I Think It's Working
So, this is the reference photo I took last summer in my garden. Originally, it called to me to be painted for three reasons.
1. I think it looks great.
2. From an environmental point of view, it's probably good to incorporate more plants like milkweed in our gardens.
3. It would be a challenge for me to paint because I am not experienced with loose painting.
I like challenges.
And, here is a progress report of the painting. I see that I need to darken the unopened mass of milkweed buds at the top of the picture. They need to be much redder and much darker. Painting the green horizontal leaf today gave me hope that this is going to work out. The sharpness and dark tone is making it look separate from the background and the background is receding nicely .... as it should. Hopefully, when I darken those buds the whole milkweed will look like it is the star of the painting and the background will become just a supporting cast.
I also see that I should have brightened the background more. No one said this would be easy!