In March 1888 Vincent arrived in Arles in the south of France just as the blossom trees in the orchards were about to bloom, and within a month he had created 14 paintings. The blossom trees were a symbol of awakening and hope for Vincent and painting them invigorated him.
He wrote enthusiastically “I am up to my ears in work for the trees are in blossom and I want to paint a Provençal orchard of astonishing gaiety.”
When Vincent first arrived in the area it was quite cold so he took some branches inside and painted his beautiful still lifes of Almond Blossom in a glass.
If you haven’t tried it before it is quite delightful to bring in branches from a blossom tree in bud and watch them flower indoors. This is how it’s done. Using a sharp, clean knife cut a branch about 30cm long with some plump buds on it. Once inside, carefully split the base of the branch about 15cm up the branch and then trim an inch off the base. Place the whole branch in warm water at least up to the cut ends and leave overnight. Then put the branch in the jar or vase where it is going to be displayed in warm water.
The flowering branches will need bright, indirect light in order to bloom indoors properly and can take anywhere from one to eight weeks, depending on how close it was to blooming naturally outside.
My blossom painting from 2012 can be hung vertically or horizontally for a burst of Spring in your home all year round.