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Nature is a Magical Muse – Artist Deborah Bigeleisen Finds Inspiration in the Hues and Patterns in Nature

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Throughout the history of art, artists have found a field of inspiration in the gifts of nature. Whether looking above at billowing clouds, peering deep into the bluest seas, or tumbling into the petals of delicate posies, artists have declared nature a most divine muse. “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers,” noted Claude Monet who also announced his affinity for flowers by pronouncing, “I must have flowers, always, and always.”

Georgia O’Keeffe wanted to give the gift of flowers to the world. “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around, so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

Take a moment to gaze at Hiroshige’s bold orange hibiscus, created in 1845 with woodblocks. Behold Gustav Klimt’s field of flowers shimmering in the summer sun painted in 1905. Imagine their passion for celebrating nature in their art. 

Deborah Bigeleisen brings her unique artistic style to the genre of floral painting.  Throughout her career, she has created close to 400 paintings with a strong emphasis on roses, gardenias, lisianthus, and lilies in visions from hyper-realism to non-objective.  Sunflowers and orchids have also felt the brush of a Bigeleisen. With a technique rooted in the labor-intensive practices of the Dutch master artists implementing multiple transparent layers to achieve rich saturated darks and illuminated highlights, she captures the essence of her subject and shares that beauty. 

The Original White Rose

When Bigeleisen began painting Rembrandt-like portraits of luminous white roses, she had no idea that it would propel her into a world of discovery and the creation of a signature style. “The gallery owner asked me to paint a series of white roses,” says Bigeleisen, recalling the conversation. To everyone’s joy, the paintings sold within ten days. “Deborah gave voice to capturing roses that I had not seen in my thirty years in the art business,” commented her mentor who was an art dealer.   It was suggested that she paint ten more illuminated white roses, then paint thirty more.  The purpose being to establish an identity for her work. And so, her story began. She established an identity for herself that was 100% on point, original, and authentic.”

Following is her painting titled under “© 2007 White Rose 5, oil on canvas, 28” x 24””

 

Nancys Orchid 

Nancy’s Orchid, from her Contemporary Masters series is one of the early hyper-realist paintings that launched Bigeleisen’s career. “Flowers are in my DNA. I am awed by them; they have been the subject of my art since childhood,” says Bigeleisen.

Following is her painting titled under “© 2003 Nancy’s Orchid, oil on canvas, 30” x 24””

 

A Gardenia Called Snow Leopard

Bigeleisen gives a fresh contemporary view of a gardenia in her painting titled Snow Leopard from her Kaleidoscope series. This work in acrylics weaves the aesthetic beauty of a flower with the tension of geometric abstraction. “The flower keeps us rooted in nature and classical beauty while the geometric plains symbolize the impact that technology and world events have on eroding at our norms,” says Bigeleisen.

Following is her painting titled under “© 2019 Snow Leopard, acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36””

 

An “Untitled” Dying Trumpet Lily

The inspiration from the curls and undulations of the petals of a dying trumpet lily launched the Multiple Perspectives series of non-objective paintings, created predominantly in neutral tones of either grays or beiges. “The reason that I did not title the paintings in this series, and deliberately used unnatural colors, is that titles and colors are very subjective; I wanted to challenge the viewer’s imagination and emotions as to what they see and feel,” says Bigeleisen.

Following is her painting titled under “© 2010 Untitled No. 20, oil on canvas, 60” x 45”

 

Looking Deep Inside a Lisianthus 

Bigeleisen brings a unique vision to the floral genre to embody a contemporary world. Her signature Magical Realism series of larger-than-life flowers that explode off the canvas take the viewer to depths beyond what the naked eye can see. The subject is no longer simply a flower. It is a dynamic system filled with energy, mystery, and beauty.

Following is her painting titled under “© 2011 Rhythm 8, oil on canvas, 50” x 50””

Magnificent Magnolias

Also from her Magical Realism series, Bigeleisen takes the viewer on an almost voyeuristic journey inside the core of a magnolia. Magnolias symbolize dignity and nobility and are often thought to be perfect symbols of womanly beauty and gentleness. “When I finished painting Creation and its companion painting Genesis that is exactly what they suggested to me, thus the titles of the paintings,” says Bigeleisen, who notes that since magnolias have been around from the beginning of time they are also thought to symbolize longevity and perseverance.

Following is her painting titled under “© 2008 Genesis, oil on canvas, 36” x 29””

Modern Florals

In her latest Dreamscape series, Bigeleisen renews her style of painting Rembrandt-like ‘portraits’ of a single image of a flower which she combines with a fresh fantasy surreal edge. The magnitude of the scale of the flowers interacting with water effects captures the power, the energy, the awe, and the beauty that Bigeleisen sees in nature. 

Following is her painting titled under “© 2021 Bridal Veil Falls, acrylic on canvas, 60” x 54””

 

Deborah Bigeleisen is an award-winning artist whose paintings enhance corporate and private collections worldwide and are represented by galleries across the United States. Her work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions and has been published widely. Bigeleisen paints from her Palm Beach studio sprouting joy and wonders with each brushstroke and new canvas.

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