The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh

van gogh self portrait
Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch born impressionist and post-impressionist artist. In his life time Van Gogh painted a lot of paintings. Among these were still lifes depicting flowers. Van Gogh loved nature and flowers offered him the opportunity to portray nature at its best. He often used ordinary flowers that grew in the countryside near his home as subject matter for many of his flower oil paintings. Some of this floral art is considered among his most famous masterpieces. For example, his sunflower series is perhaps the most famous of all his works. The flowers he chose to paint were put into floral arrangements standing in vases and also as flowers laying down on the ground. He also loved to paint flowers in their natural habitat, the countryside and gardens. From van Gogh’s depiction of sunflowers, irises, roses, poppies, corn flowers, myosotys and chrysanthemums, he brought life and emotion to his work putting his own unique perspective on it.


Red Rose painting“Tyler Rose”
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

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Today Van Gogh is loved for his passion which clearly is indicative of his work. His sunflower painting is one of the most loved of his flower oil paintings. Other favorite flower paintings by van Gogh are of irises.

Some of his most loved flower paintings include:

sunflower painting by van GoghSunflowers, 1888, oil on canvas
One in a series of sunflower oil paintings by Vincent van Gogh. The series show sunflowers in all stages of life, from full bloom to withering. The paintings were considered innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum, partly because newly invented pigments made new colors possible.

irises van gogh paintingIrises, 1889, oil on canvas
This is one of many paintings of irises. Irises was painted while Van Gogh was living at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Each one of Van Gogh’s irises is unique. He carefully studied their movements and shapes to create a variety of curved silhouettes bounded by wavy, twisting, and curling lines. The cropped composition, divided into broad areas of vivid color with monumental irises overflowing its borders, was probably influenced by the decorative patterning of Japanese woodblock prints.

van gogh almond blossom paintingAlmond Blossom, 1890, oil on canvas
This painting of delicate almond blossom against a clear blue sky is from a group of several paintings of blossoming almond trees. Van Gogh painted this to celebrate the birth of his nephew and namesake, son of his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo. He chose the branches of an almond tree – a variety that blossoms as early as February in the south of France, where it announces the coming spring. The subject, the bold outlines and the positioning of the tree in the picture plane are borrowed from Japanese printmaking.

still life with red poppies and daisiesStill Life: Red Poppies and Daisies, 1889, oil on canvas
Between the years 1886 and 1890, Vincent van Gogh completed seven different paintings featuring poppy flowers. Van Gogh did not have money to pay models, so still-life painting became more practical.

vase with pink roses van goghStill Life: Vase with Pink Roses, 1890, oil on canvas
Van Gogh painted this particular painting shortly before his release from the Saint-Rémy asylum. As the end of his stay in Saint-Rémy and the days ahead in Auvers-sur-Oise neared, Van Gogh conveyed his optimism and enthusiasm by painting flowers. The painting reflects the optimism Van Gogh felt at that time about his future, both in his choice of flowers as a subject and the colors used.

If you enjoyed these floral paintings, you will want to check out more fine art paintings of this genre. See Flower Paintings by artist Teresa Bernard.

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Using Photographs As Reference Material to Paint Flower Oil Paintings

If you are an artist and want to paint oil paintings of flowers I have some great tips for you. These tips will help you create great works of art for your walls.

yellow rose of TX paintingTip #1: Consider using quality photos as reference material to paint from. They are a great way to create floral art to hang on the walls of your home or office. The flowers captured in your photos will never fade or die like fresh ones will. This will make it possible to get your painting finished at your convenience without having to worry about your flowers wilting or fading away.

Tip #2: Try to work from several photographs to compose your arrangement. These should be of the same flower or groups of flowers. Each photo should be from a different angle as this will make it easier to paint flowers in your arrangement pointing in different directions. Having flowers that point in various directions makes a stronger composition and creates a more interesting painting to look at.

Tip #3: Take a walk through your neighborhood or visit a nearby park where flowers are growing so you can observe them in their natural habitat. Be sure to take your camera with you to take photos of all the flowers that interest you. There is such a variety of flowers out in nature. You will want to notice how they grow up from the soil at different heights, blossom out at various stages from bud to full blossom, face in all directions, etc. Capturing these observations in a photo that you can refer to over and over will prove to be a valuable aid as you paint your floral arrangement.

Tip #4: Before putting paintbrush to canvas, it would be a good idea to sketch out your flower arrangement first using your photographs or resource photos. This preliminary sketch will serve as a guide when you transfer your drawing to canvas. Additionally you may want to even go a step farther and create as detailed and complete drawing as you can. This in itself will become a work of art suitable for framing.

Tip #5: Refer to your photographs often to compare flower shapes and colors. Try to match as closely as you can to the flowers depicted in your photographs. This will make for a more successful oil painting with more realistic looking flowers.

Once your painting is complete you will be able to sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature and at the same time be proud of your accomplishment. Friends and family will be proud of you too and are sure to brag about you to others.

For more information about using reference photos for your flower oil paintings see the article links below.

