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Art

Vibrant Botanicals Spring from Cheerful Pups in Hiroki Takeda’s Playful Watercolors

July 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroki Takeda, shared with permission

Sprouting flowers and botanical sprigs, the subjects of Hiroki Takeda’s watercolor works exude the boundless joy and energy we tend to associate with canine companionship. The vividly rendered pieces are part of the Japanese artist’s whimsical body of work that defines the contours of cats, birds, and inanimate objects with delicate plants and other natural elements. Prints and originals of Takeda’s blooming creatures are available from TRiCERA Art, and you can stay up to date with his latest pieces on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Skies Peek Through Foliage in French Knots in Embroideries that Peer Up From the Forest Floor

June 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sew Beautiful, shared with permission

Look up! The vibrant embroideries of the U.K.-based artist known as Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop. Layering colorful French knots and long, straight threads in neutral tones, the artist transforms thin organza bases into fiber renditions of forests dense with autumn leaves or aerial shots capturing wide swaths of landscape. The hand-stitched pieces are vivid and tinged with whimsy, and Sew Beautiful has a few works currently available on Etsy. Follow shop updates and new embroideries on Instagram. (via So Super Awesome)

 

 

 



Art

Dozens of Carved Layers Compose Vivid Linocut Prints of Cats and Bouquets by Vanessa Lubach

June 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Helen with Geraniums.” All images © Vanessa Lubach, shared with permission

Norfolk-based artist Vanessa Lubach likens her printmaking practice to that of oil painting and draws on the latter to inform her vibrant compositions. “I linocut like a painter and paint like a linocutter, and the two disciplines work together to inform and enhance each other,” she tells Colossal. Whether depicting bunches of dahlias and cosmos in a ceramic pitcher or an enchanting forest landscape, Lubach’s works center on quiet moments in domestic interiors or out among nature.

Each piece begins with a sketch and a general idea of the palette. “I’m always optimistic that I can limit the colour layers to around a dozen at this point, but that almost never happens. They almost always end up in the 20s,” she says. After drawing and carving the main image, or key block, she prints and transfers the composition to additional blocks designed for each individual color. Some pieces, like the ceremonial “Allotment Bouquet,” take almost a year to complete.

Two of Lubach’s works are included in the traveling 84th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, which is on view through July 9 at Sea Pictures Gallery in Suffolk. She also has a variety of prints available on Etsy and shares much more of her process and glimpses into her studio on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Dahlia and Cosmos”

 

 



Art Craft

Vivid Compositions in Thread Enliven Hollow Spaces in Diana Yevtukh’s Striking Embroideries

June 3, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Why did they do this to us” (2022). All images © Diane Yevtukh, shared with permission

Ukrainian artist Diana Yevtukh draws inspiration from her surroundings by carefully situating cornucopian floral arrangements made of thread in the hollows of trees. Based in Lviv, her work has assumed more urgency since the invasion of her home country by Russian forces earlier this year, and pieces like “Why did they do that to us” draw on her background in photography and design to spread the crucial message that Ukraine remains under threat.

The artist’s meticulous needlework pieces feature a medley of vibrant flowers like poppies, daisies, and sunflowers, which nestle into the surfaces and appear to effervesce from within. Her works are often juxtaposed with rough or decaying surfaces like old stone walls or rusting metal to “heal” the damage, emphasizing the possibility for beauty and strength in unexpected places.

You can find more of Yevtukh’s work on Instagram.

 

“And the spring will come, and night will be gone”

“Life is breaking out of the mysterious hideaways”

“Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with new life”

“No cage can hold the radiance of hope”

 

 



Art

Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Evoke Strength and Vulnerability in Christine Kim’s Elegant Collages

June 2, 2022

Kate Mothes

“By Heart” (2022). All images © Christine Kim, shared with permission

In intricately cut collages by Ontario-based artist Christine Kim, flowers, foliage, and crown-like adornments encompass anonymous portraits. Painted floral motifs on carefully torn pieces of paper paired with slats of wood appear like lath exposed beneath ornate wallpaper, providing a backdrop for the elegant silhouettes. The elaborate designs of the figures’ headdresses suggest wrought iron with delicate strands of plants or ribbon partially obscuring their faces. In her series Paper Thin, Kim explores myriad techniques for working with the ubiquitous material.

Inspired to examine relationships between surface, pattern, and volume, she portrays how the medium can be both fragile and solid, rigid yet flexible. She describes in a statement that the series evokes “dualities of strength and vulnerability, as stark black fences crown the regal female figures, but these barriers are, in the end, only paper-thin.”

Kim’s work is currently on view at Galerie Youn in Montréal as part of the group exhibition YOUNIVERSE until July 3. You can find more of her work on her website and on Instagram.

 

“Yesterday’s Thoughts” (2022).

“Stories We Tell” (2022)

“At Least” (2022)

“In Good Faith” (2022)

“Boundaries of Ours” (2022)

 

 



Art Photography

Blooms Exude Presence and Personality in Bold Cyanotypes by Rosalind Hobley

June 2, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Rosalind Hobley, shared with permission

In London-based artist Rosalind Hobley’s expressive cyanotypes, flowers assume a portrait-like quality through varied textures and supple shapes. Her Still Life series features a cast of dahlias, anemones, roses, and peonies that sit like regal subjects. Originally trained in figurative sculpture, the artist uses light and shade to accentuate form and gesture. “I aim for my prints to have the weight and presence of a piece of sculpture,” she tells Colossal.

Cyanotype is an early form of photography, first invented in 1842 and named for the rich monochromatic hue of its prints. Hobley uses cotton rag paper with a light-sensitive solution of iron salts and then leaves it to dry in the dark. She then exposes it to UV light under large format negatives and finishes up by washing the prints in water, where they develop their characteristic blue color. “I love the mess and creativity of the cyanotype process,” she says. “I am interested in techniques which translate the photographic image into something more interesting and exciting. I like mistakes, blur, brushstrokes, loss of definition, spontaneity.”

Hobley has work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which runs from June 21 to August 21, 2022. She also has prints of available on her website, and you can find more on Instagram.