“Our garden of everyday” No.1-Iris for eloquence


I have been always attracted to Iris flowers because they look like orchids, but without the intimidating aspects of those masters of sensuality. Iris flowers, as other bulbs, tend to appear in gardens and flower shops. Iris come in many colours like blue, purple, but also they come in yellow, pink, and orange, red and even black! This diversity of colour makes sense when one discovers that “iris” means also rainbow. In the language of flowers, Iris is related to the Green goddess of Love, and the Iris is a symbol of communication, thus meaning “eloquence”. A purple iris means wisdom and compliments, while a blue iris talks about faith and hope. For this illustration I chose a purple iris: a nice bunch of this beautiful flower has been unfolding on a vase. At first the tall stems look majestic as spears ready for a battle ( of love of course!), and slowly, the flowers contained in the green armoured coccoons start to unfold. It is not very easy to paint irises: For it has different angles and the transition between stems to flowers is varied. I had to move around the bunch of flowers, trying to understand how three main petals are intersected by three elongated petals. I had to take it apart to see how it works inside, as there are pairs of a oval petal with an elongated one protecting a pistil of spongy yellow. To get the composition I need to work not only on the bunch of flowers but separating each of its components, while keeping a balanced composition of the different elements. At the end I want this to look like a classical botanical illustration with my own contemporary personal twist. Once the drawing is ready and it pleases me I then mix the colours to get as close as possible to the original. To get this colour I mixed rose with ultramarine, being generous in the side of blue. Bearing in mind that my intention is not necessarily to be a faithful reproduction of the plant, (there are many talented botanical artists trained to do so), for me, what I want to transmit is how this plant in its shape and form conveys the message of “eloquence” referred before. I then decide to keep some few elements, thus underlying the “message” of the plant. As the final product shows, Iris are indeed charming flowers, the incandescent yellow flame contrasting with the deep blue, surrounded by slender spears…

Rye-Sketchbook October 2013

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We spent a lovely weekend in Rye (near Dover). The town is really charming and it is surrounded by natural reserves of extreme beauty. As we walked I was registering impressions and visions. It is all about becoming an artist, keep my sketchbook and pens dancing!