Flower Art Through The Ages

Flower Art In History

Since the dawn of time flowers have been admired by man for their beauty. The incredible attractiveness of flowers has also given them an added importance as decorative objects for residences and places of business. Through the centuries flowers have been used as the elements of floral canvas art as well. The first flower painting appeared on the walls of Egyptian tombs. The flower often depicted in these early paintings was the lotus blossom. The blossom can also be found in other art forms such as jewelry and architecture. Fresco paintings of flower gardens have been discovered in the remains of the buried Roman city of Pompeii. During the Gothic era, flowers were depicted in paintings as symbols of the personality or importance of particular people. Roses symbolized love, lilies depicted purity, the tulip represented nobility, sunflowers portrayed devotion. By the time of the Renaissance, flowers were used to amplify mythological subjects. In Dutch floral paintings flowers were also used to depicted the stages of human life.


Red Rose paintingTyler Rose
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

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The Meaning of Flowers in Art

oriental poppies by georgia o'keeffe
Red Poppies by O’Keeffee

Modern artists have been using the significance of flowers in their floral canvas art for centuries. They have been cherished for more than just their beauty. The meaning of flowers has been used as an artistic expression of one’s emotions, whether it is a symbol of love, jealousy or romance. The meaning of a red rose is love. Is there any wonder why red roses are a favorite Valentine’s Day flower? A red carnation also conveys passion and at the same time a striped carnation is a sign of refusal. The lily depicts purity, tulips represent nobility, and sunflowers portray devotion. Flowers have inspired artists through the ages and have used their meaning to create breath taking beauty in their floral art compositions. Some famous paintings include Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and Georgia O’Keefe’s “Red Poppy”.  Flower paintings make perfect house warming gifts because just about everyone loves them. They are very versatile and make great additions to the décor in any room of your home or even in the waiting room of an office. They make great conversation pieces and provide a welcoming atmosphere for family, visitors or customers and clients.

Why Artists Love to Paint Flowers

sunflower painting by van Gogh
Sunflowers by van Gough

Flowers have long been a favorite subject for many oil painting artists. The many colors, forms and shapes of flowers offer an endless diverseness within the compositions of the old masters. This is why flowers are loved as a subject matter by artists. The world over artists have immortalized the beauty of flowers in their art. Some famous floral art includes Monet’s “Water Lillies” and Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”. Monet was a French Impressionist of oil paintings. His paintings reflect the influence of light. His flower paintings are bright, colorful and distinctive and are among the most popular floral art for all time. Dutch post-Impressionist artist, Vincent van Gogh created some remarkable works of art. Among them are his famous still life paintings of sunflowers. These seem to have some special meaning for van Gogh because he painted eleven canvases with sunflowers. Other flowers van Gogh painted were irises, lilacs, roses and oleanders.

Additional Reading

The Flower Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe

The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh


Floral Canvas Art In Your Home

Canvas oil paintings have been a popular form of home décor for centuries. A favorite subject of paintings is flowers. People from all walks of life love flowers and appreciate adding their beauty to the décor of their homes. The most popular flowers often painted by artists as seen in many oil paintings include roses, hibiscus, sunflowers, orchids, poppies, lilies and wildflowers. A favorite setting for flowers is still life, where flowers are beautifully arranged in a vase of some sort. Many painting enthusiasts also love seeing flowers in their natural environment as seen in landscape paintings.


Sunflower oil paintingSunflower From Behind
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
20″ x 16″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

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If you have a desire to decorate the walls of your home with art, may I suggest flower paintings? They offer a wonderful solution to home decorating. However, before rushing out to buy just anything, you should keep a few things mind while you are shopping.

  1. Your flower oil painting should complement the colors of your home and especially the room you plan to display it in. Flower paintings have a way of injecting some bold color into an empty space.
  2. You will also need to consider the space you want the painting to go in. Take measurements with of the walls where the paintings are to be hung and take these with you. The wrong size painting in your space won’t look right at all.
  3. Another consideration that you will need to keep in mind is lighting. It does no good displaying a beautiful piece of canvas art that won’t get noticed or admired. Proper lighting gives focus and attention to the painting being displayed.
  4. Flower paintings can also be great conversation starters whenever visitors drop in. They can either make statements about you and your tastes or can just be objects of beauty to appreciate.
  5. Lastly, paintings will appreciate in value as years go by but only if the artist becomes known. Make sure you buy a painting because you love it. Paintings will bring you years of enjoyment, make it one you can’t live without.

