Layers of Meaning: Science, Art, Emotion
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Layers of Meaning: Science, Art, Emotion

Capturing nature's essence is difficult; it is a specific artistic task that demands a distinct vision and a skillful technique. To immortalise the fleeting beauty of plants and flowers, Svetlana Lanse employs watercolour, a medium that is known since the origins of botanical science to reflect the liveliness and mutable states of flora.

Botanical art, to which Svetlana devotes most of her creativity, goes beyond mere illustration and blends rational and emotional elements with an accurate, precise depiction of the subject. Svetlana's pieces are distinguished by this precision and elegant execution. Using the "dry brush" watercolour technique, she adds layer upon layer to bring her plant portraits to life.

Svetlana's creative journey began with the decorative arts of miniature and lacquer painting, and progressed through working with romantic subjects, where plants and natural objects were given the leading role, to botanical art that simultaneously represents the plant with scientific accuracy and employ subtle visual means to convey the admiration for minute beauty, the sadness of fading, the pain of loneliness and the unique individuality of the most ordinary flowers, fallen leaves, or common fruits.

At the heart of Svetlana Lanse's artistic philosophy lies not the pursuit of imitation, but the passion to express much more than the naked eye can see. A plant that is removed from its natural setting to be depicted, as is common in traditional botanical art, still retains its spatial coherence and becomes not just a specimen cast against a white background, but a spirit, an idea, a living memory that continues to flourish eternally, captured in its fleeting beauty and preserved on paper forever.

Working in a bright, recognisable palette, with an abundance of pink, purple and orange tones, she masterfully maintains a balance between botanical authenticity and the play of colour. The theme of flowers and leaves pierced by sunlight is a frequent one in her paintings. The medium of watercolour that conveys subtle shades and utilises light reflected from white paper allows her to achieve particularly realistic results. Svetlana continues to explore the possibilities of different media and has created a series of works that combine a watercolour base with a transparent oil overlay. This approach allows for deeper contrasts and greater precision of detail that is often unattainable in classical watercolour.

It is the skill of working with contrast that allows Svetlana to play freely with botanical subjects, where bright colours are naturally combined with muted tones. The strict canons of botanical illustration and the requirements of scientific accuracy do not allow the artist the same free interpretation of colour and shadow as in other genres. It is the nuances of colour and contrast that can transform a scrupulously accurate, dryly realistic image into a work of art. The painting techniques used by Svetlana Lanse are worthy of imitation and study.

Botanical painting is an artistic development of an initially purely scientific genre in which the numerous requirements of authenticity became a creative constraint, allowing the artist to emphasise details, to convey deep meaning with minimal means, such as the shape of the plant, its silhouette, the subtle play of shades and lines on the stems and petals. Overcoming its original limitations, botanical art reaches a new level of representation and becomes a unique phenomenon, a way for the artist and the viewer to creatively understand the mystery of life, the relationship between man and nature, its fragility and its pristine beauty. Svetlana Lanse's creations invite us on a journey of observation and reflection, beginning with a single watercolour flower that reflects the invisible light and shines from within.

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