The Art of the Flower at The Philadelphia Sketch Club

Doris Peltzman, Art of the Flower

Doris Peltzman, Friends, oil on plexiglass, Art of the Flower, The Philadelphia Sketch Club


Art shows come and go as fast as a Peonie, it seems like they last for only a day. The opening receptions are so exciting and social, meeting the artists and new friends, watching the awards be presented and absorbing all the different interpretations of the theme is a happy time. But the shows end so quickly and the proverbial ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ cliche´clicks in. The  Philadelphia Sketch Club‘s annual Art of the Flower show is like a peonie, the lushness and vibrancy of the show, the glorious color and sense of beautiful abundance comes and goes so fast, the memories are like flower petals drifting down the sidewalk in the Spring breeze.

The Art of the Flower show is almost over,  it has been extended to March 28th, already the historic art club is preparing for their 149th annual Small Oils exhibit, a Philadelphia tradition and coveted award for Philadelphia artists. Doris Peltzman is a multiple award-winning artist, her oil painting on plexiglass titled Friends is a lovely metaphor for the show. Her painting of two flowers in a vase mixes tradition and modernism in an adventurous approach to floral still life painting. The saturated impressionist color floating on the plexiglass, serenely composed with jewel tones, has an ethereal quality like the painting is emitting it’s own light.

E. Joy Ballerino, Joyscape, Art of the Flower

E. Joy Ballerino, Joyscape, acrylic, Art of the Flower, The Philadelphia Sketch Club


E. Joy Ballerino’sJoyscape, is a riot of color, the exuberance and excitement of renewed life represented by Spring is captured in the painting. Watching the wild growth is the best part of planting a garden, something new to see emerges each day as the season progresses into Summer, Joyscape has the same feel of a garden exploding with life like a flower bomb. The Art of the Flower show is a delightful experience, being immersed in the joyful jungle of flowers can’t help but put a smile on your face.

David Segall, No Flowers

David Segall, No Flowers, oil, Art of the Flower, The Philadelphia Sketch Club

“Since the basement had no heat, Sara had to stay in bed all winter. Her father painted flowers for her, the only flowers of her childhood. Warsaw, 1939 Roman Vishniac” – David Segall, No Flowers

David Segall‘s oil painting, No Flowers, is a poignant reminder of how precious flowers are. His haunting painting captures the wild eyed wonder and confusion of the child living in a basement as a war rages above, spending years not seeing the sun or a single flower. The artist explained to DoN that the quote touched him deeply, the painting evokes that inescapable flow of time washing like a wave over a lifetime. Flowers represent peace, love and beauty in a world that’s sometimes dark and bleak.

The historic Philadelphia Sketch Club is reliant on volunteer artist members for it’s survival. Thank you so much to departing Executive Director Norka Shedlock for making every effort to stabilize the situation of the 152 year old art club, the oldest artist run art club in America. The venerable art institution needs your help. If you owe dues please make payment arrangements, volunteers are needed now more than ever and be sure to enter the prestigious Small Oils art show to display your support for the club. The Philadelphia Sketch Club is like a flower that has grown for ages in your garden then starts to wilt, with some love and care the club will remain a unique bastion of artistic unity, integrity and aspiration for Philadelphia artists.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer.

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