Flowers in Art with Shealeen Louise
We believe that as floral designers and farmer florists, inspiration can often be found outside of our everyday floral world. What better way to be moved by the loveliness of flowers than by those whose passion has enabled them to capture forever the fleeting beauty of blooms! At the 2018 Team Flower Conference, we asked a myriad of floral artists to participate in our Flowers in Art Exhibition. The talent represented in the Exhibition was both exquisite and inspirational. Those in attendance at the Team Flower Conference were asked to choose their favorite artist anonymously, and the People's Choice Winner was Shealeen Louise of Nashville, Tennessee. Today, she's sharing what inspires her, what materials she uses, and her favorite painting subjects!
Hi Team Flower! My name is Shealeen Louise, and I’m a botanical watercolor painter. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM but I’ve lived in Tennessee since 2013. I first moved to Nashville to pursue music with my sister, (we had a band for eight years called Poema). A couple of years ago she decided to move to Portland, and I ended up staying here and pursuing a career as an artist. These days I balance my love for painting with my love for music. I have a full and happy life, and I’m so grateful that I live in a time and place where it’s possible to pursue the things I’m passionate about!
When it comes to supplies, I chose quality over quantity. I use various sizes of round watercolor brushes (usually Princeton, but I like other brands too!), a limited Winsor & Newton palette (I can’t live without Indian yellow and perylene green), and Arches block paper (my favorite is hot press!). In addition to standard watercolor supplies, I always sketch out my paintings with an “f” pencil and use a magic rub eraser to lift the markings once my painting is completely dried.
Although I’ve always been painting, I’ve never quite enjoyed painting any subject as much as I enjoy painting flowers. I love their natural grace and beauty, and their variety in color, shape, and texture. I’ve always felt such a soul connection to flowers — I constantly find myself browsing photos of arrangements and looking through vintage field guides.
Since I try to make my paintings detailed and precise, I generally use a visual reference. I’m often taking photos of things I see in nature and painting them later. I enjoy painting from life when I can, but I need the flowers to stay alive for a long time since my paintings often take several days to finish. These days I spend a lot of my time recreating custom wedding bouquets for brides, which is a new venture! I always feel honored and excited when I’m asked to paint the flowers from someone’s most special day.