If you were to approach this expecting some revolutionary ideas, you would be either disappointed or relieved. To be honest, flower painting probably doesn’t really lend itself to a great deal of innovation, but there is nevertheless a freshness to the approach here that might well appeal.
Carolyn is a gardener as well as an artist, so there’s quite a lot about cultivation and working with plants in order to understand them as a prelude to painting them. She also talks a lot about structure, but from the artistic rather than scientific point of view and this is certainly useful.
The style of the work veers strongly towards botanical illustration, being detailed and precise but, again, tends more towards the artistic than the scientific. The overall impression is colourful and inviting – this is a book that’s heavier on interpretation than it is on representation. It should also be noted that there are no lessons or demonstrations as such, the book being more a discussion of approaches and working methods. That said, the chapter on photography and the use of Photoshop to create the “perfect” specimen is something new and certainly useful.
This is an inviting book that you can’t help delving into.
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