Red Rose paintingTyler Rose
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Flower paintings will also add a bit of romance to your home. If you are interested in creating a romantic atmosphere in any room of your home, consider the addition of some flower oil paintings for your walls. Floral canvas art is very versatile and works well in most rooms of your home. Paintings of roses, calla lilies, magnolias and grasses with contemporary appeal, or summer blossoms of zinnia, irises and daisies are just a few options that can become part of a romantic floral theme. Do a little research online for some floral artwork and you will quickly find some paintings that will suit what you need to turn a boring room into one with plenty of elegance. Bedrooms with floral canvas art on the wall helps to create the perfect romantic atmosphere. But that’s not the only place a flower painting helps spruce a boring room. Most people love flowers to a degree and flower art in your living room helps them to feel welcome in your home. Floral art works well in your dining room too. Oil paintings of flowers displayed in your dinning room add sophistication to the décor and helps to make the dinning experience a memorable one.


For The Love of Flower Oil Paintings

Many art connoisseurs love oil paintings of flowers because they make lovely and elegant additions to adorn the walls of their homes with. Floral paintings brighten up any room with their color and bring the great outdoors inside. It’s like having a flower garden right there inside your home to enjoy. Their buds and blossoms possess such beautiful for the eye to behold. Flowers are one of Gods great creations for man to enjoy and great way to do that is with flower wall art.


yellow rose flower painting“Yellow Rose of Texas”
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

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There is such a wide variety of flowers an artist can use to make wonderful paintings for your walls. Flowers such as roses, tulips, daisies, hibiscus, and magnolias, are all favorite types of flowers that are often used to make lovely paintings for the home and your family to enjoy. Floral canvas art can turn an otherwise drab, bare wall space into one that is filled with color and elegance. Flower art also takes a causal atmosphere in a room and makes it just a little more formal. As such many love to decorate their living rooms, dining rooms, studies, and bedrooms with floral art. Some even love having these paintings of flowers in their family rooms as well.

Now that it has been established why flower paintings make such great additions to your home’s interior décor let’s talk about where you can find great works of art picturing flowers.

Where to Buy Your Flower Oil Paintings

If you have ever gone to an art opening at a local gallery or art show, you have probably seen some amazing flower oil paintings. Maybe you even wondered where you can purchase such paintings for your very own to hang on those empty walls in your home or office. There are many places where you can acquire some floral art for your home. One place is to visit the art studio of a local artist. Floral art is very personal for the artist and no two flower paintings are alike. Where can you find flower wall art that is custom made just for you at an affordable price that will fit your budget? A good place to purchase such a painting is to buy directly from the artist. If you are lucky enough to find a new artist trying to find his/her place in the arena of fine art, you will find one who is eager to please and will do a good job for you. Not to mention the price will be more to your liking and easy on the wallet.


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

>> More info


Another place to look for some floral canvas art is on the internet. There you can visit several art websites where artists showcase their works of art. You will be able to view several collections and compare different styles and paintings. While there you’ll be able to look through the paintings featured on each website and pick out something you like that is just right for your home. Best of all you won’t even have to leave your home to do this. By doing a simple search on “Google” using the keyword “flower oil painting” you will find any number websites of floral art that will suit both your taste and home decorating needs.

Be sure to visit this collection of flower oil paintings for sale.

Flower Oil Paintings From Reference Photos

Tyler Rose paintingFlowers make great subjects for oil paintings and some wonderful paintings of flowers can be created from photographs. Why would an artist even want to use reference photos to paint flowers from? You’d be surprised.

One of the best reasons to paint flowers from photographs is artists can do it at their leisure. With reference photos, there simply is no reason to hurry. Photographs make it easy for an artist to paint flowers because the picture will “preserve” the beauty of such a fragile, quickly fading creation of God. Flowers don’t last forever and will usually die after only a few days. When this happens, artists then have go out and find another bouquet of the same kinds of flowers to recreate their arrangement with just so they can finish their paintings. By taking a picture of the arrangement when they have it arranged just like they want it, the artist can use it as reference material so their paintings can be finished without additional bother and at a time when it is convenient for the artist.

Either one or more photos can be used to create a floral painting from. It is much better to create your arrangement using real flowers picked from your garden or purchased from a retail outlet and then photograph the arrangement. This will make a good source of reference material from which to create your painting from. Without this photograph once your flowers have faded away you loose your subject for the painting. Below are some tips for using resource photos to paint flower oil paintings.