Is It Really Okay For Artists To Use Reference Photos? Part 1 — This article talks about what reference photos are and the advantages of using them to paint from.

Is It Really Okay For Artists To Use Reference Photos? Part 2 — In this article we talk about where to find quality resource images to paint from and the copyright issues surrounding their use.

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Magnolia Blossom

magnolia blossom close up painting

© Copyright 2007 – Present

Size: 18″ x 18″
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: A close-up depiction of the Magnolia Grandiflora blossom. The painted image extends around the edges of the canvas and therefore, does not require a frame.

SOLD: This particular painting sold to a private art collector in Georgia, however, if you would like a similar one of your own, contact us. For more information on how to commission a painting: Art Commissions Info.

See Flower Paintings for more art of this genre by Teresa Bernard.


Artist Comments: This painting is of the Magnolia Grandiflora, commonly  known as the southern magnolia or bull bay. These large, showy flowers grow on trees native to East Texas, in addition to several other southern and southeastern states. The trees have large, glossy leaves and huge, fragrant white blossoms. Their sweet-smelling blossoms are considered an emblem of feminine sweetness and beauty.

Magnolias are often a favorite subject matter for many artists. They are certainly a favorite flower of mine. I was drawn to the way the light hit this Magnolia’s pedals and immediately knew I wanted to do a painting of this magnificent flower.

Some Interesting Things to Know About Magnolias

  • After planting, it can sometimes take up to 10 years for a Magnolia tree to bloom.
  • Magnolias bloom from April to June.
  • Southern Magnolia blossoms grow between 8 and 12 inches.
  • Magnolia blossoms grow at the end of the tree’s branches.
  • The fragrance of the Magnolia flower has pleasant scent that resembles the smell of tropical fruit.
  • The dense foliage and shallow roots make it very difficult to grow grass under its shade.
  • Its root system will crack sidewalks and pavements if planted too close to them.
  • Magnolia trees require plenty of space as they can grow up to 40 ft. wide and 80 ft. tall.
  • Both Louisiana and Mississippi claim the Magnolia as their official state flower.

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Yellow Rose of Texas

yellow rose flower painting© Copyright 2008 – Present

Size: 18″ x 18″
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: A close-up representation of a yellow rose. This painting does not need to be framed because it is a gallery wrap stretched canvas, which means the painted image extends around the edges of the canvas.


Purchasing Information

$410

FREE shipping and handling within the U.S.A.

Contact the artist to purchase this painting. Most transactions can be handled via PayPal.


Artist Comments: I love all flowers, especially roses. This close-up oil painting of a rose was done shortly after we moved back home to Texas when my husband retired from the military. There is an old folk song that kept coming to mind called “Yellow Rose of Texas”, so I knew I just had to do an oil painting of a yellow rose. I decided to do a close-up composition because of a fellow artist who’s paintings I admire.

Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe flower paintings, I wanted to use the same treatment as she when I painted my own series of flowers. Ms. O’Keeffe like to paint her flowers enlarged by zooming in and really focusing on the flower blossom or petals in many of her paintings. I really admire much of her floral art and accomplishments as an American female artist.

To my knowledge, O’Keeffe never did paintings of roses. Instead her favorite flower to paint seems to have been the Jimson Weed since she painted quite a few of those flowers during her lifetime. I’ve painted several roses, a sunflower and a magnolia blossom using this enlarged flower technique. I’m positive there will be more flower paintings like this one in the future.

For more information on Georgia O’Keeffe and her flower paintings.

See more rose paintings of Teresa Bernard.


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Tyler Rose

red rose close up painting

© Copyright 2006 – Present

Size: 16″ x 12″
Support: Stretched canvas
Description: A close-up representation of the center of a bright red rose.


Purchasing Information

$330

FREE shipping and handling within the U.S.A.

Contact the artist to purchase this painting. Most transactions can be handled via PayPal.


Artist Comments: In 2006 my husband Robert retired from the US Navy and we returned home to Texas after being away for over 20 years. Of all the places we could have chosen to live, we decided to settle in the East Texas region. East Texas is a lovely place to call home because of its plush green vegetation, vast rose gardens, Texas Longhorn cattle ranches, hay growers, working farms, rodeos, and the many small country towns and communities. It is in this setting that we chose to build our little ranch approximately 20 miles west of Tyler.

Tyler, Texas is known as the “Rose Capital of the U.S.A.” because this area alone produces over 20% of the nation’s roses. This city also has the nation’s largest municipal rose garden, is home to the Tyler Rose Museum and hosts the Texas Rose Festival every year in October. The festival draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city each year.

Surrounded by all these beautiful roses I was inspired to do this rose painting when we first moved here. I love roses! I love their delicate beauty and fragrant smell. And I especially love red roses. They are so vibrant in color. Roses come in so many different varieties of color and are widely recognized as a symbol of love, sympathy or sorrow depending on the rose’s color. For example a red rose is a symbol of love, yellow of friendship, orange of enthusiasm, white of purity and pink of joy.

See more rose paintings here.


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