Friday, June 25, 2010

Flowers, Flowers, and More Flowers

Cosmos, c 2009, Sukie Curtis, oil on canvas

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers," declared Claude Monet. I know this because David gave me a twelve-inch tall, soft Claude Monet "doll" for my birthday. He currently sits on my desk, cheering me on, decked out in a blue painting smock over his white shirt, with black beret, black tie, and grey pants. He is clutching a paint brush in his right hand. This is an elder Monet, sporting pince nez glasses and snowy white hair and beard. His "identification tag" includes the above quote about flowers.

As you may have noticed, flowers do tend to be a regular feature in my paintings. Years ago, before any art classes, I often drew and dabbled in water colors while on retreats. Often the subjects were closely observed wildflowers and plants (I remember unfurling ferns, in particular). Now fruits and vegetables have joined the line up, but flowers are always inspiring companions, sometimes muses, even when not the subjects themselves. Even withered blossoms can be fun to draw. (That's one of the fun things about drawing--at least the way I draw--it puts me in a sort of "toddler mind" in which a dead flower is as interesting as a fresh new one, sometime even more so!)

This painting of cosmos stems and blossoms is one that began as a drawing. When something about the drawing really got me excited, I decided to use it as the starting point of a painting. This one, like many, was done over an earlier painting of trees that wasn't so successful. The original painting gave the newer one some interesting texture and depth. Many of the glimpses of green, especially in the left half, are part of the original painting.

I am delighted that this painting now lives in the bedroom of one of Anna's best friends.


Katherine Thomas said...

When you said that the quote came from your Monet doll, I was wondering if maybe the doll talked. Wouldn't that be fun? Pull a string, and out comes an artist's quote? Anyway, I love your flowers! They are so vibrant and full of joy. I think Monet is right! Flowers symbolize so many human emotions...

Sukie Curtis said...

Thanks, Katherine! Great idea--a doll that speaks artist's quotes!

Another favorite of mine would be Picasso saying, "There are no rules." Or, "It took me four years to learn to paint like Rembrandt, and forty years to learn to paint like a child." Or something like that. I haven't checked my resources. :)

Anonymous said...

So delightful...your words, your story, your flowers.