Tag Archives: Maui

A Focus on Flowers

Painting a floral still-life in Maui

In December I celebrated six months in my studio at East Creative Collective in downtown Portland.  After a busy phase of settling into my new space, and a lot of abstract painting, I took off to Maui for a week-long painting workshop in November to commerorate my fiftieth birthday.  While in Maui, I rediscovered the joy of painting what I see, i.e. painting more representationally.  On the third day of the workshop, I painted a floral still-life of a fresh-picked Hawaiian bouquet, using transparent and opaque watercolors. 

Freshly picked flowers arranged by the workshop instructor

“Hawaiian Bouquet”, watercolor, painted by Elizabeth Higgins

I have loved flowers for as long as I can remember.  My favorite novels are about flowers (The Orchid Thief, The Language of Flowers), I gravitate toward floral printed textiles, and for many years, before I became a painter, I nurtured an amazing perennial garden in my postage-stamp yard.  My studio is home to a rapidly growing collection of orchids, and I have long held a secret desire to be a floral designer one day. 

Upon return from my trip I made a personal commitment to keep painting floral bouquets for several months.  I have been in need of a painting focus, and flowers offer endless opportunities for variations of shape, composition and color combinations.  Plus, they say “Paint what you love,” right?  I am now essentially a two-dimensional floral designer, using the tools I am already skilled with: watercolor paint and brushes. 

So, wish me luck in my commitment to stick to this subject at least through the end of March.  I can’t wait to see where this takes me! You can follow me on Instagram to see my weekly progress.  

Other floral inspirations: 

Painting by Max Beckmann

Vase of fresh tropical flowers

“Tropicana” watercolor painting by Elizabeth Higgins

“Bird of Paradise” watercolor painting by Elizabeth Higgins