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Famous Artists Who Adored Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 16, 2018

They say an artist can see beauty in every stroke of color.  They are the creators, the inspirers, the men and women who can transform any thought or idea into a precious moment displayed on canvas.  Painters throughout time have given their onlookers hopes and aspirations as well as a sense of peace while they review their work in the hopes that their messages, whatever they may be will be poetically conveyed to viewers.  The talent to accomplish this runs deep and naturally as if there is a river running through their veins although experts say that some of our favorite geniuses had a second source of enlightenment to give them a bit of help.


For many of these artists, flowers have remained of great importance, beyond only being captured as the subject.  In fact, some heavily relied on the magic of flowers to help encourage their creative juices to flow.  As you may already know, Monet was an enthusiast for gardens and cultivated several, not only to be featured in his work but also to be used as a sanctuary for relaxation and restoration of energy.  Renoir was another example of a real flower fanatic who was said to have a fresh bouquet of blossoms placed in every room of his home.  We can’t forget Van Gogh who spent much of his time memorizing to mind beautiful orchards of sunflowers so that he could record them in his paintings.  Many believe that this connection to flowers is what made them the artists they became which is why several art students attempt to channel their brilliance through placing small containers of blooms in their workspace.  Are you an up and coming artist who is looking for a bit of inspiration?  Read over these quotes and see if it’s time to stop by your local florist for a dose!

calla okeeffe.jpg

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” ― Claude Monet

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.  I want to give that moment to someone else. Most people in the city rush around s, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”  – Georgia O’Keeffe

“When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it- a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand- as a final test.  If the [painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic.  If there’s a clash between the two, it’s bad art.” – Marc Chagall

Tags: The Arts, Artist, Museums, art

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Controversial Paintings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 28, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the most famous female painters of all time who found the beauty in almost every bloom she set her eyes upon.  Her extensive list of acclaimed artwork is showcased around the world and celebrated for the dramatic use of color she implements in every piece.  If you’re a fan like I am, you might remember her most popular claims to fame such as “Morning Glories”, “Calla Lily in Tall Grass”, “Petunia” and “Oriental Poppies”. Just by gazing at any one of these works of art, it is really quite easy to see why she is still celebrated for her plethora of talents pertaining to a paintbrush and easel.

okeefe flowers.jpg

Among the many aspects that make O’Keeffe still talked about today is her interesting fixation for the center of flowers.  If you look closely, the mid origin is almost always depicted in every portrait as a primary point, which if you look closely may resemble something familiar... Experts reveal that the Sun Prairie, Wyoming native had an interesting obsession for creating her own version of the bloom’s pistil or to some people, a vulva.

According to her husband, Alfred Stieglitz who was also the first to photograph her paintings, each floral image was an interpretive representation of the female reproductive organs.   The vulva is the most popular belief when viewing her pieces, especially one entitled, “Grey Line with Black Blue and Yellow" which is believed to be the center of a calla lily.  If you take a good look, you can see where the idea comes from but the truth is, that’s not what O’keefe had in mind at all.

calla okeeffe.jpg

According to the artist herself, she had no intention of manipulating blooms or any of her other subjects for that matter through the eyes of a “sexual nature”.  Her deep strokes and fine lines were simply the way she viewed these topics and had zero connection to female genitalia.  This news was disappointing to feminists who hoped O’Keeffe would jump onboard with their mission, using her paintings as symbolic references.  Today, there is still controversy over what exactly was going on inside the artist’s mind – I guess we’ll never know…

Tags: Artist, Flowers for Emotional Health, Museums, Calla Lilies

Art used as a De-Stressor

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 09, 2017

I’ve always loved the arts.  Painting, singing, dancing, music, crafting, you name it-I’ve tried it.  I used to think that it was because I’ve been deemed a “creative” type but truthfully, I think it’s my attraction to the emotional health benefits associated with these activities.  Have you ever had trouble with anxiety, stress or simply feel overwhelmed 90% of the day?  According to new research, activities such as these can actively reduce symptoms making someone a happier, healthier you!  Even if you mildly experience waves of anxiousness or depression, according to a majority of doctors, a half hour of art can help work towards fixing the problem.  Do you have to be Picasso or Liberace to participate?  Heck no!  All you have to be is willing and able to try something new and let these creative exercises mold and sculpt you into a better frame of mind.  Here are the most popular areas of interest for those seeking artistic healing… Does one of them appeal to you?