Still Life with Fruit and Candle“Still Life with Fruit and Candle”
Still life by Teresa Bernard
14″ x 11″
Oils on stretched canvas

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If you are an artist and desire to create flower oil paintings here are some great tips for you.

Tip #1: Using photos as reference material to paint from is a great way to create floral wall art to display in your home or office. The flowers captured in your photos will never fade or die like fresh ones will. They can also be reused for future paintings.

Tip #2: Try to gather or take multiple photographic pictures to work from. Each photograph should be from a different angle as this will make it easier to paint flowers in your arrangement pointing in several directions. Having your flowers facing several different directions creates more interest in your composition.

Tip #3: Take a walk or visit a park where a flower garden is and observe flowers in their natural habitat. There is such a variety of flowers in nature. Notice how they grow up from the soil at different heights, blossom out at various stages from bud to full blossom and facing in all directions, ect. These observations will be a helpful aid as you paint a more realistic floral arrangement back at the studio.

Tip #4: Before putting paintbrush to canvas, it would a good idea to sketch out your flower arrangement using your photographs as reference. This preliminary drawing will serve as a guide for you when you transfer your drawing to canvas.

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 painting.

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.

Additional Reading

10 Tips for Taking Artist Reference Photos

Using Photographs As Reference Material to Paint Flower Oil Paintings

The Flower Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe

georgia o'keefee
Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe was a modern day fine artist of flower oil paintings born in Wisconsin in 1887. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905-1906 and at the Art Students League, New York (1907–1908). During her art career she became one of Americans distinguished female artists. O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art with her paintings of nature and is generally recognized as the “Mother of American modernism”.

Her favorite subject matter to paint on canvas was the flower and she seemed to like the calla lily, poppy, canna, iris, petunia and jimson weed the most when it came to flowers. O’Keeffe frequently painted flora in large-format paintings with enlarged close up views of flower blossoms. This close up perspective gave the viewer a sense of looking at the blossom under magnification. Georgia O’Keeffe chose this approach because she believed no one really looks at flowers. Her large-format paintings would require the viewer to take a real look at flowers.


rose flower painting“Yellow Rose of Texas”
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


During her lifetime, Georgia O’Keeffee painted many flower paintings. Some of her more well-known floral masterpieces include “Black Iris”, “Blue Morning Glories”, “Jimson Weed”, “Oriental Poppies” and “Red Canna”.

Black Iris (1926)
black iris by georgia o'keeffeO’Keeffe’ famous irises were an important preoccupation for many years; she favored the black iris, which she could only find at certain New York florists for about two weeks each spring. The enlargements and abstractions derived from the flower have often been explained in gynecological terms, almost clinical in their precision. However, O’Keeffe rejected the notion of her flowers as sexual metaphors – this is something she feels is created by the viewer who applies his own associations to the works, not hers.

Blue Morning Glories (1935)
blue morning glories by georgia o'keeffeThis oil painting features a close-up of blue morning glory flowers and is one of the most popular paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. The colors are beautifully utilized, making the painting look very vivid and sharp. This painting is an example of the Precisionism style, for which O’Keeffe was quite popular for. The enlarged size of the flower depicted is eye catching and the colors are used are even more enchanting.

Jimson Weed (1936)
jimson weed by georgia o'keeffeThis oil painting depicts a large blossom of jimson weed, or datura and is part of a series of paintings O’Keeffe did of this plant. She was immensely fond of jimson weed and ignoring its toxicity, she allowed it to flourish around her patio. She paid tribute to the bloom in this painting, originally entitled Miracle Flower.

Oriental Poppies (1928)
oriental poppies by georgia o'keeffeThis painting depicts two giant poppy flowers. The original painting measures 30″ x 40″ and is an explosion of brilliant colors on a vast canvas, creating a mesmerizing effect. Dazzling reds and oranges were used as the main color of the petals with deep purple for center and the inner contours of the flowers. There is no background to this painting which artfully draws focus onto the flowers.

Red Canna (1924)
red canna by georgia o'keeffeThis painting depicts a red canna flower. O’Keeffee composed it using abstract patterns derived from nature and depicted by means of restrained brushwork. The vivid and bright colors that were so beautifully chosen evoke an energetic and natural vitality, all the while, complementing each other in a unique way. One of the main features that make this painting really wonderful is the intense red and orange hues that subtly change into pearly whites.

The flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffee are a favorite of Teresa Bernard. If you enjoyed these floral paintings, you will want to check out more fine art paintings in this genre of art. See Flower Oil Paintings by Teresa Bernard.

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

>> More info


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.

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.