American Art Collector
Comfort and Nostalgia
Mason jars were a part of Peggie Blizard’s everyday life growing up in rural North Carolina. In a new series of works on view at George Billis Gallery, Blizard will feature seven still lifes of florals displayed in the iconic vessels. Blizard says, “They bring to the work an element of comfort and nostalgia, while at the same time appealing to an increasingly sophisticated feeling for color and design.”
Though the shape of the jars changes from piece to piece, and the flowers depicted range from Japanese anemone to tulips, the paintings all contain the same core elements. Blizard explains, “The jars are centered in the panel with water creating a line roughly through the lettering. The flowers appear to be just tossed into the jars as if they are an afterthought even though they are the focus of the picture and are carefully arranged.”
One of the specific challenges of these types of paintings is portraying the water realistically, and Blizard points out, “in fact, you cannot paint water
because it is transparent. What you do paint are the reflections the water and glass together create.”
Blizard counts among her influences Vermeer and his Dutch and German contemporaries, as well as the still lifes of Spanish realist Luis Meléndez. While striving for realistic paintings, Blizard often asks herself, “How do you make a work of art and not just an artwork? How do you infuse poetry into what you are doing and give the work meaning and beauty?” She adds, “One of the things I try to achieve in my work is the creation of a feeling of three dimensions through the objects I paint, whether they are flowers or boxes or antique kitchen appliances.”
Blizard’s solo exhibition remains on view through July 7 at George Billis’ New York gallery.