Skip to content

St. Albert painter celebrates the art of the flower

Miles Constable's Floral Vibes is an expression of imagination, colour and light

Visual Arts Studio Association’s (VASA) current art exhibition explores Miles Constable’s representational floral art. 

Titled Floral Vibes, it is both a lush, yet soothing collection that depicts Constable’s fragmented memories of his garden. But the paintings are more than just representational flashes of images. 

Representational art, meaning it represents reality, doesn’t simply stand alone. The real poetry of this collection lies in how Constable orchestrates good composition. Since representational art is very spare, his intuitive talent lies in which elements to keep and which to forgo all the while elegantly combining them with vivid colours. 

Some of the acrylic paintings are holdovers from his 2018 solo exhibition Floral Riffs. Others were started in May 2023. 

“I would do the background with spray paint, and I commonly did it outside in the summer. In the winter I filled in the flowers and trees,” said Constable, who successfully develops a balance between expression, impression and representational abstract. 

“I would typically spray paint out back in my dilapidated patio and set up a drop cloth with two or three canvases. And I’d typically choose a set of paints that would complement or contrast each other.” 

Many of his trademark canvasses are painted diagonally from dark to light, suggesting the sun’s movement and how plants and branches grow toward the sun.   

As a visual artist who believes creativity should have no boundaries, Constable finds inspiration in Group of Seven founder J.E.H. MacDonald’s work, The Tangled Garden. MacDonald worked mainly in oils and painted in an impressionistic style with bold colours, strong lines and a deep connection to nature. 

“It (The Tangled Garden) was very loose, very colourful. It was painted around 1916-1917 and was considered very avant-garde at the time. Critics called it garbage, but now it’s a national treasure.” 

The concept of a floral collection germinated while preparing for the 2018 Floral Riffs exhibition. 

“I was trying to think of what to do. I’m an abstract artist at heart. But abstract is very hard to sell. I thought ‘everybody loves flowers.’ So why not make abstract flowers and I learned to stick with abstract images of flowers. If I try to create a real tulip, it looks horrible.” 

Through Constable’s simple, yet graceful lines, his abstract floral forms expose us to nature while allowing us to recall personal gentle memories from the past. 

Floral Vibes will be on display until Saturday, June 29 at VASA, 25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave. 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks