Canadian artist Susannah Bleasby painting flowers

A seed sown, a collection grown. The story of 'In Bloom'

A behind the scenes look at creating a collection of paintings

Every year around this time my landscapes paintings are set aside in favour of florals. How can I resist the inspiration bursting into bloom around me? The simple answer is... I can't! I'm endlessly fascinated by flowers: their complex nature, simple beauty, showy magnificence and divine but short existence. I love how perfectly joyful they are, and how they sprinkle our world with colour.

My 'In Bloom' collection started with the notion of doing 'a bunch of flower paintings'. That seed of an idea grew little by little as I gathered colour inspiration and photographs from my neighbourhood walks, paying attention to what I was continually drawn towards (last year it was white poppies, this year it seemed to be Bearded Irises and Showstopper Lilies). I started to doodle and draw, refining my ideas as I went. I made lots of mistakes - at first nothing hit the right note - but I knew there was something 'there' which I needed to find, and then one morning I discovered 'my' flower for this series.

flower sketches in notebook

My initial flower sketches were followed by colour studies and loose paintings. Once I had a paintbrush in hand, I started seeing things that felt good, so I kept at it, trying different compositions in different sizes, a wide range of colour palettes and playing with whimsical details. Slowly, over the course of weeks, a cohesive look and feel started to emerge, and the collection as a whole came together. 

flower painting pink sketches

I aimed to keep these paintings feeling fresh and alive, weird and wonderful. The abstract nature of the signature bloom in the collection is important because I want my flower paintings to feel contemporary and uniquely 'me'. My work needs to look like my work no matter the subject matter, and my signature style has to remain identifiable: bold and simple brushstrokes and perfectly imperfect shapes. While filled with colour, there's always an underlying feeling of calm, peace and simple joy in my paintings.

mixing paint for acrylic flower painting

Once the rush of painting is over, it's surprising how much work there is still to do to finalize a collection: finishing edges, varnishing each piece, signing and dating them on the reverse side. Then the whole collection gets delivered to my photographer be professionally captured for art prints. Each photo image needs to be carefully colour-corrected, edited, and made print-ready. Next up was an in-studio photo shoot, setting up my web shop and working out the nitty gritty details for sales, production and logistics. Phew!

Along the way we decided these florals would make beautiful greeting cards. That was an exciting project because it's the first time I've offered of cards and I had to learn all the ins & outs of a new product along the way!

All in all, this has been an intensely creative, challenging and super-involved nine week process and I'm thrilled to share the 'In Bloom' collection of floral wall art with you all!

  • Abstract Floral Prints

    'In Bloom - Navy' is the painting that established the signature look for the entire collection of flower paintings.

  • yellow and gray wall art

    Neutral Floral Wall Art

    When you're creating a relaxing retreat for sleeping, combine yellow and grey wall art for an inspired bedroom.

  • soft pink floral art card

    Floral blank art cards

    Celebrate the delicate beauty of flowers with art cards suited for many occasions from birthday cards and celebration cards to sympathy cards.