Friday, 11 November 2011

The Art of Poppies

It is a pity that poppies are no longer found in great abundance in fields across Britain. A once common sight en-route to childhood holidays, carpets of bright red poppies made a cheering diversion. However, their large, papery blooms lasting for just one day make them a challenging subject for painters. 

As we approach Remembrance Sunday, (today is the unique date of 11/11/2011 with weddings galore in Gretna Green!!),  I wondered how other artists have tackled the tricky little blighters and depicted poppies in art. Here are a few of my favourites. 
Oriental Poppies,
Dame Elizabeth Blackadder

I love Dame Elizabeth's work, but this painting by Jan Harbon is a particular favourite. I love the way some of the petals are faded to almost nothing, a technique I would love to try on some of my own work.
'Poppies II' by Jan Harbon

Poppies © Gillian Daynes SBAPaintings of poppies were everywhere at the SBA show this year, with this gorgeous example from Gillian Daynes SBA being one of a stunning array. Other artists exhibiting luscious poppies included Linda Patterson SBA and Hilary Price FSBA among others.

'Poppy Seed Head' 1999
Brigid Edwards
Shirley Sherwood Collection

This image of a seed head by Brigid Edwards is just gorgeous. The colour and detail is really well observed, particularly with the subtle bloom on the pod. Whenever I see a painting I admire, I always look really closely at the techniques to see if I can improve my own. 

Wild Poppies

'Wild Poppies', Claude Monet 1873     

  Ah, Monet's 'Wild Poppies', enough said!

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