JOSEPH RAFFAEL’s HELLEBORES
In her book about creativity and retirees, Julia Cameron warns (or perhaps promises) that ‘aha!’ moments – ephiphanies about creative synchronicity – occur when we nurture our innate creativity and pay attention to the world around us. Recently, I’ve begun to experience such instances and I am seeing more connections between my long ago artist self, what I am doing now and others’ creativity.
Perhaps these examples of creative syncronicity have swirled around me, invisible as air currents, for years, when I was just too terribly busy to see them. Now I am making time to study my art influencers anew and taking steps to make art again. With the luxury of time to savor these efforts, I begin to feel lightbulbs illuminating above my head.
For example, a few days after I posted about my hellebore sketches, which were prompted by Susan Rushton’s lucious photos of these early spring bloomers, I received a new edition of artist Joseph Raffael’s newsletter, announcing his own new stunning hellebore painting.
I’ve long respected Raffael’s work and it was a joy to see his painting on the same subject I’d been working on. His hellebore painting felt like a gift, showing me how much more I could possibly do watercolor in the future. He even focused on a side view of one blossom and it’s complex interior that I’d found interesting, too. (My side view is posted above, but go to Joseph’s site to see his elegant interpretation.)
The first Raffael painting I encountered was one of his “Water Paintings” at the Chicago Art Institute. Forty years ago, that massive riverscape dazzled me with shimmering surfaces, jewel-like reflections and mysterious watery depths, He inspired me to try to capture light in my own work in various translucent and transparent media, including glass enamels, watercolors and stained glass.
Raffael’s art currently explores the complex worlds contained within a few flowers or a single blossom. He continues to amaze and inspire. You can sign up for his newsletters at his site and follow his new work as he completes each painting.