A symphony of blooms by Alessia Belsito-Riera
“I believe art plays an important part in how we feel, and that in the presence of art people can feel a sense of wellbeing, hope, and happiness,” artist Andrea Robinson says. Using a technique called stylised realism, she paints floral symphonies bursting with colour and emotion. Robinson’s current exhibition at Mitchell Studios in Khandallah runs until the 2nd of March. Floral Affair brings together painting and poetry in a celebration of nature, beauty, love, and friendship.
How would you describe your style?
I combine my realistic training with a stylised technique. This enables me to capture the essence of a subject – creating visually striking compositions that are recognisable to viewers, yet unique in how I place my subjects together. For example, I combine spring flowers with summer blooms to create a visual symphony of my favourite florals, which gives a sense of playfulness.
What draws you to painting nature?
I am captivated by nature, and I feel joy to paint what is in my heart! I love spending time outdoors and I have a love affair with plants, birds, and flowers. I particularly enjoy painting flowers, as the colour and scent transport me to a happy place that is calming and filled with joy. The intent of my work is to shine a light on the human heart and on nature, so that people feel connected in a way that makes them feel happy, inspired, and positive.
What is the inspiration behind your work?
My parents were great gardeners and my mother had flower beds that surrounded the entire property so that for most of the year I was surrounded by colour and perfume. My grandmother was also a huge influence on why I love flowers. She had a large property in Waterloo when I was a child, and her front garden was filled with a variety of roses and other flowers. She also grew orchids and supplemented her family’s income by selling what she grew to the flower markets in Wellington, which in the day were taken in on horse and cart. I am also blessed to have the Wellington Botanic Garden a short drive away, and I am always seeking inspiration from it.
The poetry that accompanies each piece is formed during the painting process. It weaves its way between my thoughts and the brush. When I paint, I am totally immersed in the process – sometimes I get a distinct floral scent when painting flowers, and words form in my head that connect directly with the subject. These words are like a song running through the painting that are associated with nature and our relationship with it. I find it very healing to be able to paint flowers and I am always inspired and feel a sense of wonder at their beauty. My hope is that I can give people the same feeling of being surrounded by beauty, happiness, and joy all year round.