Flower artists share their painting process. In this two-part series, we’ve invited six successful professional flower painting artists to share some works from their portfolios and tell us a little about their process. The theme is flowers in all their glory, and it’s not hard to see why these artists continue to be inspired and in love with flowers. In this part below, you’ll meet Richard Kochash, Stacy Barter, and Denise Foster, who all capture nature’s lush abundance with their unique style. And don’t miss the first part of the series with Monique Chartier, Nancy Balmert, and Barbara Berry.
Richard Kochash is known for his poetic representations of various subjects. In his representations of nature and flowers, however, one can see the full expression of his technical talent and his sensitive mind. Kochash’s peony paintings in particular – his favorite flower – show simplicity of form, the softness of tone, and the subtlety of light that reveal his close study and connection with this beautiful flower. Kochash paints both outdoor and in his studio. He selects flowers from his country-style garden on the property of his home in Minnesota – which is filled mostly with spring flowers like peonies, lilacs, and hollyhocks – and has access to nearby Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, where he often paints in loco.
A basis in classical realism is evident in Kochash’s style. Since his training at Atelier LeSueur (now The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art) in Minneapolis, he has also let other influences flow. But after decades of painting and cool drawings, Kochash still finds flowers the hardest to paint. It has to be more than just making them good. Flowers are not s. The action and a life that is constantly changing. You have to insert this animation into the pan. Otherwise, it will look like an artificial flower.
Accurate setup, quick painting
Kochash adapted his approach to better capture this dynamic quality. After careful installation and lighting, he moves on to a quick and smooth painting process. I work as quickly as possible, using two-handled brushes to quicto massage large shapes quickly use Princeton Catalyst’s silicone wedges and blades which allow me to create the shallow sections and sharp points I see in the sepals and petals as they pass in beautiful geometries.
Painting a unique flower has its benefits, but Stacy Barter’s work is building still life with many flowers with an extraordinary level of complexity. The Florida artist describes her traditional style as representative impressionism; she is interested in the economic brushstroke and the fine details that characterize some subjects.
Barter has long recognized that the intricacy and intense colors of flowers require an artist’s careful observation and decision-making. She has painted every genre in her 25-year career. However, it is her floral work that she continues to receive attention and recognition from collectors and judges. Her painting In Full Bloom, which freshly won an Honor of Excellence in Oil Workers.
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Mastering form and light
As a longtime teacher, Barter still calls life a great teaching tool for understanding how to master form. You learn a lot about shapes and how light affects and affects the appearance of objects with still life. Many symmetrical and static objects offer great lessons for observing and transmitting light and shadow.
Having painted hundreds of life-like flowers, Barter continues to draw inspiration to convey depth and dimension in her works and to find ways to guide the viewer’s gaze through the compositional story. Besides being interested in color and light, I almost always watch the movement between objects, whether paying close attention to edges, setting certain focal points, or just helping the viewer travel through a mass of flower shapes, designing a complex composition that keeps the eye moving and arouses interest is exciting to me.
Denise Foster has an affinity for flowers that dates back to her childhood in Tennessee. She remembers seeing a magnificent field of daffodils behind a neighbor’s house one spring, which she as a child called buttercups. The view was so captivating that she stepped over the fence, lay down among the flowers, and looked up at the sky. I was drawn to the color and the scent. I remember all those little flower heads that sway in the wind, the sun that flows between the petals, the clouds that pass over us: it is such a special memory.
Today Foster is a known painter with more than 20 years of practice with flowers as the main theme and her daffodils her beloved flower. She now lives in Kentucky and loves the annual spring when a blanket of yellow and green flowers – including numerous daffodils – surrounds her. Foster recently painted Spring Buttercups from a series of daffodils she had cut from her garden below.
The effects of light on color
The wonderful variations in the colors and shapes of the daffodils made this theme a delight for the artist, as did the abstraction of their form. My goal is to paint the effect of light on the colors of the flower arrangement. However, instead of painting every little petal and leaf, I start by adding large areas of overall color. Then I refine the shapes and provide enough information so the viewer knows what flower it might be.
Foster also paints other flowers, mainly from the bouquets she gave her, the arrangements she buys, or the stems she cut at home. The artist prefers to paint in her studio, where she can design the setting and work with light. The stories and moments that the flowers symbolize are what inspire them to paint every time.
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