Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sally Keir and Botanical Art

As I think more about my thesis project, the clearer I become about what exactly I'd like to communicate with my artwork. One thing that has become obvious to me is the need to change my area of concentration. Even though I intend to work as an illustrator, the Illustration program and AAU isn't right. So I've switched to Figurative Painting. I made this choice based on what I enjoy and not what I feel I should do. I've been doing what I feel I should do for so long and it never makes me happy, and it's one thing to paint the figure as an illustrator and quite another as a figurative painter. I really enjoy my fine art classes at the moment, and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of years of intense study. I am committed to doing what makes me happy and truly believe everything else will follow suite as long as I'm honest with myself.

And now, onto botanical art. Because my work will take on an uplifting, spiritual, awe inspiring and extremely colourful (gem like) quality, I've started researching and practicing botanical art - drawing flowers (I'll be posting many soon). Mixing the figure and exotic, colourful flowers . . . something like this. This is the direction I'm headed. In my search, I found the work of Sally Keir (1938-2007). Unlike most botanical illustrators, she used gouache instead of watercolor - something I have to start exploring on a regular basis. This, in addition to using some key concepts in chiaroscuro, gives her paintings this incredible and dramatic gem-like quality, which is something I'd like to incorporate in my own work.

Sally Keir - Pink Rhododendron

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