The magnificent Joris Hoefnagel-inspired paintings by Denise Walser-Kolar pay homage to one of the greatest European natural history illustrators working in the 16th century. Perhaps Walser-Kolar’s European lineage has strong links to her appreciation of Hoefnagel’s work. Her contemporary paintings of plants and insects reflect her passion for gardening within her part of the midwest. She finds beauty wherever she roams and takes specimens from her friends who know and appreciate her specific interest and aesthetic which she often incorporates into her designs.
In Walser-Kolar’s Hoefnagel-Inspired #12, the snapdragon and rose specimens are from her garden as well as the Japanese beetle (which loves to nosh on her roses). The shell is from Sanibel, the Mayfly is from a friend and the apricot and grape are from her local Trader Joes. Her degree in graphic design and commercial illustration informed her confidence in combining these elements while her velvet painting technique touches on her romantic treatment of color tones and texture, surely a European trait.