..The Erysimum species of flower, found mostly in Europe, Western Asia and North America is the subject of my latest painting. It is most commonly called the "Wallflower"
As I was painting this vibrant and brightly yellow coloured flower from a photo in an old gardening magazine, I was wondering why it is associated with shy or introverted people avoiding others at a party ? The flower is quite showy. and comes in few different brash colours such as red, orange and mauve.
Well, apparently, it has more to do with the way the flower grows rather than its looks. The flower grows best leaning against a wall or in cracks in stone. The flower (and the person) literally prefers standing against a wall rather that mingling with others...
This antisocial flower is for sale unframed.
Flower of the week: Arum Lily
The scientific name for the Arum lily is Zantedeschia !! What a mouthful ! Native to South Africa, these lilies are actually not technically types of lilies, but are commonly known as Arum Lilies or Calla Lilies. These waxy flowers grow mostly in marshy areas and are very sturdy, hardy plants, able to survive in a variety of soils and habitats.
The Arums come in shades of white / cream and light pink whereas the Callas are mostly orange shades. These plants are actually regarded as weeds through much of the world.
Georgia O'Keeffe was most famous for using the Arum lily as a subject matter for many of her most famous paintings (see below). As the Arum lily is said to resemble the female genitalia, many artists have used this theme to represent female sexuality.
Another famous series of paintings using the Arum lily as the main motif is Diego Rivera's Flower vendor series painted in 1935 (above right).
My painting of the Arum Lily (above left, 2004) was heavily influenced by Georgia O'Keeffe's style. It is one of my earliest paintings and sold a few years ago. I was drawn to the vibrant colour of the foliage more than anything else.
Flower of the week - Camellia
The Camellia is also a late Winter / early Spring flower that has been blooming all over Sydney in recent weeks. It's actually native to Eastern and Southern Asia. Camellias are shrubs or small trees with thick, glossy leaves and the flowers are usually large and colourful. Colours range mainly from white to pink and red, as can ben seen in the photo on the right.
On the left is my macro style painting of a Camellia. I was trying to capture the intricate petal shapes in a close up form to show the pattern and abstraction that nature can present.
The painting in the middle is a darker pink Camellia showing the glossy, waxy leaves of the foliage against the bright, dark pink petals. This painting has been a popular print on Fine Art America.
Below are two Camellia paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. They are also close up style renditions of pink and white Camellias. The dark green colour of the glossy leaves on her white Camellia painting are actually closer to the proper colour than my leaf colour... I didn't analyse the colour correctly and it should be darker, not so yellowish !...
Spring Flowers - Magnolia
Today I thought I would start a "flower of the week" series to celebrate some beautiful seasonal blooms. As the Spring weather is warming up Sydney at the moment, I've noticed the striking Magnolia trees coming into bloom around the streets where I live, so here is the perfect Spring flower to start the series off.
The Magnolia genus has about 210 flowering plant species and is named after a French botanist Pierre Magnol. This flower is native to Asia as well as North, Central and South America and the West Indies. The colours range from pinkish white to purplish white. These beautiful flowers bloom from late Winter to early Spring.
The top two paintings above are my paintings of Magnolia flowers. The one on the left (2005) tries to capture the purplish colour and the one on the right (2014) is a minimalist free form depiction of the pale pink type of Magnolia with distinctive petal formation - similar to the photo on the right.
Below on the left is another photo showing the distinctive petal shape and colour of the Magnolia. The painting on the right is by Georgia O'Keeffe (1932) "The White Flower" showing her depiction of the Magnolia flower.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.