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Notes From The Studio

PEONY - Beauty, Honour and Love

Can you believe it is the end of the month again already?

This year seems to have gone so quickly and yet at the same time I feel as if I have been treading water. There appears to be a lot of movement, but not much forward progress if you know what I mean?

I feel that art is often a lot like that, or the creative process should I say. Often a lot is taking place in my head but to all intents and purposes, from the outside, not much seems to be happening.

So what has been going on in the studio? for starters there has been a return to opening up the space for students once again . They all seem to be very happy to be back in class again, and although the numbers are down, I am trusting they will build up again fairly quickly.

Currently, I am working on two different bodies of work. One is a series of New Zealand landscapes and the other is a collection of nature's beauty, specifically some flower pieces. This month's project has been a large flower, one of my favorites, the peony.

Peonies have been growing in Eastern gardens for over 4,000 years. They were adopted by China as the imperial symbol, and even today they are still the official emblem of China. Around the beginning of the eighth century they arrived in Japan, where they were soon revered for their beauty and then further hybridized.

In Europe, the beautiful peony was a part of ancient Greek mythology. They were also highly regarded for their medicinal properties as well as their beauty.  The root, bark, seed and flowers were all believed to have medicinal uses in eastern Asia and Europe. Peonies were used to treat stomach pains, bladder issues, jaundice and even nightmares. 

Back to the studio - where the work progresses. I have chosen to depict the flower from an unusual view, looking at the back and underside of the flower. I was particularly taken by the design element of this composition and suspect that I will work to further simplify the image in another painting. I will keep you posted.

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