Viewpoints – Leslie Stadnichuk

I have loved flowers for as long as I can remember. In grade school I started an art journal to record all the beautiful flowers in my world. A is for Anemone; B is for Buttercup, etc. 

My desire to be surrounded by flowers has often been frustrated by the climate in our wonderful province as well as some of the yards, or lack of, where I have lived. It took a lot of experimentation to learn that it was the bright colors and the romance of the play in the arrangements of the petals, leaves and stems that took my fancy. 

Many years ago, I worked in a flower shop for a brief time. They taught me that each flower has a face or a “good side” and that side should be presented forward in a bouquet. It may be a good practice for flower arrangements; but I find that the most interesting parts of a flowering plant are often the parts tucked in behind or hiding underneath. Often my paintings come from a tiny blossom that is going unnoticed because it is tucked in and hidden deep inside the foliage of a plant.  I love to draw it out and put it on centre stage. I also love to add a bud somewhere in a painting or compliment the fully open flower reaching for the sun with a faded blossom wilting and loosing its colour. 

Great Joy Oil on Canvas ©Leslie Stadnichuk

Because of this, I am forever stopping to take yet another flower photo. Often, I take three or four from various angles because certain aspects are not visible from a single point of view. I might need to check the structure from another angle when I paint it. Consequently, I have thousands of photos of flowers, most of which will never make their way into a painting.  All these photos could be a waste of computer space or a valuable resource, depending on your viewpoint. 

Below are the photos I am using for an upcoming piece. If you want to see the final painting, you will have to come to our April show or wait for a later post because as we say in Artists’ Workshop from time to time – IT’S NOT FINISHED YET!!!

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