorGroup and I thought you were in our Facebook Group? If so! Post there!

          • whitefeatherfloating 6 years ago

            Okay, great! Thanks. And yes, I am in the Facebook group. I have posted two paintings there already. 🙂

          • whitefeatherfloating 6 years ago

            I’m sorry. Just feeling a little confused. Do I post it on my own blog and tag it? If not, how do I post it somewhere else besides the FB page?

          • Author

            I’m linking out to the tag #WorldWatercolorGroup on various social networks at the website: You can see the social networks I’m linking out to there. If you add the tag your piece, it will appear in the gallery. (including on WordPress!).

  18. anniedrawsthings 6 years ago

    This is lovely, Charlie! I sometimes feel the same way about drawing flowers for their own sake, they’re so precise and difficult to replicate on the page. But the memories and emotions attached to them make them more fun. 🙂 I love the story behind this one.

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Annie! 💕😃Glad you liked this! Flowers are super challenging!! I adore botanical art…but I don’t think it’s my subject matter personally. 😊Hehe

  19. Phil Cooper 6 years ago

    Lovely, lovely painting Charlie, I’ve tried to paint these flowers in the past and it was not easy, so I admire how beautifully you’ve done it

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