Carrie Di Costanzo's Story Behind the Art


How did you go about selecting a subject for the Bartram exhibition?

My interest in the Cockscomb flower began after visiting a friend’s garden. I had never seen this particular flower up close and was mesmerized by the textural details of the plant. I wanted to capture that on paper! Subsequently, I noticed this flower was on the plant list for the Bartram/ASBA exhibition.
Why did you choose this specific subject to portray?
I felt compelled to paint all the wonderful characteristics of this flower. It was essential to accurately depict the velvety flower and tiny seed heads in great detail, while also conveying a sense of drama. It is truly a “showy” plant!
Is there anything you’d like to comment on about the color, composition, media, or technique you used in the work?
The color of this Cockscomb is genuinely vibrant and alive. I painted this piece with gouache, which is my favorite medium, and found that it lent itself well to this subject matter. Gouache can be used opaquely or translucently, depending on the amount of water added. The paint was used in an opaque manner for the flower head, and in a more translucent manner for the leaves, stem, and seed heads.
What would you hope people would notice or appreciate when they view this work?
I hope that the viewer would appreciate my efforts to render the natural characteristics and dramatic personality of this amazing flower. I find it quite satisfying when people can recognize the plant from my painting.
How does this piece relate to your body of work?
I believe it is a welcome addition to my body of work in that it adds vivid color and dramatic composition. Also, I love this flower, and when you love the subject, I believe it shows in the painting!
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  • (C) Carrie DiCostanzo