Matilija Poppies – California Impressionist Botanical Flower Oil Painting

Matilija Poppies Trio
11 x 14 oil on canvas

These papery white beauties were growing near the Serra Center in Malibu one blustery summer day. The exciting thing about painting white flowers is enjoying all the colors they pick up from their environment.

This painting blurs the line between abstraction and realism and I hope that it is successful in that effort. I was impressed by something I read recently by Marilyn Simandle (watercolorist and oil painter.) In her book “Contagious Enthusiasm” she says ““If a painting has too much detail it is as if someone is dominating a conversation and if a painting is too abstract it is like someone speaking in a foreign language.” I thought that was such an interesting metaphor for finding the “sweet spot” between realism and abstraction. The thought inspired me as I worked on this painting.


  1. Mary Curtis
    September 15, 2008

    I just love your blog. I read it everyday, but I don’t always comment on your paintings. I love them – this one happens to be one of my favorites. I really appreciate your willingness to share your talents with me. This is such a nice way to start my day off right – with your wonderful art. I can’t begin to tell you how uplifting it is. Thanks again.

  2. Marian Fortunati
    September 16, 2008

    The beautiful colors in these white flowers remind me of one of Sorolla’s sails!
    Another lovely little gem!

  3. annie
    September 17, 2008

    Lovely crinkles in these poppies. And I like that quote from Marilyn Simandle to
    explain that “sweet spot” one tries to reach in a painting.

  4. Jules
    September 18, 2008

    Beautiful paintings! This one just makes me want to keep looking at it… great work, great talent.

  5. Karen Phipps
    September 18, 2008

    I absolutely love the clean, pure colors you are using in these paintings!

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