Is a Painting of Flowers Conceptual Art?

Christine Alfery

Posted on May 16 2020

Is a Painting of Flowers Conceptual Art?

Featured image: Little Bit of Sunshine

I am a conceptual abstract artist. What does that mean? Well, The Oxford Dictionary defines conceptual as “related to or based on ideas” and abstract as “existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.” Both focus on ideas rather than concrete form or existence. 

So how does this fit with my current series of flower artworks? 

Blue Vase by Christine Alfery
Bleu Vase by Christine Alfery

For me ideas are like dust particles, or insects, or birds in a tree – they fly around you – sometimes they swarm you and then, all of a sudden like magic, they grab you and you take hold. If the idea grabs you, that is when you create - unique, individual, one of a kind works.

Bunch of Daisies by Christine Alfery
Bunch of Daisies by Christine Alfery

Sure the idea of flowers has grabbed many artists - but how did the idea come to them? Did it grab them – absorb them and want to be created through them? Or did they look for and reach out to grab the idea because they wanted to create flowers like so many before them? For me, reaching for an idea is seeking something that already exists. But, rather, if the idea grabs you, that idea is yours. That idea is unique and belongs to the vision of the artist.

Having an idea land on you like a dust particle and grab you is something magical. It is part of the aesthetic I want to live with.

Yellow Finches at the Feeder II by Christine Alfery
Yellow Finches at the Feeder II by Christine Alfery

Every morning I sit drinking my coffee and watch the birds fly to the feeder. This morning I saw tiny maroon spring leaves appear on the oak trees that weren’t there the day before. As I look, I think – it is like they are reaching up to the blue sky. That is the magic of the idea grabbing you – you are aware of what is around you and how it changes every day, thinking, watching, and the idea lands and grabs you. For me I have always zeroed in on all things natural. And all things natural are constantly in change. I am open to both and I allow them to grab me and perform their magic.

New Life by Christine Alfery
New Life by Christine Alfery

That is how this “All Things Natural – All Things Infinite” new series with flowers, trees, seedlings, (and what will come next?) happened. This conceptual abstract series is all about – all things natural and all things infinite. It isn’t the first time this has happened and I am literally surrounded by the essence of this idea as I continue to paint flowers. It is absolutely wonderful.

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