Looking at One Flower at a Time

April 26, 2016

Single poppy with buds

Single poppy with buds

by Robert Francis

One flower at a time, please
however small the face.

Two flowers are one flower
too many, a distraction.

Three flowers in a vase begin
to be a little noisy.

Like cocktail conversation,
everybody talking.

A crowd of flowers is a crowd
of flatterers (forgive me).

One flower at a time.  I want
to hear what it is saying.


This was the lone poppy blooming in a bed of buds.  So I had no choice but to gaze intently at this one flower.  So much to see!  I was reminded of my Wordless Wednesday project of last year, when I took the time to photograph 12 views of a single object.

I think of Georgia O’Keeffe’s many flower paintings — most depict single flowers.  For most of my painting practice, I have been focussing on small watercolor sketches of single flowers, too.  But this year I have been branching into painting bouquets from time to time.  Even when painting bouquets, one has to paint one flower at a time!  Each one is a little portrait, so varied and unique.

For me, painting always involves looking deeply at things.  It adds another layer of enjoyment to seeing.




My first watercolor sketch of this single poppy

My first watercolor sketch of this single poppy


Another watercolor sketch of poppy

Another watercolor sketch of poppy


2 Responses to “Looking at One Flower at a Time”

  1. great pictures and sketches !!!

  2. shoreacres Says:

    The poppy’s color is luscious. One of my favorite flowers, and one of my favorite colors, done by one of my favorite watercolorists! It’s a trifecta!

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