Dark Floral II Light
This dramatic, large-scale floral print is the first sequel to my original ‘Dark Floral’ design. Just like its predecessor, ‘Dark Floral II Light’ is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age.
I painted it in 2014, after my original ‘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 partially fantasized 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. In the Light version, flora and fauna are suspended above a crisp white background.
In ‘Dark Floral II Light’, the flowers range in color from white and off-white in the highlight areas, to a range of pastel pinks and yellows in the midtones, to gray-greens and pinks (with some of the pinks even becoming quite dark) in the shadows. The foliage varies from light to mid gray-green, to a darker, more saturated green. The shadows in the foliage are deep greens, browns and blacks.
The Light version is crisp and fresh, the lightest incarnation of my ‘Dark Floral II’ design. It can be paired with beiges, grays, light yellows, light pinks or greens for a soft look, or with bright pinks and greens, dark grays and/or ochres to enhance its earthy richness and create a fun and modern, bolder look. Paired with black and white, or a medium to dark gray, it is elegant and sophisticated - a cool classic.
I always like to give my florals toughness by pairing them with ‘hard’ materials: matte-shiny metals like brass, copper and gold, an iron side table or plant stand, stone tiles, concrete floors or exposed brick, for example.
My ‘Dark Floral II Light’ silk voile scarf is one of my favorite products in the collection. I wore it almost daily in 2015, when it was in the ‘testing’ stage. It passed! I love to wear it with understated gold jewelry in simple, geometric forms, a leather jacket, wool blazer or a pair of jeans.