20” x 16” oil on linen
I’ve always thought that roses have a quality of sadness about them, and this bouquet seemed to embody all that was most temporal and fragile about the nature of beauty. The softness of the colors and the drooping forms have a haunting quality that stayed with me long after I had finished this painting.
Hortensias – Roch Bernard, France
20” x 16” oil on canvas
My french friend musically pronounces the name of the flower, “Hortensia”; not sounding the “h”, rolling the “r”, and nasalizing the “en”. The word cascades off her tongue like the abundance of blooms falling over the rock promontories of Roch Bernard. The village overlooks the confluence of the La Garonne river and the sea. I was in awe of the massive undulating mounds of hydrangia blooms; pink to rose to purple; abstract intense color shapes. I hoped to retain nature’s wildness and outrageous analogous color but refrain from contours and edges. This summer, my 13th in France, was devoted to the Impressionist movement. The museums were full of 19th and early 20th century paintings; all rebellious, light filled, emotional, broken with full bodied brush strokes. What I learned was to believe my heart will lead me; that all works of the heart and hand have value. Monet, Sisely, Pinchon, Frechon, Sarolla, and Sargent painted in the same epoch, but Oh how differently; my heart leaps up when I behold each of them. That’s what I ultimately want in my paintings: a heart felt response from my heart to yours.
Nature’s Fragile Beauty
22” x 22.5″ watercolor
Growing flowers, photographing, and painting them has become one of my greatest joys. My flowers brighten long winter months. I can spend hours photographing in my garden but this arrangement was memorable in it’s simplicity. I set the bouquet of freshly cut campanula on my bench and they were lit by the sun shining over the top of a mature clematis and lupine. The wonderful shadow thrown by the glass vase and the beautiful light on the blossoms were just what I wanted. My paintings can take weeks to finish so I work from both photo reference and fresh flowers. I feel watercolor is a natural match for the transparency I am trying to convey. In this painting I wanted to contrast the texture of the cement bench and the hard edged shadow with the delicate glow of the white blossoms.
Afternoon Day Glows
17.5″ x 37.5″ oil on linen
While living in Florence, Italy, I pedaled around daily on my biciletta, enamored by the glistening sun against the terracotta landscape. Early one afternoon, during the height of spring in the heights of the city, I found myself paralyzed by a blanket of irises before me; their delicate, yet stately pink and salmon silk petals satiated my eyes. I gathered a few and carefully attached them to my bici. On my way to the mercato, I was overtaken by their incredible juicy, musky, melon-like aroma, perhaps a foreshadowing of the tuscan cantaloupes in season at the market. Then, with my handlebars full of inspiration, I found myself with a serendipitous pairing too beautiful to not make an everlasting one!
King of Flowers
Inge Kjeldgaard Taji
21” x 28” watercolor
My painting depicts three sunflowers wrapped in burlap. What inspired me about sunflowers is the way they stand majestically tall like a crowned king. The burlap wrapped around them resembles the people and in relation to the sunflowers it resembles the earth, their foundation. As for the king without people there would be no king. As for the sunflowers without the earth there would be no sunflowers. So my message is as you strive for power and reach for the sky like the sunflower, you will always depend on a sound foundation, so take good care of the earth and the flowers and people, because without them there will be no power, no glory or kings or sunflowers for that matter.