Sunday, March 08, 2009

Colors You Can't Describe or Paint

One Spring many, many years ago when I was just a girl, my family went to see Aunts and Uncles in Texas who lived in cotton country. As we traveled north the rolling hillsides became covered with wildflowers...buttercups, indian paintbrushes, and of course bluebonnets. At Uncle Dallas' farm all the cousins went to a bluebonnet covered hillside to play. The girls gathered bouquets for a while but the boys seem to be having so much fun rolling down the hill that we joined them. I can still remember the pungent smell of the crushed bluebonnets. By the time we returned to the farmhouse all our clothes were stained green. I don't know if or how my Mother ever got those clothes clean or how we ever got clean that night with buckets of water from the well. The smells, the warmth of the sun and the fun with the cousins stick in my memory like it was yesterday. Bluebonnets always bring back that day.

I'm not the only one in Texas who loves bluebonnets. It is the State flower. In the Spring you can check out wildflower reports from around the State. Texas doesn't cut the roadsides until the wildflowers have had time to go to seed. On the weekends lots of people drive outside the cities until they can find a field of wildflowers, but mostly bluebonnets, and there they plop the children down in a sea of blue and take pictures.

Texas artist love to paint fields of bluebonnets usually with a big oak tree sitting a little off center in the field. But I'll tell you something, some of them are so God awful because the blue of the bluebonnets just can't exactly be reproduced in paint. Some painters come pretty close but most just miss the mark enough that it is jarring.

I miss seeing the wildflowers in the Spring in Texas but I have the Jacaranda tree here in San Miguel. They are in bloom now and you can see them from our terrace like beautiful purple splotches across the town. But their color is another one that I think would be hard to reproduce on canvas.


glorv1 said...

That is a beautiful tree. It almost looks liked wisteria. We have a lot of wisteria here at home and all from cuttings. When they bloom the scent just gives you goose bumps. Thanks for sharing part of your younger days when life was a breeze. Have a great Sunday.

Alfredo said...

I miss the jacarandas lots. We used to think each individual flower was a duck. Float them on water and had too much fun. All the streets should have them. Cheers!


Steve said...

Your photographs display why it is so difficult to capture certain colors on canvas. It is not always the tint. It is how the light interacts with the color. That was the very essence of the impressionist movement -- and they seem to have been as successful as any painters in capturing those colors.

Isla Deb said...

I know what you mean about the Bluebonnets. I've seen many a painting of them here in Texas, and I honestly can't remember a single one that impressed me. Even the photographs I've seen don't do them justice.

Love your tree, by the way.

John said...

I find the color of jacarandas difficult to capture photographically as well as in paint. But you've managed to do it, Billie.

I love their color, but they're one of the springtime bloomers that I'm allergic to. But their beauty outweighs the sore throat they cause--a small price to pay.

Heather said...

Wow! I can honestly say I've never seen anything like these pictures in my life! Thank you for sending beautiful spring thoughts for me to enjoy! We've been enjoying a warm spell here in southeastern-PA but we don't have flowers yet.

Donna said...

Jacaranda season is always my favorite season in San Miguel. Every time I see on ein full bloom, it just makes me smile. Capturing their essence even with a camera is hard--though you have done so beautifully. I agree the color would be almost impossible to reproduce. I always have trouble trying to capture it in words, too.

Thanks, Billie

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,
I enjoyed looking at your pictures of the Jacaranda tree. I just recently visited San Luis Potosi where my grandmother lives and I saw many of these Jacaranda trees there as well. I also saw lots of Buganvillias. Their colors are so vibrant...very pretty. I agree that these colors would be hard to reproduce on canvas.

I live in the outskirts of Houston and am looking forward to this spring to take pictures of the bluebonnets.

Billie, you take great pictures. Have you ever considered taking a day trip to San Luis Potosi and taking some pictures there?