"Five" by Karen Appleton
Last week I had one of those days where I berated myself for my late-life passion for gift wrapping. Everyone is sick to death of listening to me talk about this website, this new gift wrap concept that may or may not work, may or may not put me totally over the edge and I found myself feeling quite alone and asking myself " who else on earth cares this much about how to wrap a gift?" I really did question myself as I wrapped up one more gift wrapping ensemble for one more photo for one more website addition. That evening I received an email from fellow blogger and artist Lara Harris from the blog Painting a Pup a day blog who passed on a blog link that she thought might interest me and she wrote " I was looking through some blogs today and discovered this new artist who is doing a whole series on beautifully wrapped packages and of course I thought of you". What a serendipitous find on that particular day.
Crush by Karen Appleton
Shame on me for thinking I was alone in my gift obsession, there had to be one more at least! And shame on me for not knowing that fellow bloggers with their remarkable ways always seem to know just when you need to hear or see something to put you back on track ( thanks Lara). But really, who would ever guess that someone could not only be ribbon obsessed, but do it so exquisitely and in such a talented fashion that it took my breath away? And it does...... the subject matter, the technique, the colours, the pure beauty of her talent literally has me holding my breath. I know this ribbon. It falls and ties exactly like this painting shows. Artist Karen Appleton has rendered this ribbon so realistically that I would bet my life that it is particular hand-dyed silk, that one I bring out for special gifts. Look at her technique.........
"Crush" in it's beginning stages and it's painting-in-progress.
Flame by Karen Appleton
Dark Comedy by Karen Appleton
Anyone who reads this blog will know there is few things I find more meaningful than a beautifully wrapped gift. Obviously Karen Appleton shares the same passion, the Chicago-based artist has been painting her series of beautiful gift packages for the past four years. The more I browsed through her website, the more I was intrigued. Why would an artist chose to paint gifts? What is it about this subject matter that has captured her focus? I think you will agree that her reply is as thoughtful and beautiful as her work.
Flame by Karen Appleton
"For me the presents have literal and symbolic meaning. We all immediately identify with feelings associated with a gift - gratitude, love, hope, appreciation, expectation, excitement, and the list goes on. But the symbolic meaning is what keeps me attached to the presents year after year, and this is harder for me to put into words. A present is of course more than just surface, we know there is something beyond what we see and this idea is intriguing to me. This makes the image of the present more of a question instead of a statement. I'm not just showing the viewer a beautiful surface, although I definitely hope to achieve that, but the question of what's inside - inside the box, inside our lives, inside ourselves, is the bigger question I hope to explore." ~ Karen AppletonMorning Glory by Karen Appleton
You will find Karen's inspiration for these paintings as interesting as her subject matter. The colours of seasonal nature find their way into her paintings as you will read on her blog (click here). Wrapped in a gorgeous velvet plum ribbon "Morning Glory was inspired by the rich color combination found in a Morning Glory flower. Many artists would just paint the flower wouldn't they? It's fascinating to me that Karen Appleton has mentally leaped over the standard and artistically interpreted it into these unique visions. Her paintings are quite simply the gift. She is absolutely right when she says a gift extends feelings of "gratitude, love, hope, appreciation, expectation, and excitement", gifting in any form isn't such a trivial gesture. What I understood that serendipitous day was this.......when you give a beautifully wrapped gift you are saying many things but you are also saying " I want to give you beauty". That is good enough for me.
All photos from Karen Appleton ~ Artist.