Blue Mountain Gallery
Opening Reception Thursday, May 23, 5 - 8 pm
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Larger than life is definitely a key description for the huge floral landscapes that Park Slope, Brooklyn artist Louise Guerin has been working on for the past few months. She has developed a series of large oil paintings, which seem almost like family portraits. New Orleans, New York and New Zealand are her locations.
Though she greatly admires the exuberance of poppies and lilies, irises would have to be her favorite flower. "I have always loved them since I was a small child and my uncle would pick them for us from his wonderful garden. He would say they brought a little of the sky down to earth for us to enjoy," she says.
Guerin, who is now a Brooklyn resident, comes from New Zealand and grew up in a city surrounded by open coastal landscapes. "Wind was a major influence on our lives and I am still fascinated by its effect on trees and plants. If I can get a flower petal to look as though it has just been rustled by a small breeze I regard that as a major achievement."
Surprisingly, Guerin says many of her paintings are based on a small area of only a few square feet in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. "I have been to that spot for several years now and at all times of the day, making drawings and taking photographs. It is always changing. The flowers which keep coming up there represent a microcosm of other gardens which have had an impact on me throughout my life. One flower in its setting can represent a whole world."
Guerin is especially drawn to shore settings, though her work includes paintings of the native Louisiana irises which grow in their eerie swamp habitat outside New Orleans and paintings of irises quietly at home on the windowsill of a mid-town Manhattan apartment.
Guerin, who studied at the Arts Students League, works in oils on canvas. This is her first solo New York show. Her work is represented in collections in the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.