The change of the seasons prods us to look within as the weather turns and daylight fades. It is with this introspection that I welcome you to contemplate two important paintings from my current inventory, Lara Call Gastinger’s End of Fall Sunflowers and Karen Kluglein’s Ferrari Hippeastrum, a red Amaryllis bulb. As we admire both of these subjects in full bloom, we carefully consider their beauty in other stages of life.
Gastinger’s masterful dry brush watercolor technique and choice of sepia tone bring this specimen’s fragility to the forefront. Her ability to capture the minuscule dried ray and disk florets and its hairy stem, while emphasizing its tilt, shows its dignity in the plant’s late stage. Her graceful composition and the finely painted details points to her appreciation of nature, recognizing its past glory and telling us to take a second look at a time of year when most feel nature has less to offer, this artist begs to differ.
Kluglein’s Ferrari bulb shows the intricacies in the architectural details of its makeup. She captures the layers as if we are walking up steps to a view a foreign land, moving around it with wonder. She conveys the colors within it to hint at the expectant bloom (red Christmas Amaryllis). We embrace it’s beauty before bloom through the clarity of brushstrokes and its luminosity in the translucency of vellum, realism personified. A bold decision to celebrate a subject before it’s buried in the ground.