An example of the flower paintings we have to offer is Olga Lomax’s Lilies. Like Monet’s Blue Water Lilies it stretches the eye to the back of the canvas to make the pond seem limitless. A contemporary artist based in England, Olga works in several genres and is inspired by the natural world. Her work has been exhibited in galleries around England and kept by collectors in countries around the world.
Contrasting the soft impressionist style of Olga’s Lilies, is the abstract birds-eye rendering of bold sunflowers against a tiled background in Chi Ching Tony Cheng’s Sundial. Born in Britain but based in Hong Kong, Chi’s unique style gives the impression that his work has been mutated by computer logics.
Flower paintings often act as love letters to flowers, the art of flower arrangement and the natural world. They’re also classified as a genre of still life painting. From detailed depictions of individual flowers to carefully arranged vases of flowers, and vast tulip fields, flower paintings are culturally significant and prized possessions for collectors worldwide.
Artists started painting flowers in the early 17th century when flowers like tulips were considered priceless rarities. Tulip paintings had become cheap substitutes for the real things because the bulbs had become so expensive. Like real flowers, flower paintings were made for the viewer’s visual pleasure.
One of the most famous flower paintings today is Georgia O’Keeffe’s Oriental Poppies. Unlike her predecessors who painted flowers to scale she decided to fill every inch of the canvas with their red and orange leaves, by painting them as if she had zoomed in to them. The result is a vivid, yet so close it’s almost abstract, rendering of these warm flowers.
Another flower painting that is so famous it has been recreated by artists countless times is Monet’s Blue Water Lilies. This work was inspired by the water lilies he grew in a pond in his own garden. As with the dutch tulip paintings that were considered a mere substitute for the real flowers, Monet said later in his life that he took more pride in his gardens than in his art.
While western artists painted water lilies, tulips and hyacinths, the attention of Japanese flower painters were captured by the beauty of the cherry blossom tree. One of the earliest examples of Japanese flower painting is Hokusai’s Bullfinch on Weeping Cherry. The painting is a delicate display of spring cherry blossoms against a blue sky, with the branches, flowers and bullfinch positioned as if the viewer is looking up.