Creating an Original Painting of Tropical Flowers
It’s good to do something different once in a while, especially when that something can lead you onto a path you didn’t quite see coming…
Tropical Flowers Inception
At the beginning of 2020, I was commissioned to paint a huge box canvas of fresh, pastel flowers. Peonies, roses, hydrangeas and baby’s breath with bees and butterflies all came together as Bouquet.
It wasn’t unusual for me – at the time I had been working on commission for 20 years, and commissions bring with them all kinds of subjects, styles and media you wouldn’t necessarily have worked with or on under your own steam. I set about painting in my usual way, mocking up, marking out, putting paint to paper. But as I worked, something started to stir in my mind – it was lurking in the corners and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I carried on working and, when I’d finished, handed over the finished Bouquet and took another, completely different, commission. But the flowers were still playing on my mind and I still couldn’t see what it was that my subconscious was trying to tell me. I’d find myself staring into space trying to find the thread that would lead me to whatever was hiding back there. But I couldn’t quite get a hold of it.
“Well,” I thought. “There’s nothing for it. I need to do another flower painting.”
Thus, my tropical flowers painting was born. It was a hot day in summer and I wanted to do something the same, but also different, so I chose some vibrant, tropical flowers – orchids, birds of paradise, lilies, orange roses, hibiscus – with a hummingbird instead of bees and much much smaller. It was experimental after all and I was still duty bound to finish the commissions I’d agreed to. I chose a combination of bright oranges and contrasting blues – a cacophony of exotic flowers and creatures, like a slice of the rainforest*.
I also wanted to change the style slightly – Bouquet has a delicate, stylised feel to it, and while I’m not a photographic artist, I have a foot in the realism door, so I went with a more realistic feel for Tropical.
What Painting Tropical Flowers Told Me
It came to me while I was halfway through painting Tropical – the edges of the subjects I love, women, fetish and flowers, sort of collided and I saw my path through the fog of commissions. Initially, all I could see was what I kept calling Magical Realism. I still feel like that’s the name for it, but I’ve been led to believe it’s Imaginative Realism that I’m heading towards. It’s an epic journey for me – a huge change to my working life. It was all about sexual, strong, mystical women with elements of nature and a magical feel – that’s what I’d been chewing over in my brain for months. I closed commissions that day and finished Florida Springs, which was the last commissioned piece I took, that same week. After Tropical, I did one more painting that was purely a bouquet of flowers, which I created in the shape of an anatomical heart – it’s a more gothic, autumnal piece with red roses and white roses and lilies. There may be more flower paintings in the future, and there are certainly a lot of flowers included in my upcoming art, so keep your eyes peeled.
So the Tropical flowers painting was an experiment and a colourful joy to create. It was the unblocker to my next adventure in art. An exciting and fresh approach to my work, which saw the pleasure I’d been lacking for a while come rushing back.
The original painting of Tropical is available to buy direct from my store, or via Saatchi and Etsy if you prefer. Downloads of this floral painting are also available so you can create as many prints as you like.
* Teaching myself about flowers and their habitats is part of my ongoing journey, so apologies if I have my indiginous flora and fauna wrong.
The original Tropical flowers painting is available to buy direct from my website.
Tropical is available in all kinds of printing formats and across all clothing and home decor products on Redbubble.
Luxury framed or canvas prints are available from Saatchi.