There are so many things I love about peonies; their exuberance and blowsiness, when combined with their hardiness is a great combination. This particular flower came from my childhood garden, so I’ve known this particular plant for around 40 years, and look forward to its cannonball-dense buds every year.
Mostly the flowers melt in the Scottish rain before I get a chance to paint their fading beauty, so I was quick with the secateurs when I found this bloom hanging on to the last of its finery. In its fragile state, I cradled it like an injured bird on the way to the studio, trying not to breathe too hard for fear of the petals falling!
The velvety seed capsules, smooth green sepals and almost sinewy petals needed such different approaches that there was never a dull moment painting this one.