Dark Floral II Black Saturated
This dramatic, large-scale floral wallpaper is the first sequel to the original ‘Dark Floral’. Just like its predecessor, ‘Dark Floral II Black Saturated’ is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age.
I painted it in 2014, after my ‘Dark Floral’ wallpaper design had gone viral on Pinterest and was beginning to appear in blogs and magazines.
My intention for ‘Dark Floral II’ was to paint with increased detail and sharpness. The main flower (a imagined dahlia) has many petals that are sharply delineated in bright highlights and deep shadows, radiating out from the flower’s center.
Alongside the large dahlia, which is roughly 47 cm (18.5”) in diameter, peonies, roses, tulips and hydrangeas are painted in the style of the Old Masters. A single butterfly perches on a sinewy stem. While the style of the painting is realistic, the composition and impossible contrasts in scale are imagined and manipulated for dramatic effect.
The forms of the flowers and foliage are delicate and sinuous. The gestures of unfolding, bending and reaching give the print a sense of movement. Flora and fauna are suspended above a matte black background.
In ‘Dark Floral II Black Saturated’, the flowers range in color from white and off-white in the highlight areas, beige, pink and light yellows in the mid-tones, to deep greens and reds which, together with the moss/olive green foliage, fade into the shadows and, eventually, the black background.
We’ve seen this design used beautifully in powder rooms with a metal-framed mirror, dining rooms with pretty white built-ins, bedrooms with a brass bed (this version was photographed by William and Susan Brinson of House of Brinson and featured on Design Sponge in Spring 2015), dressing rooms (the Black Desaturated version was used at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Chicago pop-up shop in Spring 2015), and more.
This is a print I’ve remained fond of over the years. My favorite applications of it are as wallpaper (preferably enlarged to twice its original size), the silk charmeuse scarf and the oversized silk satin cushions.