Oil on Canvas, 36" x 36", 2017
Flower: Paeonia ‘Coral Charm”
Native Range: Hybrid; Variety of Species from China & Japan
Conservation Status: Unknown
“Expanding my study of nature's beauty and diversity through the rare and exotic floral species that influence human culture, history and art, I am now working on a new series of paintings that explore other exotic flowers like the peony. With a similar track record of high esteem, attraction and healing as the orchid, peonies also date back thousands of years, from the imperial palaces of China and Japan to ancient Greece. Regarded as the national flower of China, the peony symbolizes peace and opulence; and in art and literature, alluring female beauty.
”Awakening” is the first peony painting in a series inspired by my many visits to Cricket Hill Garden in Connecticut. Reviving my childhood love of the peonies my mom once cultivated, I am aware again that flowers speak a universal language of beauty - one that creates profound emotions in the heart that last far beyond our physical presence. This truth has shaped my perception of the world and continues to inspire my art.
The painting represents a broadening of the scope of my muse and metaphor, the flower. Through my artmaking process, I am perpetually seeking to understand and convey the nature of beauty.
Be it for aesthetics or biological necessity, most humans believe beauty is subjective to highly evolved beings. But what of other mindless plants and organisms with forms that have beautifully evolved to attract in order to survive?
In my oil painting, “Awakening”, I depict both the spirit and the seduction of the peony. I reveal a moment in time in the flower’s ephemeral life cycle, while at the same time illuminating its very essence and purpose.
Petals delicately tinted with over forty layers of transparent oil color glaze are animated by light and shadow. Against a backdrop of rich organic textures and forms, the peony entices the viewer forward into its wild yet soothing embrace.”