Roz Edwards’ flower paintings do not aim for botanical accuracy. Instead this artist uses her subject matter as a starting point for an exploration into mark making and expression with bright, harmonious colour. The Jackson’s Art Blog wanted to ask Roz Edwards more about her flower paintings with a difference.
Lisa: How would you describe your flower paintings?
Roz: My flower paintings are very bold. I use strong bright colours and high contrasts.I always have a coloured background which is an important and integral part of the design. I usually have parts of the flowers or leaves “touch the sides” of the painting as this creates interesting negative spaces.I never have my flowers floating in the middle and I cannot work with a white background. I often work with a slightly impressionistic style building up the painting with many layers of small dots and dabs of paint.
I would never describe my work as botanically accurate. You can tell what type of flower I have painted, but I am a few degrees away from realism.I use a bit of artistic licence to enhance colours and pattern on the flowers. My main aim is to make a painting that is visually interesting not just a botanical study.
Lisa: What is it about painting flowers that you are so drawn to?
Roz: The main thing that attracts me to flowers is the range of bright colours. I associate flowers with warmth, summer and sunshine. Flowers make you happy!
Flowers look good from a distance , but close up are so different and so interesting. If you study them really closely they become a series of individual shapes with each petal and leaf having their own form and colours. I especially like back lit flowers where all the colours take on a new dimension and you get extra shapes forming through the flower with light and shade areas.
Lisa: What are your favourite art materials to work with and why?
Roz: My favourite materials are acrylics. I can build my work up in many layers. It enables me to make big changes by painting over areas I do not like. I like the way I can put light colours over dark. I like the way the paint dries really quickly and becomes permanent. I can build up my painting fairly quickly and just keep over-painting lots of shades and tones until I get the result I want. I like the strength and vibrancy of the colours.
I have tried many different acrylics. I use a basic quality paint for the base layers of my painting, such as System 3 or Galeria. For the detail I use a higher quality paint. I have used Chromacolour for many years. I recently discovered AV Vallejo Acrylic Gouache and Turner Acryl gouache. I have been very impressed with both.
Lisa: Can you tell us a bit about how you first started learning to paint?
Roz: I have always been artistic from childhood. Art has always been part of my life. My degree is in art. I have spent my entire career teaching art to 11 to 18 year olds. I have also taught ceramics, photography and art textiles. I have always been involved with creative things at work and in my leisure time.
I have now left teaching to focus on my own art. I can do many styles from large textured abstracts to tiny pen and ink studies. However, my favourite area is contemporary floral. I have recently become a full member of the Society of Floral Painters.
As far as learning is concerned , I don’t think I have ever stopped learning about art. I enjoy visiting exhibitions and galleries. I look at lots of art websites and buy many art books. I continue to practise, experiment and hopefully improve my own work.
Lisa: You have very kindly offered to take us through step by step the process of painting a flower painting. What is your chosen subject matter and what ability do you think you need to have to try this out?
Roz: My favourite flower is irises, especially large bearded irises. I love the shapes of the petals and the wide range of colours. I like the patterns on the petals and the way they twist and turn. I grow some in my garden but the flowering season is only about 2 months, so I have to take lots of good photos.
I am going to show you a step by step painting of 3 irises. The painting shows good contrasts of colour. I have slightly overlapped the flowers, and created a composition where your eye is drawn down the canvas from flower to flower. I have used a long rectangular canvas as this lends itself well to flower studies.
To see more of Roz Edwards floral painting please visit http://rozartz.blogspot.co.uk/
Her main art and craft blog is at http://artycraftythings.blogspot.co.uk/