Wistaria branch

Wistaria Branch – 9 x 12″ on paper

Today’s paintout outing took us to a house in Sierra Madre where the world’s largest Chinese wistaria vine is growing. Sprawling, that is, over two homes. The perfume from the flowers was intoxicating as we painted the vine in all its springtime finery.

This was direct-painted primarily with a large, flat one-inch brush with no preliminary pencil drawing . The tiniest springs and trailing vines were added later with a very thin brush.

I think it has somewhat of an Asian feeling to it, appropriate to a plant that is native to China. What do you think?


  1. shelly
    April 4, 2007

    This is a stunning little piece!!

  2. shelly
    April 4, 2007

    This is a stunning little piece!!

  3. Jackie
    April 5, 2007

    I really really like this, and yes I think you’re right about the Asian feel to it – presumably because there’s no other detail in the background it gives that feel. It’s so simple, but very effective.

  4. wendy
    April 5, 2007

    I guess it does look a bit like a Chinese ink painting. It’s a lovely creeper – my Mum had one trailing over her fernery and we could always see it right next to the kitchen window.

  5. E-J
    April 5, 2007

    The Chinese brush-painting effect struck me immediately, before I read your text and learned that wisteria was from China (I’m no botanist/gardener)! Wish I was able to get such simplicity and spontaneity from my own brush!

  6. :) Silvia
    April 5, 2007

    Yes, it has an Asiatic touch – and it is very beautiful!

  7. Pamela
    April 5, 2007

    I ‘ve seen lots of wisteria… but can’t recall the scent.

    My eyes are a bit weak —
    no wash — about the paper what kind

    I’m thinking I might try something like this with the honey suckle that is just starting to bloom here…
    and not having to worry about any background sounds alot easier

  8. Karen
    April 5, 2007

    Thanks everyone for your comments …

    Pamela, this was painted in my Raffine sketchbook. The scent is unusual – a little like lilac perhaps.

    In many of the watercolor shows I’ve been to, many of the most effective single flower studies seem to be done on very neutral backgrounds. (That’s as opposed to floral still lifes.)

  9. Emma Pod
    April 5, 2007

    This is so nice in it’s sparseness. I love your brushwork and colors.

  10. Robyn
    April 5, 2007

    I saw my first Wistaria blooming today and thought, I must paint Wistaria – but how would I paint it? Then I had a little dream about loose clear colours floating delicately on the page – and then I opened your post, and there it was. Beautiful Karen. I guess that lets me off the hook :)

  11. andrea
    April 5, 2007

    I think this is absolutley stunning – that’s what I think!! You’re right it does have an Asian feel, and the colours are just perfection. Gorgeous study Karen.

  12. Jana Bouc
    April 5, 2007

    It mightily demonstrates how beautiful and powerful a painting can be when it’s not overworked. It’s so fresh and brilliant!

  13. Toni
    April 6, 2007

    Beautiful Karen.
    A definite Asian feel. Perhaps you should look into books on oriental painting.
    I think you would have the right touch for that type of painting.

  14. Anna
    April 6, 2007

    I really like how you managed to portray depth by varying the strength of the color. Very nice!

  15. Casey
    April 6, 2007

    This is very beautiful, Karen. Every spring we wait eagerly for the wisteria on our wall to bloom, and you’ve made it come early this year.

  16. Linda
    April 8, 2007

    Oh my, VERY Asian feel! You always draw and paint wisteria so beautifully – Did you draw the trunks of this one while you were there?

  17. Anastasia
    April 11, 2007

    so very beautiful Karen!!!

  18. Jo
    April 13, 2007

    Beautiful Wisteria painting! Simple in design and colors with a strong Asian feeling to it. I really do like this. Keep up the good work!

  19. Nancy Bea
    April 17, 2007

    Perfect! Elegant in its simplicity.

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