Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plant with several hundred species. The flowers are large and trumpet shaped with five or more petals and colours ranging from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow. Hibiscus are native to warm temperate, sub tropical or tropical regions of the world. They are the national flower of South Korea, Malaysia, Haiti and the state flower of Hawaii. Hibiscus are traditionally worn by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls in their ears - left ear if you're married or right ear for singles.
Hibiscus are one of my favourite Summer flowers. We have a plant in our backyard that produces huge crimson red coloured Hibiscus flowers every year around Summer. They are just so beautiful and dramatic - you can't help but notice them when they are in bloom. The Orange hibiscus painting on the left was one of my earlier paintings and really inspired my love of painting tropical flowers for the large petals where the colours can be blended in various effects. The Red Hibiscus painting in the middle is one of my favourite paintings for the way I was able to capture the light and translucency of the petals. The blue and purple highlights also worked very well to contrast with the orange and red. The small Hibiscus painting on the right was a bit of an experiment to see if I could capture the essence of the flower in a very quick painting style.
Below are three paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe of Hibiscus flowers painted around 1939. I like the one on the left the best. I actually think watercolour is a better medium for these flowers, as you can use the effects to create a lot of interest in the petals with this medium, whereas the oil or acrylic paintings don't really bring out the dramatic nature of the flower as well.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.