Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Red Circles

Ok so I chickened out about fixing my failed oil painting of a peony and instead focussed on a little peony study in acrylic.It is happy, I think.

My painting style has changed dramatically over the past few years from large painterly abstracts to these very precise botanicals. I was interested to notice last night, however, that I have always been drawn to big red circles. These appear in my paintings so often that I have given some thought as to why. There are some powerful associations. Stop signs. Kissing lips. Bullet wounds. Nipples. Drops of blood. Setting and rising sun. The birth canal. Red toe-nails. Peony buds. Berries. None of these are easily ignored. Some are wonderful. Some are awful. Wow.

A few years ago I did a series of large oils inspired by embroideries from Uzbekistan called suzanis. Here is one of those paintings. It measures four feet accross.

And here are some suzanis.

This image comes from California interior designer Kathryn Ireland.

Here are two watercolor paintings by Washington State artist Martha Worthley. Aren't they gorgeous? One is based on suzani imagery and the other is a painting of dianthus. The power of big red circles!


  1. These images are so luscious. I found your blog via Zoe at Garden Hopping and am so envious of the painting of yours she now owns. The paintings on wood are sublime... You are hugely talented. Janex

  2. Beautiful Jean. I can see the attraction of the big red circles!

  3. I love your paintings!!!!!!
    You are so talented, and have such a wonderful vision.
    I am crazy about suzanis. I love their bold graphic shapes. I find central asia to be facinating. I am glad i found your blog.
    best regards

  4. Hi,

    I was looking for peony paintings and came across your site, I really like your artwork and your website is really beautifull!

    kind regards,