12” x 16” oil on board
Painting is the visual language of an artist expressing concept and feeling through techniques of light and color in oil paint. Its beauty provokes emotion and thought and touches the soul. The stunning appeal and gesture of the orchid inspired me to create this painting.
Essence of Beauty 5
18” x 12” watercolor
My 45-year career as a scientific illustrator has honed my observation skills, and the details of my subjects are what captivate and enthrall my imagination. I have always found flowers to be objects of great beauty and inspiration – the very essence of beauty itself. As a painter, I wanted to “move into” the flower, as a honeybee might, and portray the luscious curves and nuances of color, the play of light and shadow, in a more intimate, almost abstract view.
Princeton Plaza Orchid
16” x20” watercolor
One rainy day, I passed by a closed flower shop with this lovely orchid in the window. It was bright and beautiful even though the surroundings were dark and cold. I snapped a photo with my digital camera that was blurry and had a reflection from the glare of the storefront window. Although the photo was dull, the inspiration of the flower carried with me as I arrived home and composed the painting. The terrible photo freed me from creating a replica. I decided to make the background full of color and contrast and let the flower’s beauty speak for itself.
Cymbidium – Green Orchid
18” x 24” colored pencil on duralar film
During the winter of 2008 -2009 I was looking for a subject to challenge me. When I choose a botanical subject I am often looking for a specimen that will present a series of problems for me to work out. I strive to continue to learn as I draw and paint, so I look for subjects that present new structural and color opportunities. I found this Cymbidium (Green Orchid) easily at my local flower shop on Broadway in Manhattan where I lived at the time. They were readily available and I could continually replace my specimen as it wilted with a fresh one. I always work from live plants and knew the Cymbidium would hold up well. In addition to the wonderful combination of chartreuse and plum colors, I liked the challenge of a large stem full of many flowers in different positions. This way I knew I could study and draw a variety of views of the structure of this orchid. Towards the end I acquired leaves growing on a plant of this species at the New York Botanical Garden to add to my final composition.