New Zealand-based artist Joshua Davison creates mesmerizing palette knife paintings of flowers that pop off of the canvas. These eye-catching reliefs are composed of dozens of individually crafted petals that burst with color. Although the series originated as a way for the 23-year-old painter to practice color theory, it has since evolved into a study of symmetry, saturation, and contrast.
“Each flower sits alone in the center of a large canvas,” Davison explains in his recent solo exhibition at Flagstaff Gallery. “This can be likened to the beauty and complexity of a single flower, equally I believe it can portray our wonderful planet coursing through empty space.” The plainness of the background also highlights the sculptural qualities of each flower. When viewed from the side, you can see how these botanical creations protrude from the canvas. According to Davison, the trick to producing such immaculate compositions is “sticking to a consistent method throughout, training a steady hand, and investing time into color mixing.” He uses a single palette knife to layer a combination of oil and acrylic paints.
Each of his flowers stands out for its unique properties. The painting Blue Hydrangea features a limited palette of yellows, pinks, and purples. It explores the relationship of light and shadow as the petals grow darker in shade the further they are from the center. On the other hand, Black Flower Wheel appears to emulate the rainbow aesthetics of a color wheel, with each petal its own individual hue.
Davison's art is on view until July 26th, 2020 at Flagstaff Gallery in Flagstaff, New Zealand. You can follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest creations and upcoming exhibitions.