Floral Art Feature

artGuide Features Floral Art

artGuide art news blog presents a new monthly editorial on floral art! Artists from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia discuss their creative processes and the origins of inspiration. 

Colorful, delicate, strong, complex, simple - all descriptions that can be applied to a single flower.  Our connection to flowers, the shapes, colors, smells, and emotions are awakened in our interactions with flowers and are the essence and nuance of Floral Art.  The intricacies of a single flower can be immense and overlooked by many of us.  Floral Artists use the colors and complexities that nature has given them to create a recognition and understanding of the complicated simplicity of flowers.  

One of the most alluring attributes of flowers, and as a consequence Floral Art, is the seemingly never-ending shapes, sizes, and colors of the subject matter.  The variety of discernible characteristics in floral subject matter enthralls viewers and ensures a continuous intrigue of florals on paper and canvas.  The boldness of floral composition to reflect emotional responses is all part of the energy of floral appreciation.  Peggy Vineyard likes to “exaggerate the flower shapes and change them in a non-traditional way, while capturing the beauty with the colors that I use”, while Paula Montgomery uses a brush or palette knife to boldly apply layers of paints or paper to create visual poems of flowers.  Says Montgomery, “I am looking for dominate [sic] shapes to emerge and become the foundation of my poetic paintings.”  

The poetic movements within Floral Art can be captured in the varying shapes and colors that flowers naturally bequeath upon artists.  “I love working to capture the essence of something as ephemeral as the movement and emotion contained in a flower” says Eileen Hendren.  “The uniqueness of the shapes and how, in an arrangement, those shapes play off of and intensify one another intrigues me.”  The manner in which shapes and forms play off one another flow throughout a floral structure, from top to bottom.

While many viewers admire and appreciate petal structures one cannot forget the extrinsic features that occupy the all too important part of floral structures as a whole.  As part of an arrangement, the stems, buds, thorns, and vases all accentuate the colorful endings of flowers.  “I find the stems in water to me as interesting to paint as the flowers” says Deborah Hill.  The interaction of floral structure and it’ssurroundings enchant the viewer to appreciate and focus on details.  

Focusing on details is a floral subject matter that creates mystery and intrigue.  Details are elements intrinsically interwoven into the shapes and colors of flowers.  Bayberry Lanning Shah enjoys getting up close “with macro photography” to capture the inner workings of a floral piece.  “I will sometimes play with colors in order to highlight the form of a subject and further distract from what the viewer knows as a common flower”, says Shah.  The focus on the internal structure of a flower is “worth of note and contemplation”, says Stephanie Neely who uses her work to portray a flower’s “internal geography”, as Neely states.  Depictions of patterns create an ambiance of discovery, deepening the appreciation of the floral complexity we view on paper and canvas.

Interwoven intrinsic elements are part and parcel of many floral pieces.  Tom Potocki, through his expressive works, is “interested in getting below the surface of what we see around us and expressing that mysterious energy.”  This mysterious energy is what drives many viewers to appreciate florals from an emotional standpoint and can be created through a myriad of stylistic tendencies. Indeed, artists seek to “capture the hidden beauty, bring to light that which is overlooked”, says Donna Slade.  

And with flowers there is ample opportunity to overlook the details and nuances. “A delicate flower... softness of a petal... how light shapes the blossom” are all subjects that draw Allison Chambers to paint flowers.  The nuance of the flower is something that artists seeks to display on canvas.  The use of lights and careful composition between the background and foreground creates, as Chambers states, a “bouquet of balance” as delicate as the flower itself.

There is something intrinsically human about flowers - the delicate nature of its existence, the softness of its touch, all intertwined with the strength and sturdiness that allows it to withstand the winds of change and varying temperatures - to a certain degree, much like us.  Our fascination with flowers are uniquely captured in the varied interpretations of Floral Art.  The use of colors, composition, and light all evoke emotional responses that elevate our appreciation for the art form. 

Allison Chambers, Sweet Dreams, 2017, oil on canvas, 40"x40"

Eileen Hendren, Profusion, 2017, oil on canvas, 15"x30"

Debrah Hill, Blue Floral No. 4, 2017, oil on board, 12"x24"

Paula Montgomery, Summer Obsequies, 2016, acrylic & paper, 24"x24"

Stephanie Neely, Incarnation, 2017, oil pastels on canvas, 40"x40"

Bayberry L. Shah, Confetti Cloud, 2014, oil on canvas, 48"x60"

Donna Slade, Winter Red, colored pencil on board, 16"x20"

Tom Potocki, Liquid Iris, 2016, acrylic, 36"x36"

Peggy Vineyard, Pretty Pickens, 2016, acrylic, 36"x36"

In the following pages please enjoy some beautiful Floral Art from our Featured Artists.  Their artworks vary in medium, but all have genre in common.  Their techniques and execution are all exquisite and are a must see.