Monday, July 02, 2007

Flowers in Art

Colour study: lilac poppy
8" x 10", coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've always been interested in drawing and painting flowers (see website links below) and my project for July is to review how different artists have approached drawing and painting flowers.

I've got lots of artists I'd like to take a longer look at to see whether I can work out what are the characteristics of their approach and/or the features of a particular painting. This project isn't about botanical art - but it might include some botanical artists.

Now I may be making myself a hostage to fortune here but I'm going to list some old favourites below plus some new people I've found recently when looking at who features flowers in their artwork. I may well be devoting at least one blog post to each of these artists this month. The list may also get revised and become longer or shorter - this is a journey of discovery! If you're wondering about why some artists are not included, I'm keeping the gardeners until next month!

If anybody would like to make suggestions about artists which could be included in this survey of different approaches please use the comments function (note: spam will be deleted).

Old favourites:
Some recent finds
I'll also be trying to review various books I have about painting flowers. I confess I've got a lot and will probably not get through them all! I may as well start now by pointing the botanical artists amongst you to my botanical art squidoo lens which highlights a number of botanical art books.

...and look what I found while doing my Google searches for links - a BBC website devoted to painting flowers! More about this in a future post - in the meantime I'm off to do the quiz!

The image at the top is of a lilac coloured poppy which I found at RHS Wisley this time last year. I'd love to be able to say I'll be drawing and painting from life - en plein air - all month but the rain continues and is washing away the summer......

As usual with the monthly project, if anybody else would like to join in just let me know by posting a comment. Supply your blog address and I'll include you and your posts when I create the post about those blogs and posts associated with the project.



Peter said...

An interesting list of artists. I think Leonardo Da Vinci could be worth having a look at. He did many drawings of plants and incorporated some amazing botanical studies in works like the last supper.

ksklein said...

wow. the image look like it hhas been taken out of a fairy tale book.

Jo Castillo said...

Beautiful poppy. Love the color combination.

df said...

Have you seen Manet's flowers? There is a great book by Robert Gordon and Andrew Forge called, "The last flowers of Manet". I think that alot of the "painting-a-day" artists are greatly influenced by the images in the book.
Nice lilac poppy!

(sorry if you got this comment twice. It bounced back)

Martin said...

I like your flower portaits better and better, especially the abstract and almost high tech look of the cacti. One of my favorites in flower depiction is the incredible Elisabeth Blackadder. A portfolio of her orchid prints can be seen on the website of Glasgow print studio.
all the best

Katherine said...

Thanks for the comments and all the suggestions - keep them coming!

Katherine said...

Martin - I've got the website link all ready and waiting! ;)

In fact I've just finished my analysis of her approach and since I love her work I suspect you'll see the post about her early rather than later

Casey Klahn said...

As lovely as the previous ones. Bravo!
I was looking at some Andrew Wyeth flowers this AM, but not micro-views.

Jeanette said...

You have touched on a wide range of styles and technique in floral art and artists. I confess to quite liking Blackadder's work too.

I envy your ability to make your flowers look effortless Katherine. This lilac poppy is beautiful And outside of purple opium poppies, I haven't seen a lilac poppy.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Katherine,

thank you for explaining why you made this change ... now I understand.

Thank you for coming to my blog!

~ Diane Clancy

Karen said...

Wonderful post and drawing.

Look into the work of California early 20th century artist Paul De Longpre. He did exquisite work in watercolor.

Robyn said...

I wouldn't miss this month for quids! (that's Australian for 'Pounds' - but of course, we don't have those any more!).
Please have a look at Tim Maguire - if you aren't familiar with him already, I think you'll be fascinated - particularly in the concept of 're-used flowers'.
Yum to the lilac poppy! How can such beauty exist side by side with what we humans do to each other?

Anonymous said...

Henri Fantin-Latour is well-known for his flower painting. There is a list of flower painters here:
It gives the names of a lot of the Dutch artists that I think you were referring to in your post.

I expect I'll be doing some more flower paintings this month, assuming all the flowers in my garden having been beaten to a pulp by the rain and hail. :(

vivien said...

What about Shirley Trevena? I love her loose glowing contemporary watercolours of flowers.

Paul Riley as well - gorgeous work

Definitely don't stop doing your flowers - they are lovely :)

Katherine said...

The problem with modern day artists is even trying to select. I've thoght of three more - all different to those suggested - already!

vivien said...

oh and Jennie Tuffs

Adam said...

i like this one, catherine

papaver somniferum?


if you go back one generation of artists to the mid-twentieth century, you might wish to research an english tempera painter called Eliot Hodgkin, who painted perpetua of the 12 months of the year. closely observed 'victorian botanical'in the ruskin/pre-raphealite tradtion.

BTW,he lived near to kew & was howard hodgkin's dad.

Katherine said...

Well spotted Adam. I didn't know what it was and couldn't find a label for it at RHS Wisley where it was growing. But having now got a name I've found a good reference pic for it here which certainly suggests you're spot on. So that's what an opium poppy looks like!