Many times, the body craves movement to readjust itself against strain and stress.  Turning, sliding and swaying your hips can alleviate tension and create endorphins that heighten a person’s mood.  Twenty minutes of sashaying across your kitchen floor while doing dishes or laundry will help produce more of the happy hormone and also provide a fun and easy workout.  



The noises that we hear affect our dispositions more than we realize.  Loud sounds impede on our ability to cope while softer sounds soothe the brain’s membrane to increase our willingness to relax.  By selecting a preferred genre of music such as classic, new age or alternative, we can provide ourselves with audio therapy just by sitting back and listening.  



Although many famous artists have a reputation for being a bit crazy, there is supporting science behind the fact that painting can be incredibly therapeutic to those with high blood pressure.  The reason lies behind the visual stimulation of combining color as well as the calming motion of making swirls and strokes with a paintbrush.  Don’t worry about your artistic talents, just let your imagination take over and allow yourself to escape tension from everyday life if only for twenty minutes a day.



Sculpting is another wonderful way to free yourself from suppressing emotional weight and works the most successfully for those who express themselves with their hands.  Do you crack your knuckles or bite your nails often?  If this sounds like you, than sculpting is your ticket!  The massaging pressure applied to the clay from your hands is actually acting as a release for stress and it won’t hurt tender tendons or joints in the process.  


Tags: The Arts, Artist, Music, Health

Flowers Adored by Famous Artists

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 02, 2015


For flower lovers like me, there’s no denying that my interest moves me further than simply putting a vase on the table.  I adore them everywhere from the bedding sheets, to the wallpaper, from the patterns on teacups to the roses stitched on my dishtowels.  


I love them everywhere!  

One of my favorite areas to study and appreciate horticulture is from an artist’s point of view, particularly within oil paintings.  Lucky for me, I live within a city that provides a multitude of opportunities to appreciate art!  The MFA, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Decordova  Sculpture Museum (who also cultivates their own live gardens on the property as an extra bonus) are only a few of the magnificent locations hosting beautiful floral artwork upon their walls.  And the best part is, no matter where your tastes lie, there’s something for everyone so the question remains, which type of creative style appeals to you?


When looking at my own preferences in selecting painting that are thematic after the world of flowers and gardens, it’s an easy choice.  Vincent Van Gogh captured my heart on his canvas several times over and the reasons are quite simple; his use of bold and bright color, the implementation of oils that made images almost lifelike and his coincidental subjects all being some of my favorite varieties.  The quirky yet brilliant artist had affection for wild flowers and scenery embodying fields of poppies, iris and most popularly, sunflowers.  Van Gogh chose to use flowers in his paintings so often that there very few void of a simple stem or full arrangement.  With the exception of “The Bedroom”, it’s hard to find an example of created by him that didn’t reflect his love for vibrant blooms.

But that’s me.  

So let’s discuss next…. who are you?  


Does Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Blue Morning Glories” sweep you off your feet or maybe Monet’s “Water Lilies” shake you up a bit?


Here a few of the highest regarded paintings, which reflect these infamous artists adoration for pretty petals.  Does one of these speak to you?

Renoir - Roses In A Pot

Matisse   - Pot of Geraniums       

Evening Flowers - Picasso

Tags: The Arts, Artist, #EXFL, Flowers

Silently Spoken Project - Boston's Inner City Poet

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 29, 2015

I love reading but I love writing more.  My taste in genres range from children’s books to mysteries, romance to historical fiction but what I really love the most is poetry.  It’s the tempo, the flow, the gentle way that the words bring you softly through a story or thought, which makes prose one of the highest respected forms of writing in the literary industry.  Boston is full of talented poets that use their talents to express feelings, opinions and outlooks on what they experience.  You might find them on their laptops in coffee shops or maybe scribing on a notepad on a bench in the Commons but wherever they find their inspiration, there is no doubt the remarkable perceptions that they give readers.


One Boston poet that has particularly caught my attention is the Silently Spoken Project (J.J. aka JustKnoxx) who uses social media platforms such as Instagram (@silentlyspokenproject) to promote his work.  His primary quote featured on his page, “Even in silence, you have a voice” speaks volumes of his style, which I find to be direct, phrased in strength and refreshingly honest.  While he seems to prefer writing about topics reflecting on themes of love, he has successfully built an archetype that is original and marketable.  One of my favorite’s read, “If you genuinely love someone, don’t ever decorate their eyes with tears, their ears with lies, and their heart with a wound.”


