Sketchbook: african violets


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Drawing of African Violets from life using black and white conte crayon on grey drawing paper.
"To the ancient Romans, violets were the symbol of mourning and of affection for the dead...to the ancient greeks the violet symbolized humility, even timidity...In Christian art, the violet symbolizes the Virgin Mary’s humility". Read here why purple violets came to represent mourning.


Ophelia wore a garland of violets around her neck in the painting by MillaisImage source

Comments

Dr.John said…
Good sketch. we used to grow African Violets but they all died.
Angela said…
OUTSTANDING WORK! The thing that makes your work the most interesting is that you let us know the meanings behind it. GREAT JOB!
Casey Klahn said…
This speaks to me. You should get to know my local chum who does award winning florals, Sheila Evans. I think she is anisothrope Studios. com.
wonderful stuff.
jafabrit said…
wow casy, I had a look at Sheila's website and I can see why they are award winning. Her work is fabulous.

dr.john I wish I could keep them alive as well as I draw lol! I am hopeless with plants.

thanks angela, I have to admit I find drawing african violets far more intimidating than drawing the human figure.
Susie Q said…
Just wonderful...I love violets. They remind me of my Grandmother who loved them as well. Your work is amazing and I so love the stories behind each piece you have shared with us.
Love and hugs,
Sue
Janvangogh said…
Very lovely sketch of the violets. I have never thought of the potted violets we know as growing wild. Just those Johnny Jump Ups.
The Lone Beader said…
Hey, I just looked at your Saatchi Gallery, and I love your 'Stick Figure Grouping', especially the woman figure with the spiky hair. Very cool=:)
Philip said…
I must admit to finding it difficult to get my head around your way of working and the very eclectic mix of it all. It feels like encountering 50 different artists all at once. Is this a common reaction to your work?

I have just spent a while looking at your blog and your web site and I feel as though I have just come out of a set of fast spinning revolving doors ! Perhaps I am getting old or not eating enough curries!
Cynthia said…
African violets always remind me of my mom...she has them growing all over the place. When I moved out on my own, my first house plant was an African violet, which I promptly killed.

I like the sketch and the way that you have it sitting within a sketch. Or at least that's what it looks like to me. I get a real sense that you are exploring right now.

Ophelia is a rather haunting painting.
jafabrit said…
LOL! Phillip, sometimes I CAN'T get MY head around it. Your post made me think about it OUCH! What a great observation! People seem to like the mix, but yes it does take them off guard. I AM 50 artists as I wear many hats and it is certainly rfelected in my art.I am wife, mother, friend, lover, chef, nurse, gourmand of curries, nature lover, pet lover, etc etc. I have many emotions and passionate reactions to the yin and yang of life. I paint what moves me and use every artistic tool I have at my disposal to depict it. And like life, my art is not predictable, not able to be pigeon holed, not able to be put in a nice little box. Probably a real HUGE MINUS if I *wanted* to be accepted in a gallery whose mission is to sell a predictable marketable theme.
Jessica Torrant said…
Simply gorgeous! It was also a great artistic challenge to draw them in black and white. You inspire me to challenge myself as a forever student of art. Bravo my friend!
Jessica Torrant said…
PS - If and when I ever open my dream gallery, expect a call from me! I LOVE artists that work outside of "the box" and don't set limits on their creative explorations or expressions.
jafabrit said…
>>>If and when I ever open my dream gallery, expect a call from me!<<<

LOL, you made me smile :) thankyou.

cynthia, I am not sure I am exploring as much as really getting my teeth back into the basics. I am working on a flower painting, but it isn't the african violets.
Snoo said…
I love how diverse your work is. I like not knowing what to expect next!!
Sunil said…
Very nice! I enjoyed this one...
Philip said…
Well I suppose there are different ways of thinking outside the box. There are no commercial constraints on my work either - I just do what I want too. If people don't like it I simply say:

Yeah, but am I bovvered though?
Look at me face, am I bovvered?

I love Catherine Tate too!! A real breath of fresh air!
jafabrit said…
ha ha phillip, you are definately not bovvered.
(I never tire of watching her do those skits.)

It's not really a conscious decision, or that I even try to think out of the box. I just do what I need to do. It's a good feeling though, isn't it, to do just what YOU want to do?
Philip said…
Perhaps we could suggest a new script:

Are you disrespecting my art....is it?
Are you disrespecting my art and my family ... is it?

Am I boverred?

It makes mne laugh every time even though I know it's coming.

Yes I agree. I made my mind up a long time ago that the only person to please with my work was me. I usually refuse commissions for this reason (can I have that in red? - NO! What do you think I am, a shoe shop?).
jafabrit said…
I can't do commissions phillip. I have friends who LOVE doing them, but to me they are just mechanical reproductions of someone else's vision. I can't do it.

Oh I would love catherine tate do a chav as artist skit. I bet it would be brilliant.
Great job on the violets. This drawing brings back warm memory's for me... they were my grandmothers favorite flowers. Nice to see you are doing what you intended... drawing more.
LynClay said…
What a wonderful sketch, you really captured those little soft fuzzy leaves and flowers so well! My mother used to grow a table full of those little things but I could never grow them right.
Jessica said…
Lovely sketch!! I loved your blog quite a lot. Violets always make me nostalgic, I remember my grandma growing them on her windowsil.Do peep into my flower blog and lemme know how you like it!! Cheers !! keep blogging!!
jafabrit said…
jessica, thanks for popping by and commenting. I went to your blog and it is lovely. The colours and photos are so crisp and nice to look at. I couldn't leave a comment though, something was wrong with your link?

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