Cymbidium and Butterfly

Cymbidium and Butterfly. Leonard Koscianski, 46″x62″, oil on canvas, 2004.

Cymbidium and Butterfly is done from the imagination. It is a large painting in oils on canvas. The dramatic Postmodern style combines elements of Surrealism and Expressionism. Though the orchid and butterfly seem based on observation, they are imaginary. With the orchid, the long thin brushstrokes create a sense of detail. The transparency of the butterfly wings are the result of subtle color relationships. The ominous feathery clouds create a stormy mood.

Technically speaking, the painting was first painted in a much cooler palette, then thin warm colors were glazed over this to create a luminosity and atmosphere, that would not be possible with straight “ala prima” painting. This appropriation of styles and techniques from the past is characteristic of Postmodernism. The white brush strokes, in the orchid, use relatively thick paint compared to the rest of the painting.