This year we experienced a super bloom in the Antelope Valley in California. The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through May, with a variety of wildflowers creating a mosaic of color that changes daily. The Poppy fields were just ablaze with color and naturally, the minute word got out how beautiful the sights are, loads of people drove to the valley to see it for themselves. It got so bad that people had to wait in long lines before being allowed on the trails.
Poppies open up in mid-morning and curl up in the late afternoon/evening or if it’s cold, so the window to see them in all the glory is not that long. Often people are just too eager to find that perfect patch of flowers and often do not stay on the designated trails. Some even bring along their beloved pets, not realizing that dogs are NOT allowed. Only trained service animals can come along. Comfort animals are not trained service animals and are not permitted. This is important to know for anyone who plans to bring their dog along. Pets cannot be left alone in cars and there is no shaded parking. Vehicles quickly heat to fatal temperatures and no one should risk this if they truly love their pet.
Fortunately, my new model here never visited a poppy field and instead gets the poppy field treatment by way of brush strokes. This is a large painting measuring 24x36 inches and needless to say I have been working on it for a while now. My client told me about her decorating color scheme and I came up with the idea of using red poppies on a gray background. By merging a realistic looking portrait of her dog with an illustrative approach to painting the poppies I am hoping to get a very contemporary look for this portrait.