A lot has been said about artists painting flowers and it has sometimes been negative. Sir Joshua Reynolds, an influential British artist and theorist of the eighteenth century said ‘No mature artist should waste his brush on the lowly subject of flowers.’ I suspect his view was influenced by flower painting being a common pursuit for women of that time.
Georgia O’Keefe blew the idea of flower painting by women being a lower art wide open. She warned viewers not to interpret her work with this statement “When you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower and I don’t’. Tough woman, Georgia.
I love to paint flowers because I feel so free when I do it. Every spring I paint the same flowers in my garden that I have painted year after year. Irises, poppies, peonies and spider wort. They are like old friends who appear for a short while and have to leave. I grab my watercolors and paper and sit in front of the garden and commune and record before they’re gone.