Flower Paintings – Tulip Folklore and Legends

by Neadeen Masters on April 20, 2012

Tulip Flower Folklore and Legends may help with Flower Compositions:

When learning how to paint flowers it is good to know the history of the flower or how the flower came to be popular. This can help the artist create a good composition to showcase the flower in the correct way. For example, if the flower has a close association with romance and love, the artist may wish to render the flower composition in such a way as to describe the flower in a romantic style of painting. Lucky for us the tulip flower has both a serious and humorous history, so it can be painted in several ways. Here are a few of the stories associated with the beautiful and historic tulip flower.

– In ancient Persia, known today as Iran, the tulip was recognized as the symbol of ‘tragic’ and also of ‘perfect love’ It is said that two lovers, Shirin and Farhad were deeply in love, the young man, mislead by a rival, fell to his death when he rode his horse over a cliff, he thought the girl he loved was dead. It was a lover’s trick and it’s said that red tulips began growing on the spot where he died unnecessarily. The red tulips represented the drops of his spilled blood. Can you imagine how this belief could be used to help the artist create a dramatic mood for a floral painting?

Set the Mood for your Flower Paintings:

One important aspect of painting flowers is learning how to set the mood for your flower paintings. Knowing a little of the history gives the artist a historic background to build on. It may not work in every composition, but can be a way to tell a story and create greater interest for the viewers.

– It was also known in ancient Persian folk lore that the tulip was born from the tears and blood of a young girl who ventured into the desert looking for her lost love. Here is a perfect example for creating a romantic mood for a painting.

– There are so many folklore tales related to the tulip, and some are quite funny. One story tells of a trader in Amsterdam who had just purchased a very expensive bulb, by today’s prices he would have paid over $1200. for the single bulb.  A rare treasure for sure. A hungry sailor came by and the kind merchant offered him a meal, suggesting he go to the cook house to receive some sausage and bread.  The hungry sailor got the sausage and bread, but while in the cookhouse, he spotted a plate full of onions and thought an onion would go well with his meal.  You guessed it… he dropped the $1200. ‘Onion’ in his pocket and off he went.  A huge uproar ensued when the merchant realized his bulb was missing and went after the sailor who was found putting the last mouthful of bread sausage and onion into his mouth!!

– Another story tells of an unknowing English man cutting open several bulbs with a pocketknife to investigate the strange tasteless onions, only to be questioned by the irate owner of the bulbs.  The curious English man was soon tried in a court of law where he was found guilty and forced to jail until the debt was paid off!

Learn How to use Symbolism in your flower paintings:

Tulip flower paintings have also become a symbol of spring time in many parts of the world. Obviously the flower heralds the warmer weather as we shake off the winter’s chill. On a spring visit to a local flower market in Seattle, I came across these beautiful tulips, their spectacular color was simply amazing! The bright orange hues called to me from across the market place. Naturally, out came the camera, and a few months later the tulip painting below was born.

This canvas painting will eventually become available on DVD later this year, however the video painting lessons and directions are currently featured in two of the  Art Apprentice Online E-Magazine (e-zine) and spread out over both issues. The acrylic painting lesson was a joy to write and to film. Of course the beautiful tulip subject wasn’t hard on the eyes or the brush either! If you’ve fallen in love with the tulip flower like I have, and wish to paint this canvas painting below…here’s a chance to paint it right from the comfort of your home.

All the acrylic painting supplies and step by step photos are listed in the AAO E-magazine issues #8 and AAO E-Magazine issue #9.

Art Apprentice Online E-Magazine - Painting Lessons Art Apprentice Online E-Magazine – Painting Lessons by Neadeen Masters Painting Tulips - Art Apprentice Online - copyright 2011 Painting Tulips – Art Apprentice Online – copyright 2011


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