I am awed by flowers – their mystery, their complexity, and their beauty – they have been the subject of my art since childhood. Echoing the personal philosophy of Rembrandt, who “loved what he painted and only painted what he loved,” my soul becomes one with the flower that I am painting.
Having started my career by painting Rembrandt-like portraits of luminous white roses, I credit my introduction to fractals for transforming my artistic vision and the direction and force of my work. I not only see my subject from a different perspective, but I also see nature and the world around me with a deeper insight. To paraphrase William Blake, “I see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower.” My subject is no longer simply a flower; it is a dynamic system existing in a chaotic universe filled with energy, turbulence, mystery, and beauty. Just as fractals have taken my vision to depths beyond what the naked eye can see, I want to take the viewer on a journey. I want to engage them in a fresh dialogue between aesthetics and our everchanging relationship with nature in this digital and technology driven world. With the Kaleidoscope series the flowers keep us rooted in nature and classical beauty while the abstract textures and the use of geometric planes symbolize the impact that technology and world events have on eroding away at our norms. In the Dreamscape series I continue my enquiry into how we establish a deeply intimate relationship with natural phenomena and the bond between human activity and the cycles of nature.
Whether creating evocative representational images or boldly deceptive non-objective forms my focus is always on the interplay of the elements: the choreography of the movement, the organization of the space, the subtlety in the tonal transitions, and the intricacy of the brushwork. My technique is rooted in the labor-intensive practices of the Dutch master painters applying upwards of 20 layered transparencies to create richly saturated darks and vibrant luminous highlights that dance off the surface of the canvas. I get absorbed in the process. For me, there are no short cuts. These techniques emanate from deep inside. Just as I continually push my imagination and emotions, I hope viewer has a similar experience as they are drawn into the multitude of complexities.
I do not subscribe to rules. Though I have a general vision at the onset of every new painting, I have had so many serendipitous accidents and challenges during the creative process that have often taken the finished work somewhere that I never foresaw initially. I cherish the unpredictability. Every painting is a fresh beginning and a new journey. And I invite the viewer to come along for the ride.
Deborah Bigeleisen is an Innovative Artist Whose Vision is Changing the Genre of Floral Painting.