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Three Palettes from Three New-Found Friends

This gallery can be a crossroads of circumstance. A place where creative souls encounter each other. That seems to be the case with “Three Palettes of Colorful Blooms” showing in April.

Just in time for Spring’s floral emergence, the exhibit radiates with rich colors handled boldly by three different artists. Painters Juliann Knox and Linda Burkett, and digital photographer Colleen Wakefield. These three pals found each other through their shared passion for the subject of flowers. They also share boldness in their handling of color.  Each in her own way discovers and reveals the full spectrum of floral hues playing in our gardens, landscapes and arranged on our tables.

Digital Photographer, Colleen Wakefield is also a 'master gardener.' Her bountiful gardens provide robust subjects for her digital photography. Last August, the Indiana Garden Club recognized her display as their 'Garden of the Month.' As carefully as a master florist, she artfully arranges her compositions down to the single pixel. She finds something special in each photo and amplifies it. Wakefield encourages us to be inspired by the floral nature that surrounds us. Bask in the temporary beauty of your own garden- and revel in the artwork of flowers; beauty frozen by time and memory.

What makes up color in the bright world we live in? In painter, Linda Burkett's, floral close-ups, you'll find what I've come to think of as a meditation on this question. In her oil paintings, she seeks the textures and movements of colorful petals and stamens. Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe, Burkett showcases the bright colors that make us think inwardly about our relationship with vibrant hues. Did you know that flowers get their color from a combination of chemicals? Sure the green chlorophylls do the life-supporting work of turning sunlight into sugars that feed the plant (and by extension we humans that harvest them). And then there are other chemicals that make the colors that feed our souls. The most colorful pigments of flowers come in the form of anthocyanin. These range in color from red to yellow to blue... A different kind of pigment class is made up of carotenoids, responsible for some yellows, oranges, and reds.

Julieann Knox's recent paintings move away from her previous realistic portrayal into a boldly colorful, expressionistic response to flowers. Her brush strokes are made of the emotional responses evoked by gazing on flower arrangements. Much like a composer might respond to a lover's bouquet with chords expressing heartfelt passion, Knox responds with a flurry of colorful brushstrokes to the spirit and emotions contained in our botanical delights.

Throughout history we have tried to put meaning and reason into the natural colors that we see in nature, whether its the agriculture of different crops to be brighter, beautiful, or more delicious, like the cultivation of sunflowers for their beauty in the Americas of what is now Arizona and New Mexico. This included the Pueblo, Apache, and Hohokam Peoples among others. Perhaps you saw a sunflower as a symbol of hope or happiness? We have a love for finding finding symbols behind every flower. like the Victorians.

Be inspired by the floral nature. April showers bring May flowers. Lucky for you, these ones are already in bloom! Bask in the temporary beauty of your own garden soon- and revel in the artwork of flowers; beauty frozen by time and memory.

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