This artist has cleverly been accruing more and more interest on his media sites and continues to grow his following with both men and women (I like how he speaks to both sexes).  In doing a quick search, I’ve already found several web pages showcasing his poetry including Facebook, Iconosquare and Tumblr.  If your looking for a great account to follow, this is the guy to find and from one writer to the next, I’ll be following the silentlyspokenproject to be sure not to miss this Bostonian’s genuine poetic talent.  Best of luck to your future writing endeavors, J.J!

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA





Tags: The Arts, Artist, Poetry, Poet, #EXFL

Spend a Week Without Music. Any of You. I Dare.

Posted by Quenby Iandiorio on Sat, Jan 17, 2015

Parental Advisory Warning: the following is not fit for all readers so if you don't care for soap boxes and thinly veiled adult language, move on. I only do this about once a year.


I am naive. Today for the first time in my life I actually had to rebuff the explicit and pointed persecution by an attorney for my choice to be a career musician. He laughed at my colleague's claim that he worked full-time as a performing musician and told him "don't you think you could at least get a part-time job" to cover the debts in question. In his brilliant edict against our position he cited his own stint, in college, as a "bar band musician" and scoffed at my claim that it was a full-time job reminiscing that his time as a guitar player in college was hardly, (wink, wink) even part-time.

I invite him to eat my a$$. If it had been my fight to begin with, I would have been more brazen, though i never thought the conflict was with the attorney to begin with. Rather he seemed, accidentally, to expose what the plaintiff, and apparently secretly he, both harbor against working musicians.

I would have shouted in his face: Throw out all of your CDs, records, cassettes and 8-tracks, all your sheet music. Forget every song you ever heard on those albums. Have your musical memory erased, you're so cavalier about it, so you cannot whistle a tune, or hum a note in private comfort or celebration with yourself. Have erased from your memory every concert you attended, every symphony, every opera, every child's music lesson and recital, every jam session and summer concert series. Then I would invite him to re-live every memorial service, wedding or graduation he's ever attended, without music. Then, sit down to your myriad of movies and TV shows you cherish, and try to watch them again, without music. Then I would tell him, 'Turn off your radio and unsubscribe from all the free streaming music suppliers, like Pandora, whom you depend on for your musical relief. Spend a week without music. Any of you. I dare.'

If however, he felt a pang of conscience in leaving this session with me, I would suggest to him this path for redemption: Pay double the asking price for every cd you buy from now on; pay twice as much at the door or two times the price of a concert ticket; tip the band as much as you spend at the bar; buy merch at every show; empty your pockets in the buskers guitar case; pledge a donation to every crowd-funding musical project; and finally, fast from music for one week. Then come back to me and beg me for a tune, a lick, a chorus - I'll charge you $300 an hour - solo.

Until this day, in my 41 years of living, I still NOT ONCE have had to pay a lawyer for getting me through my day with his lawyerly services. Yet every day of my life, i have hummed a tune…

And finally I say to the starry-eyed potential suitors, the like of which who started this particular trouble: we were musicians when you met us. If you don't like the way we live, don't live with us.

Quenby Iandiorio


all photos in this post came from 


Tags: The Arts, Artist, Music, #EXFL

Boston Florist Welcomes Its Own Artist in Residence

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Mar 29, 2012

art at boston florist resized 600
Since 2008, artist Allison Buttiglieri has been an employee of Exotic Flowers in Boston. Allison has been a seasonal employee, a full time employee and senior sales associate. Her infectious personality has created a loyal floral following. Today, Allison helps out at Exotic Flowers headquarters for major flower holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
boston florist artist in residence Allison is also the Exotic Flowers artist in residence. In her own words, "My artwork is yielded from the appreciation for the natural beauty I admire in this world. A few things that inspire me are, quirky contrasting colors, organic patterns found in nature, flowers, landscape, bohemian and vintage textile designs, decay, graffiti, travel, fellow artists, photography. 

Most of my paintings on here are made from inspiration while traveling. Most paintings are available as original or prints. The prints are produced on high quality watercolor paper and look almost identical to the originals. "
Every month Exotic Flowers in Boston will be featuring some of the one of a kind pieces that she creates to inspire and appreciate. 
art plate flowers in boston
" Right now I'm really focused on these ceramic plates i've been painting. I have two upcoming Craft fairs I will be participating in, one is this coming Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Wakefield Vocational School (Northeast Metro Tech High School, 100 Hemlock Road, Wakefield, MA 01880), and another in Winthrop at Saint John's Parish on April 14th, 2012." Hope to see you there.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are always on the look out to share our vision of beauty with you. Please continue to stay in touch with our blog as we will soon have our own in house poet as well.

Tags: The Arts, Artist, Allison Buttiglieri, Boston Florist Staff

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