Let's talk about Botanical Prints.
They are everywhere in different forms and styles to suit so many interior decoration looks, with hundreds, if not thousands, of choices.
Botanicals are a current trend I hope has some longevity. I would be very sad if they all disappeared because of a shiny new trend to sweep them all away. From a mental health perspective, I believe we all need botanicals to inspire calm, either in the form of a garden, balcony, houseplants or botanical art.
Today, I will tell you about my own influences and inspirations.
Pierre-Joseph Redouté was an eighteenth century painter and botanist, famous for his watercolour artwork, particularly with Roses. His work has taught me the beauty of a single flower, shining in it's own simplicity. My 'Rosa' print is an example. Some flowers are perfect for this, particularly Roses, but Peonies, Lilacs and Hydrangeas are favourites, for theirs shapes and details. Sometimes I like to work with more than one, depending on its shape and how they look together. It doesn't always work but I enjoy the contemplation of trying.
Vintage educational botanical posters inspired my use of a black blackground. They were usually drawings of a single plant, showing the root, the seed and fruit, displayed together or often dissected.
A dark background highlighted the colour and detail much more than any other colour. As this was exactly what I wanted to show, the idea to use this myself was born. On many occasions, I have used a grey stone background, which I also like very much, especially with pink flowers. However, there, it is the combination of colours that attracts, rather than the texture and detail of the flower subjects themselves.
Flower Farms are another inspiration, and, while writing this blog, it occurred to me, I probably could not do this work, this way, without them. The idea of the de-contructed arrangements were born out of the seasonality and combinations of these flowers. A particular fascination for me is how different flowers growing at the same time of year all complement each other almost perfectly, leaving me to marvel just how wonderful Mother Nature is. She is a great stylist.
I strive for every flower and bud to shine out of the darkness with low light to expose tiny details. It also conveys an emotion I cannot describe for you here, but just says what I want it to say. I love a mixture of big Diva flowers and the ditsy, smaller ones catching slivers of light. The eye is, therefore, drawn all over the image, with something new to see with every look.
I love bendy and sinuous stems (unlike florists who avoid them. More for me...!). There is something very natural and wild about them, with a certain quirkiness that is hard to explain, but I think you might understand.
I love the Modern Vintage interiors with preloved furniture and darker, cocooning walls. Here, the print colours can really pop out. Choose a frame colour to pick up the wood or metal of the furniture. Lighter walls work well, too, with the right choice of frame, complementing the darker contrasts in the room.
Time to Play
Creativity in photographic art comes with having the time to play and explore with no outcome in mind except for the pleasure of working with a subject that inspires. Experimentation with different lighting and lenses is ideal, for example, until the happy moment where something resonates, following it more deeply, eventually finding a style that continues to call. It took me over a year to find my way with my current work and still marvel how a set of flowers can result in something so magical, and come from a camera.
Light in the Darkness
Lastly, and of equal importance, is the message of light in the darkness. Over so many years I have learned that good things come out of bad and for every dark time, there is a good time that will come again. Photography and flowers have given me the power to wait much more patiently.