Classic, Commercial, and an Art World Constant

22 May 2012

You don't have to think terribly hard to figure out that the painting genre that has all of these characteristics in common is floral painting. It is a practice that has inspired artists to create beautiful, graceful paintings for centuries, but it is so much more than that.

Classic: So many artists become artists because they are inspired by historic artworks they've seen in museums or art history books. It pretty much goes without saying that a significant percentage of those works would be floral paintings. Every artistic movement has contributed to the genre, from the Renaissance to Impressionism and beyond. This does contemporary artists a two-fold favor: it provides hundreds of inspiring works to learn from, and it puts one in good company knowing we are extending this tradition into the 21st century.

Flowers by Charles Demuth, watercolor painting, 1916, 9 x 11.
Flowers by Charles Demuth, watercolor painting, 1916, 9 x 11.

Commercial: Painting flowers is a smart idea if you want to develop a saleable body of work. It doesn't mean that you have to be conventional or stifle your own style in your presentation of how to paint flowers. Instead, look around you and acknowledge that people from so many walks of life are drawn to floral paintings. Individuals seek them out for their homes and workplaces. Collectors of floral paintings abound. Professional decorators often seek out floral paintings when designing residential and corporate spaces like hotel chains. Why shouldn't it be your flower oil painting that they are looking at?

Brass Samovar by CW Mundy, oil on linen, 30 x 24, 2007.
Brass Samovar by CW Mundy, oil on linen, 30 x 24, 2007.

Art World Constant: Look anywhere artwork is sold and nine times out of ten you'll find a floral painting. From yard sales, flea markets, to Sotheby's and Christie's, the offerings that continue to always rise to the top are floral paintings or those works with floral aspects to them. Certainly, this isn't exclusive to flower paintings and them alone. But it reinforces to me that there is something constantly attractive and appealing about floral paintings.

Little Red Riding Hood by Daniel Egneus, pen and ink drawing, 2011.
Little Red Riding Hood by Daniel Egneus, pen and ink drawing, 2011.

But most of all, I would think most artists are drawn to painting flowers because it is a pleasing endeavor. You can explore all the essentials of art knowing that you will showcase work that brings people joy to behold. If you are interested in furthering your experience in the genre, The Art of Painting Flowers in Oil DVD is a three-hour instructional DVD that takes you through the entire painting process. Instructor and artists Claudia Seymour delivers an incredibly knowledgeable and informative workshop that does the genre justice. Enjoy!


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Comments

on 19 Jan 2014 12:29 AM

If the role of an artist in society is to uplift and inspire  then it is no wonder that floral paintings are so desirable.  Flowers are a wonder of Nature and works of art before we even pick up the paintbrush.  What other subject matter could provide such richness of colour and form and expressive personality?  Floral paintings can make the heart soar, bring a smile to the face,  enrich the ambience of the surrounds, can evoke a fragrance or a special memory or make us sigh or even weep because of their exquisite beauty.  Is this not the type of art we would want to fill our homes with?

on 19 Jan 2014 12:29 AM

If the role of an artist in society is to uplift and inspire  then it is no wonder that floral paintings are so desirable.  Flowers are a wonder of Nature and works of art before we even pick up the paintbrush.  What other subject matter could provide such richness of colour and form and expressive personality?  Floral paintings can make the heart soar, bring a smile to the face,  enrich the ambience of the surrounds, can evoke a fragrance or a special memory or make us sigh or even weep because of their exquisite beauty.  Is this not the type of art we would want to fill our homes with?