1991, , 20 x 16.Cc M. Ms.P Spvch.
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pAinting flowers with Artist dAily
iS an iMPortant eleMent in anytyPe of Painting. Here i diSCuSStHe ConCePt aS it relateS tofloral CoMPoSition.
by James Sulkowski
paint from nature, from life. With mysubject in front of me, I can observethe fall of light upon it, as well as anyatmospheric effects surrounding it. I canalso look for the larger concepts of form,shape, and movement in my compositionsthat will make for an interesting painting. Forexample, if one of my florals is taken out of focus,a larger shape will generally emerge. A bouquetof flowers becomes a spherical shape, or an eggshape, or even an S-shape; and although theindividual flowers are important, each is subordi-nate to the larger shape, concept, or idea.Renaissance artists relied on a few solid, basiccompositional elements—including the cube, thetriangle, and the sphere—and built their figurecompositions, portraits, and still lifes on these sta-ble formulae. The Baroque period of the 17th cen-tury stressed movement in sweeping diagonals,as well as with the S-shape design tool. This isthe approach that appeals to me. Dutch masters,including Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606–ca. 1684)and Rachel Ruysch (1664–1750), incorporatedthese principles into their painting; studying theirwork can be enormously helpful.