Flower artists share their paintings and process. It is hard to imagine a cozier sight after a long winter with first buds on a cherry tree, a bright yellow daffodil leaning in the sun, or a magnolia tree in its beautiful magenta and pastel pink tones. The flowers flag life, recovery, and the start of spring: They are also the most wonderful and colorful individuals on earth.
It is therefore not surprising that flowers are popular motifs among artists. We invited six flower artists who work with oils and pastels to share works from their portfolio and why flowers are the ideal motif for them. In this part below, explore the work of Monique, Nancy, and Barbara. In the second part, you will meet Richard Kochash, Denise Foster, and Stacy Barter. These floral works tell stories and warmth, painted with realistic or abstract details, captured outdoors or in the studio, designed methodically or spontaneously.
About 4 years ago, the oil painter Monique started to focus virtually only on flowers. Chartier was a lawyer by day and also became a professional artist after attending workshops for six years and painting in every spare minute he could find. For Chartier, the reason flowers are his main subject is simple. You are so much fun. Flowers are a wonderful gift for our senses and also mark significant events in our lives. They are not only important for humans but also indispensable for our environment.
This appreciation for nature began in the artist’s youth. I have amazing childhood visions of walks in the field with my dad, who loved caring for the flowers and getting our garden attractive. Chartier has his little garden of rose bushes and annuals in front of his Kansas City home. He also shops at local florists and gardeners. Ordering flower studies or still life arrangements in her studio give her versatility in her full-time work program.
The challenge of the white flowers
One of the floral artist’s favorite challenges is painting white flowers, which forces her to look for muted, hidden colors. Below, his 2018 painting Azalea and Pothos is a good example in which Chartier created a dramatic contrast of light and shadow and then found enchanting hints of lavender and rose among the petals. Azalea and Pothos have been included in several jury exhibitions and have been awarded numerous prizes. It was the first traditionally successful painting, and it was an encouraging sign that I was on the right track.
Infinite inspiration in flowers
Chartier does not plan to run out of options on this route anytime soon. There is endless inspiration to capture the distinctive shapes and textures of flowers and how light affects them. I think that will retain me working for any time.
In 2017, Nancy Balmert realized becoming a professional painter when she joined her first gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, followed by another gallery agency in Chelsea, New York. Although Balmert has always been interested in art, in some ways, painting chose it. After Balmert had a near-death practice as a young woman and spent much of her thought, she asked her student to develop her cognitive capacities. The doctor suggested learning something new. Balmert decided to paint instinctively, and from the moment he picked up a brush, he knew it was the right way to go.
The floral theme was a matter of course for Balmert, as was learning. She owes much of what she knows today to the Texan artist Dalhart Windberg, with whom she studied for more than a decade. In the following years, Balmert spent his days strengthening himself through art, covering kilometers of the canvas, and falling in love with an abundance of flowers.
Soft edge finishing
What makes Balmert’s colorful and focused flowers different from others? According to the artist, it is partly his management of the edges. That’s what jurors usually say about my work at awards shows. Creating soft edges on each petal so that the eye can flow from one shape to another takes a lot of time and special techniques. I have always admired this quality in the work of the old masters, and I think it is worth it.
Capture movement and life
In recent years Balmert has received other performances and numerous awards while exhibiting his pictures internationally. More importantly, he can spend every day following his calling and sharing the beauty he creates with others. The flowers are so vivid and graceful. You seem to be full of love. I want to capture their movements and their lives and show others how lovable each of them is.
Barbara exists on a little farm in the backwoods area, wherever a spring with floral and pastoral life invites her to paint at any time of the year. Particularly at this time, when the flowers open and welcome the warm spring sunlight, there is simply something ecstatic, observes the artist. It is as if every single flower wants to be celebrated, to have its portrait. Berry’s entry into the world of the visual arts came after he left the opera, where he spent several years as a professional soprano in Germany. It was beyond that she joined her partner, a concertmaster. After having babies, they returned to the USA and lived in the area.
She entered her kids in art lessons at Wayne Art Center and began taking her classes soon after. Following his mother’s footsteps, Berry learned pastel portraits and started to paint in oils in the open air. Today she creates flowers and easy landscapes drawing in oils and pastels, using an impressionist style to capture color and light. He works almost exclusively on life because it is the natural light that highlights the intricacies of every flower.
Paint all the daffodils
The flower artist is particularly fond of daffodils and plans to paint all six varieties on her property before the end of spring. She painted the first of this series, An Offering, below while sitting under a giant 300-year-old oak tree. With his tripod easel in the lowest position, he held a spatula in one hand and faced dozens of daffodils. The view of these flowers in full blossom took her gasp on.
It is an experience parallel to his life as a singer: For me, singing is as much an emotional expression as painting. Either way, I express what moves my heart. I hope it awakens the beholder’s heart as well.
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