“Still Water (Lily Pond),” Lynne Seitzer.

“Bloom: Art of the Flower” at Joy To The Wind Gallery features work by Lynne Seitzer from Aug. 1 to 31, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

Throughout history, flowers have played an important role in human culture. Flowers are woven into the fabric of medicine, cooking, hygiene, embalming, folklore, symbols and environmental enhancement. The early shipping and importing trades in flowers, vegetables and spices shaped many aspects of the worlds history.

On a more personal level, the love of flowers is a bond that connects and unifies those who find solace in them. Flowers are a source of pleasure, sustenance and healing. “The painter of flowers, like a poet or botanist, chooses a subject for his art which is more than just a thing of beauty. It is also a vital organism and an embodiment of nature. In the artists hand it can become the provocation for stirring speculations on the character of life itself,” writes Ella Foshay in “Reflections of Nature.”

Artists whose floral inspirations have made huge impact on the art world are many and their artistic styles run a wide gamut. To illustrate the diversity of  artists who paint flowers here are the names of a few. Starting with Georgia O’Keefe whose use of dramatic shading and tight cropping resulted in monumental flowers like the ‘Iris” paintings. Martin Johnson Heade set flowers into their natural environment (in situ). His floral paintings were more like landscapes as they often included birds insects and backgrounds such as mountains. Vincent Van Gogh immortalized the bold Sunflowers he painted with bright contrasting backgrounds. Dutch painters of the 17th and early 18th century such as Rachel Raysch, painted glorious bouquets of realistic flowers in rich and extremely accurate detail. Claude Monet’s waterlilies gave us a memorable feel for impressionism. Utagawa Hiroshige’s highly skilled woodcut flowers (such as Hibiscus) were symbols for things such as harmony, abundance and love. And finally, Andy Warhol whose 1970’s ‘Pop Art’ flowers lifted spirits and created a distinct fashion trend.

Seitzer’s work is the result of experimentation under many artistic influences including her own. The work is quite diverse. Subjects you will see depicted include lily pads, artichoke flowers, dogwood blossoms, sunflowers, ficinia stars and many others. Painting techniques range from highly stylized to realistic. They are all done in oil. Some utilized under painting techniques and others were glazed. Fields of flowers are done as “landscapes.” Stylized lilies are painted against vivid backgrounds. 

The viewer will witness many ways to express a love for flowers on canvas.

Joy To The Wind Gallery is at 34 Atlantic Ave., Boothbay Harbor. Call 207-633-7025 or go to joytothewind.com for more information.

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