Saturday, June 20, 2015

Louis Serafine: Inspired by her painting Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge

                                                 Feuilles by Louis Seraphine
Every time I look at this beautiful painting by Louis Seraphine I become inspired again and again.  I have been making leaves all my artistic life, but nothing like these beauties.  I had to see more of her work so I rented the movie, Seraphine,  Heather Powers mentioned earlier this month and watched it over the last several days.
                                            Seraphine, the movie, available on Netflix

  It has a slow start and you don't see much of  her work until about 30 minutes into the movie. But you do see her gathering flowers to make her paints from, and collecting wax from the votive candles in her church as she often painted late into the night by candle light. She may have also used the wax to mix in with the pigments she made.  (I have not been able to verify this idea) From then on there is a great deal to see and a story that is both heroic and sad.

When I first saw this month's  Art Bead Scene Challenge painting I was especially taken with the idea of making leaves within leaves and so that is what I did.

                                  Ceramic Leaf in Blue and Yellow by Mary Harding
Ceramic Leaf in Red and Teal by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Yellow and Red by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Red , Blue and Black by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Blue and Yellow Green by Mary Harding

I cut out leaf shapes from ceramic clay and while the clay was still soft enough I incised lines of leaves into the clay, cleaned these up and fired the pieces.  Then I began the painting. I did not stick consciously to a palette but chose bright colors that I like and used them together. I only made these few leaves and some are  in my Etsy Shop.
After I made these pieces, I took a look at quite a few of her paintings and noticed that there was much more going on than just leaves.

Paintings by Louis Serafine

 I made a collage of these for you so you could have the same wonderful experience of looking into her work.  At times, it almost seems as if the leaves are moving.  Her work is a gift to us.  I am sad that she did not have a happier life.
Thank you for stopping by.  Be sure to check out what Heather Powers  made.


  1. I really want to watch that movie - I've been so busy. I too love the leaf with a leaf idea, that is so awesome. Your pieces are fantastic!!!

  2. Thanks so much Heather!! I too hope you get to see the movie. It is a mix of beautiful and sad. All day today I have been feeling her presence and that is a tribute to the power of her art and her strength to overcome so many difficulties to make it.

  3. Mary-All of your leaves are beautiful!

  4. Thanks so much Kathy for stopping and leaving such a nice comment.

  5. Her story was sad. It would have been interesting to see her in a healthy life and able to progress as a serious artist unhindered. I love your beads. I was drawn to those little leaf shapes inside the leaf too. Her work seems to glow from within!

  6. I agree about her having a better life and being able to progress without illness. Yes her work does have a glow. I had noticed that the leaves seemed to move when I looked at lots of pictures of her work. And then they mentioned that in the movie too!!
    Thanks so for stopping by and for your kind words about my leaves, Katherine.

  7. Wow, I love the leaves you made inspired by this month's ABS painting. Just really fabulous and happy and complex and fun to look at!

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