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More Dancing Coneflowers


This one is large, 30×40 inches. I began it with big sweeps of color in abstract shapes and then fleshed it in with just a touch of detail. This is a fun way to work, and I think it gives the painting a lot of energy. In the middle ground I chose to leave it looking a bit raw. That’s the way it looks right now, after a big push by the staff to remove buckthorn and other invasive trees. That, and the prescribed burning they did all last fall, are what are bringing us the beautiful coneflowers. Long may they dance!

27 thoughts on “More Dancing Coneflowers

  1. Fantastic pinks and purples – such a joyful painting, Melissa

  2. This is lovely, and it does have a feeling of energy and vibrancy.

  3. It’s beautiful and very radiant! It does feel happy.

  4. Beautiful, the broad strokes do give energy, and it has just the right amount of detail.

  5. Lovely; so full of interest and colour. Did it take a while to do such a large canvas?

    1. Thank you. No, it really didn’t. I laid in the land forms, sky and distant trees with a large brush, moving very quickly. As I moved forward it was really just dashes of color and line until I got to the foreground of flowers, where I slowed down a bit. I kept telling myself, “It’s only paint!” and made myself just play.

      1. Sounds like a joyous process. 🙂

      2. It was! 🙂

  6. What a beautiful place…and painting, Melissa. 🙂 Surely people must spend many happy hours there.

    1. Thank you Steve. There is a small but dedicated group of people who are regulars on the trail. My friend Joyce, the steward, knows them all along with their stories. They come to heal. Many memorial benches and trees have been planted along the way as people lose loved ones after decades of enjoying this special place.

  7. Simply beautiful. Yes, I’d call it joyful.

    1. Thank you Gunta!

  8. I especially like the open area in the middle of the painting. I’m sure you didn’t mean to portray flooding, but that’s what I see — the reflectivity of a just out of its banks stream. It’s lovely, and adds to the sense of movement. Maybe I’ve just seen too many trees standing in water over the recent past!

    1. Thank you Linda. I agree, that area does read as flooding. I don’t mind that because we also have had quite a bit of standing water this past season. The past few days we’ve had a lovely string of thunderstorms.

  9. Now there’s vibrance for you! I’m glad things turned out so vividly there.

    1. Me too. It isn’t practical to get out to Illinois Beach State Park that much anymore, because there has been so much building going on the traffic is ridiculous. Grant Woods is close to home. It is exciting to see it improve so much.

      1. I remember how long it took to get around in your area. I’m sorry but not surprised to hear that traffic has continued getting worse.

      2. And the past few weeks we’ve been seeing HUGE areas being bulldozed. I’m thankful for the preserves we have, but really, there isn’t room or resources for all the new building that is in our immediate future. Time to leave, but where? It isn’t that easy. There is talk of moving to central Illinois to take over the family farm, but there is nothing there of nature. Nothing but flat soy and corn fields. At least there aren’t new housing developments.

      3. It sounds like you’re better off where you are than being in a natureless agricultural area. I know your hope was to move to Washington, but that’s gotten so expensive as to be prohibitive.

      4. I agree and if my family decides to move away, I might just rebel and stay here. Maybe I can find a little cottage in Kenosha I can afford.

      5. Your “rebel” reminded me that the Spanish title of “The Sound of Music” is “La Novicia Rebelde,” “The Rebel Novice.” I suspect you’re no novice when it comes to rebelling.

      6. Tee hee, your suspicions are correct.

  10. Wow so pretty and happy.

    1. Thank you! I’m tickled that you stopped by and followed me, and am looking forward to exploring your lovely site too.

  11. I love this painting! Full of joy and colour and energy and the path draws you into it to spend some time there.

    1. Thank you so much, Michael. That means a lot, coming from you! 🙂

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