Story Behind the Art of Constance Scanlon

19th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists & The Horticultural Society of New York
 

Gooseberries Past Prime

Ribes uva-crispa


My joy in painting magnified details continues. Artists seem to naturally gravitate toward the reclusive hours of quiet creativity, and yet these larger than life paintings just scream “look at me!”, the complete opposite of what you might expect from a hermitic passion. Perhaps this enlargement will be what encourages us to really see the quieter things in nature that so easily get overlooked.

It was on a summer day that I ventured into one of my favorite spots, my secret neighborhood garden. There I saw flashes of color that reminded me of the pointillism and dots of radiance from an impressionism palette. I had no clue what these berries even were. Even though I had hiked and read about Gooseberry Falls in northern Minnesota, I had never seen an actual gooseberry. They were delicately hanging on the branch, their inner anatomy revealed in the sunlight. It reminded me of a young woman wearing a skirt without a slip, standing in the sunshine, unaware that the outline of her legs now leaves little to the imagination. The berries were in a row, all lined up like schoolchildren waiting for the next adventure.

My hope is that when people look at this painting they will appreciate the depth and clash of textures in such a sweet, unassuming subject. Perhaps they will appreciate the sheer loveliness of a simple berry with shades of spring green and translucent orange, gently aging and maturing into crimson hues of deep violet. I would like them to imagine the feel of the dried crisping leaves and the sturdy stem of snags and thorns that have lovingly protected these berries from a too early harvest. I want them to notice the dried wisps of the stem gently bending on the underside of the berry, adding yet another element of texture and natural whimsy. I hope the sense of dancing movement to the music of nature will make people smile, a reminder of a moment in time, now past prime.

 

 
 
Read more about this artist’s work: 18th Annual International

 

  • © 2016 Constance Marie Scanlon
    Gooseberries Past Prime
    Ribes uva-crispa
    Watercolor on Vellum
    8” x 12”