Artist of the moment……. Jessie Botke….

this artist was born in 1883.

The artist lived at a time that males dominated the market of art. She overcame this by working hard and didn’t flourish as a great artist until later in her career. She specialized in paintings with white birds, in particular the peacock. In many paintings the flower is painted in great detail with gold foil as the background alongside beautiful floral scenes.  I never before had looked at a peacock as a work of art, now I can’t wait until the next time I see a male peacock strutting his feathers for all to admire!

The artist saw it as her duty to see the beautiful and great things in the world. She usually painted six days per week and sketched on Sunday.

Both parents were of English stock and traced their family history back to to 1630 when the family left the Channel Islands.

The artist studied art at the Art Institute if Chicago. As any artist just starting she didn’t have a particular style, she adjusted similar to whom he was studying with. After working for around 5 years she became comfortable with her decorative style. The style was to design a strong flat pattern first and then add dimensions.

After moving to New York she received a commission to paint a bird with specific colors, a peacock. Not believing an animal that looked like that was available to paint, the artist went to the Bronx Zoo and it was love at first sight! She loved to paint birds. While in New York she met her future husband, Cornelius Botke, and the couple moved out west to California.

She had a stroke in 1967 and didn’t paint again, dying in 1971. I consider her compositions to be on the master level for contemporary art. The mixture of gold leaf and flowers with birds. Just amazing.  The artist started out a mural painter but later in life made many smaller watercolor versions. See some of them at this link.

The artist died in 1971. Looking at her paintings even via computer always brighten my day. There are a lot of problems in the world to be sure, but looking at a light colored peacock with their feathers and strolling amongst flowers, it doesn’t get much better than that! Look for art EVERYWHERE!

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