Art Deco Pitcher Plant


For some time I’ve been inspired by art from the Art Deco and Arts and Crafts movements, and have wanted to find a way to incorporate them into my work.  It has been hard to break the representational habit however.  I hope you like this one~I think it is fun.


  1. The predominantly pink part at the bottom that takes up about a third of the painting strikes me as more abstract, while the predominantly green part at the top seems more grounded in realism. Do you see it that way too? Did you paint one of those parts before the other?

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    1. Yup, I sure did. I knew I wanted it to be at least partially abstract so I started with an entire painting in pink. My task at that point was to see if I could weld together an abstract core to a realistic overlay, if you will. I spent a great deal of time staring at the canvas as I sipped coffee, considering my next move. Putting in dark spaces between the pink lines at the bottom suggested itself first, and then I gradually worked my way up. Once I started adding in the more realistic elements it was a matter of pushing and pulling between the two elements until I found a balance that pleased my eye. I’ve been seeing some interesting things being done by women in the mixed media arena. Most of these women have no art background at all and their imagery shows it. However, there is an energy and freshness that I do admire. I’ve wanted to go in that direction for some time, but worried that it would be a step backward~ I was afraid it would look simplistic and childish. Then I realized that when I put in the more realistic touches that I planned to do, my years of experience would still shine through and I was reassured.

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  2. I love both movements – art deco and Arts&Crafts! The paintings in the style of the latter are mostly exquisite in detail. I’ve been to an exhibition a couple of years ago and couldn’t start even counting the flowers that were painted. I truly admire this sense of realism in paintings but I doubt I would ever be patient enough to do this myself. Your painting is very beautiful and I love your choice of colours! The darker parts suggest a lovely depth. 😊


  3. It’s interesting — the painting as a whole seems abstract to me, despite the more realistic ferns that you included. I finally decided that part of the reason is that I have so little experience of pitcher plants I don’t immediately pull up a mental image when I hear the words — so I didn’t have any way to immediately “see” them in the painting.

    Given the colors, and certain of the shapes, like the darker red flowers that look like the sort of half-masks used at balls I know what I would title it: Mardi Gras in the Garden!


    1. Oh! Mardi Gras in the Garden! That is perfect~thanks Linda.
      One of the reason Iike this plant so much is because it looks sort of unreasonable. I assure you, that part of the painting is not abstract 🙂 I was able to hang it at a botanical arts exhibit last night.

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