Excerpt from Considering Flowers Article
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A few days ago while making myself crazy on Facebook from reading one maddening post after another about the latest Trump administration’s outrage when a posting of Lisa Breslow’s painting of gerber daisies in a glass (shown above) stopped me in my tracks. For at least a moment, this simple expression of light and color gave me a reprieve, perhaps even hope, that this too will eventually pass.
I’m unsure if a painting can offer us much more than visual delight but isn’t that enough? I don’t think beauty civilizes us or makes us better people. I’m sure Nazis loved Mozart as well as Wagner and grabbed as many beautiful paintings as they could during WW2. Many people in those times tried to protect paintings from harm but many also tried to destroy anything deemed decadent, that they felt didn’t fit their belief. Today, we are sadly experiencing a situation in the world in which we are threatened by evil leaders, climate change, nuclear weapons and many other serious threats to the existence of civilization as we know it. Of course, considering the magnitude of the problems we face, painting isn’t the best tool for changing the world or changing anyone’s minds and even if it were, the painter’s audience is pitifully small. But what great painting might offer is to add to society’s list–one more reason for being alive. Beauty in all its forms might help slow the descent into the madness of war and environmental destruction by reminding us that having a decent society is worth fighting for.
With some of this in mind I decided to approach a seven painters, Lisa Breslow, Stanley Bielen, Amy Brnger, Kathleen Speranza, Scott Conary, Paula Heisen, and Scott Smith, all facebook friends, who are making some wonderful flower paintings to show a few samples of their work in a slideshow. I had no idea if any of the artists were even remotely thinking about political issues with their flower paintings. In fact, the more I thought about this the more the idea seemed ridiculous, flower painting seems the least likely genre to become politicized. However, I rarely let worrying about what others might think stop me for long as I was curious to hear more ideas from these painters about their thoughts on painting flowers or beauty in general in this time of political upheavals.
I also decided to include a separate slideshow of some great flower paintings from history that shows a wide range of approaches and types of expression. At the end of this article I’ve included excerpts and quotes and linked to a couple of books and essays that are related to this discussion about great flower painting.
Above is an Excerpt from Considering Flowers Article
full article here»