Six years ago botanical Artist Rose Pellicano formed a group of artists dedicated to creating a different sort of still life: plants.
Many of the artists that originally formed the FLORA group are still together and this month are having their works showcased at the .
The group focuses on paintings related to the plant kingdom, which doesn’t always necessarily mean flowers. The main purpose of FLORA is to preserve the species of the plant kingdom and spread awareness that they can become endangered or even extinct.
None of the plants depicted in the exhibit are endangered.
Using watercolors, each of the artists uses fine brushes to ensure that each painting exactly matches the plant that is being drawn, in size and in color.
“It’s like a scientific rendition of the flower. Because a lot of times we measure; the petal should be the same size as the (actual) petal. It’s not our interpretation, it’s the plant,” artist Marcia Galletti said.
It is that kind of precision that drew some artists like Patricia Luppino to the class rather than interpretive art.
“I didn’t know what Botanical art was before,” she said. “It’s more of realism. There is a lot of rules that go into it; measures, technique, brush strokes and that kind of appealed to me.”
Although FLORA focuses on very precise technique, artists still can choose to add their own creativity such as placement on the canvas and which plants to paint. One of the artists, D. Record, adds calligraphy to her paintings since she has been working on the writing form for just over a decade.
“When I did my painting everyone commented on it, saying that it looks like it’s coming out at you from the painting,” Irene Messina said, referring to one of her favorite pieces.
In addition to flowers the exhibition features representations of a diversity of plant life including paintings of acorns, corn, grapes and much more.
In her work “Grapes,” Henriette de Bellegarde wanted to depict the fruit in nature as much as possible. “I painted grapes and added leaves next to it to show that they weren’t from the supermarket, they really were grown in someone’s backyard,” she said.
The exhibit runs through October 30 at the library.