Recapitulation

Even as I’m working on koi paintings, I think ahead to new projects.  One of those projects will be flower paintings.

Some years ago I began doing flower bouquets that ranged in size from about 30 x 40 inches to 36 x 48 inches large.  It’s a size in which the flowers can be portrayed life size, and the scene as a whole can have some real punch.  I wonder to myself how an artist can make flowers iconic, and what do flowers mean when one tries to put them into a spotlight like this?  Is it the transcience, the beauty, the delicacy of flowers?   It’s subject that I’ve wanted to come back to, and I’m thinking now’s the time.

And as I prepare to begin this motif again, I see similarities between the koi and the flowers.  How strange is that?  Have I got fish in my eyes? Yet, the formal similarities relate to the positions in the canvas where one tends to place things.  Thus, the flowers on the cloth seem to me to “swim” across it just as the fish swim through the blue paint that pretends to be water.  The way that flowers dangle or splay away from each other is also like the koi scattering out into different directions.

Both subjects have wonderful abstract possibilities — flowers perhaps more than fish — for you can put almost any color you want into the canvas and still create something that is “real” and plausible.  By arrangements of cloths and the selections of flowers you can devise any color harmony you like.  Flowers are truly a form of pure painting.