Not sure whose drawing this is, but isn’t it grand? I’m painting my flowers today so here’s something aspirational I post to encourage a fine flower mood. Hope you’re enjoying a fine flower mood wherever you are, whatever you do ….
I’m still working on these below,
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.
People wonder how to put colors together when choosing furnishings for their home. While you can find many books on the topic, I want to add some advice that’s very compact. Go out into the garden and gather some flowers that are in bloom together and plop them into a vase without a whole lot of fuss.
The colors that we find in nature look good together. The quantities, the varieties, the degrees of contrast as well as the degrees of commonality produce a lovely effect. Too often people succumb to rules to bolster a choice. Too often the rules lead to a sterile sameness. The commonplace notion is that colors should “coordinate.” But in nature we find plenty of contrast. Often the most beautiful spectacles in nature arise amid great contrast such as the colors of a landscape under an approaching storm.
Think of the dark cloud, the pale blue-green cerulean of a luminous sky, the rich dark green of shadow and the lush powerful verdant of a brightly lit lawn. Imagine the mirror reflections of a landscape seen from the water’s edge. Imitate the dapple of the shadows from a tree’s thick foliage. Let the bright tones of a bird’s wing alight in your mind, and you’re well on your way to finding the color scheme for your life, your rooms, your home.
Arrange a little still life with flowers and let it be a microcosmos for your color ideas. Imitate nature and you cannot go wrong.
[Top of the post: Bouquet of Flowers by Aletha Kuschan]