Ants In The Pants - The Story Behind The Art

I am always on the hunt for new ideas for paintings. The easiest way for me to keep them in mind is by photographing them. On this particular day, I was on a day trip in New Zealand to a private garden. Besides being very unusual in old buildings and farm equipment, it had a great garden! I always have my camera with me, and took a closer look at the flowers. I was intrigued by this ruffled, yellow hibiscus with a red-orange center. After further inspection, I saw a several ants down in the center of the petals. That is not unusual in itself, as there’s always ants on plants. Then I started thinking about the flower with ants in the center. Out came Ants In the Pants! How funny to put the two together, but that’s the truth!

The title Ants In the Pants was born, but painting it was another problem. The flower was hung out on a thin branch into the middle of the photo, with no visual attachment to the plant. I was going to paint the hibiscus flower in the linear manner I had been developing. I started with the blossom, but soon realized that it was just floating there with no attachment. Since the green background had no interest, I made up a linear backdrop to tie the composition together. The final painting was very different from what I usually produce. I knew I was in trouble with this huge blossom hanging on a thin branch! I put in more branches and leaves to make it look like it was in a group of other bushes. It was an experiment that was a little off, but nevertheless, interesting. I painted in the two little ants for the title, Ants In The Pants.

The painting was exhibited only once, because I felt it couldn’t hold up under national show scrutiny. It was my twentieth time to exhibit in the Arizona Watercolor Association’s Membership Exhibition, the 2017 Fall Show at the Scottsdale Artists’ School from September 1 to October 14, 2017.

I had the painting archived for future use. I found a great place to put the image! We have a condo on Poipu Beach, Kauai, and I had two, wooden antique Asian frames that needed filling. I had the original image made into two giclees on canvas. The original image was one giclee and the other image was flipped over to mirror the original. I am pleased with the presentation.

Poipu Beach condo

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