A confession about the mysterious inspirations behind her distinctive paintings and their purpose
“Wallpapered” Acrylic Series by Aria La Faye
My affinity for flowers has been well documented in my artwork long before I became a certified florist. I have gravitated towards botanical outlets developing a fascination for fine tea brews, gardening, and anything else that kept me close to petals.
Several years ago, (while working as a florist) I was gifted three vintage art prints depicting bouquets. Immediately I fell madly in love with them. This stunning collection has graced the walls of my studio ever since attracting my affectionate gaze and compliments from visitors. Besides being stylish, they echo a pleasant reminder of my roots, creative drives, and artistic interests.
What surprised me the most about these prints was the small amount of information I could scrounge up about their creator. Which is why I’m fairly confident that you’ve never heard of him.
Jean Louis Prévost
1760 – 1810
A French botanical painter who is historically significant not only because of his prolific style and graceful execution of technique. But because his work was some of the first-ever to be replicated and transferred onto china, fabric, and wallpaper! China being of course TEAWARE!!!
His work is similar to Gerrit Van Spaendock a renowned botanical artist though, I believe Prévost was the more talented of the two with design. He became a member of the Académie de Saint Luc a guild of prolific artists and his work was frequently exhibited in the prestigious Paris Salon!
My reclaimed prints are replications from his book, “Collection des Flurs et des Fruits” which is one of the greatest French botanical books of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. His work was unlike anything that was ever published at the time.
Prévost’s intentions were that his designs would be used for decorating everything from the walls of stylish Victorian homes, embellishing the folds of fine linens, and elevating everyday items like teaware.
His vision for these sublime and lavish creations could not have been more on the nose. Even 2 centuries later our designs continue to be influenced by his draughtsmanship. His 48 printing plates of flowers and fruits would end up furnishing generations of elegant items. It’s fair to say that Jean Louis Prévost‘s work is the epitome of botanical illustrations crossover into home decor.
This interesting nugget of history captivated my imagination and helped inspire my latest series of (yes) unusual paintings. Jean Louis Prévost style has a nostalgic legacy providing the perfect context for the natural beauty that inspires my use of botanical bouquet designs. The history surrounding his creations and their use inspired me to play with pattern and texture. As a tea shop owner, artist, and florist it’s difficult to think of another historical creator who was more in line with my own artistic interests.
The concept of wallpapering is fundamentally to decorate originating from the Latin word “decorare” which means “beauty, honor, or embellishment.”
The literal act of wallpapering is of course to “cover-up.” Essentially my Wallpapered Series is about covering-up reality with beautiful embellishments. More accurately though, the Greek word Kalisopia is the delusion of things being more beautiful than they actually are. Which resonates perfectly with the act of wallpapering but describes rather the lived emotive experience of wallpapering your perceptions or beliefs.
When I look at my life I see different versions of what I’m experiencing. My favorite version is the one that has flowers all over it. Wallpapered Series is a collection of imagery that expresses both kalisopia and the yearning for an impossible dream-like reality where things are as we want them to be.
The botanical designs are representative of beauty and the fulfillment of desire. They visually embody the concept of daydreaming about a perfect life and world we want but don’t (or never will) have. The black and white backgrounds which are seen on some is symbolic of reality beyond this mindscape.
A theme throughout my series is the contrast of rough impasto texture and the smooth blended wallpaper design. No accident. The difference in texture is representative of the outer world vs. the inner world. My designs explore how being deliberately lost in a rosy view of the world can create problems yet be so seductive. Another perhaps better-known turn of phrase for describing being lost inside your head is a “wallflower.” A British term that mostly applies to awkward lonely people but more significantly a “wallflower” is someone who is lost in introspection.
Of course, another interpretation of a “wallflower” is quite literally a flower on a wall…like wallpaper.
There are many ways to interpret my paintings and plenty of varying truths to discover. I’m always proud when a piece can simultaneously match your couch but also be deeply emotive. As a home decor magazine addict, I make sure that my use of pattern and color can complement almost any interior.
It’s tricky to balance patterns and this is where I get to show off my technical skills, the end result is extremely eye-catching. There’s a subtle cheekiness in wall art depicting wallpapered imagined realities. Essentially if you were to hang one of these paintings you’d be decorating with decor-artwork that is decorated with decor… Wallpaper has made a trendy come back and these paintings’ purpose is a playful wink and nod to the act of decorating itself while compelling designs connect viewers to a sense of complex human experiences.
To see more artwork by Aria La Faye visit her gallery page. If you’re a collector click here to discover which pieces are available. Sign up for the newsletter for exclusive content and to see her full list of available originals. More information can be found about this artist here: https://cottage-shoppe.com/studio/