Thoughtful - by Laura Kirste Campbell

“Thoughtful”, by Laura Kirste Campbell. Acrylic on 36″ x 36″ wrapped cotton canvas using a 3/4″ flat brush and a limited color palette.

I had fun throughout the entire process of painting “Thoughtful”. Even though it didn’t turn out the way I had originally envisioned, it was colorful at every level! As I worked on it, I concentrated on what I had learned in Nancy Medina’s floral painting workshop just a few days earlier. Notice the warm yellow under painting which I planned not to cover up too much so the glow would still show from underneath the final brush strokes.

Thoughtful (in progress) - by Laura Kirste Campbell

I practiced composition and color choices while mostly focusing on tonal values. It was Nancy’s idea to use my camera phone to view my painting in black and white so I could see the true values and then adjust the colors as needed to get a balance. I think it would be so amazing if I could automatically switch my eyesight to black and white! Sigh, I must work at training my eyes to see the variety of values while looking at colors.

Thoughtful details - by Laura Kirste Campbell

The warm and cool shades of a single color is another area I’m practicing. It’s exciting and hard work. Once I master these things, I can confidently know what shades of colors to use, instead of guessing. At least I have natural creative instincts that sometimes give me happy surprises! I love how the blue background is reflected in the flower shadow.

Hydrangea bouquet closeup - by Laura Kirste Campbell

I started the painting playing with the “chunky” brush strokes that Nancy uses so elegantly with her 3/4″ brush. Her strokes have much more variety of shape, and so early on, I could tell that mine were too uniform. But since my squarish stroke was happening so naturally (and I really was more interested in focusing on getting the object shapes and colors right,) I decided to roll with it. I also liked the contrast formed between the round flower spheres and the square brush strokes. I had to make it a habit to stand at a distance and squint often while viewing in order to see how many small individual chunks were combining to create larger collective shapes.

Closeup of hydrangea - by Laura Kirste Campbell

Hydrangea closeup - by Laura Kirste Campbell

I chose to lengthen and soften the brush strokes on the background and vase in order to add interest and break up the uniformity. The vase and flower on the table were imagined , in contrast to the flowers, which were mostly painted from memory and inspiration.

Closeup of Thoughtful - by Laura Kirste Campbell

Now why, you wonder, did I name this painting “Thoughtful”?  Well, imagine that each uniform brush stroke is a thought on the same subject. These thoughts are gathered into bunches forming a Hydrangea flower stemming from a single idea. Then arrange the ideas together to create a thought-full bouquet.

Thoughtful - by Laura Kirste Campbell

“Thoughtful” – by Laura Kirste Campbell

Also, consider that when we send flowers to someone, it’s to tell them that our loving thoughts are full of them, and when a bouquet is sent to us we think of the sender as being very thoughtful. This reminds me of my thoughtful and romantic husband, so I hung it in our Love Nest. Besides, his favorite color is purple!

Until we meet again, a scriptural truth about thoughtfulness to ponder and live out…

Finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Phil. 4:8, ESV

Creatively Yours,


  1. What a lovely painting Laura
     I think it can also be called thoughtful because of all the effort and thought that went onto your work.

  2. It is stunning, Laura.  🙂

  3. Gorgeous creation!

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