March 18, 2013

Bonnie Flood: W's painting teacher

In the last few months, the world learned that after George W. Bush left office more than four years ago, he took up painting. Images from a hacked email account revealed that Bush has been painting self-portraits in the bathroom, and later reports indicated he also has an interest in dog portraiture. Last week, Bonnie Flood, an artist in Cumming, GA, revealed that she spent a month in Boca Grande, Florida, teaching the former President how to paint. According to Flood, Bush has a passion for painting, shows real potential as an artist, and signs his work "43."

Bonnie Flood, Roses Between Thorns, 5 x 7 inches. Flood seems to specialize in landscape and still life, but also paints abstractly on occasion.

Most of the attention has been focused on whether or not Bush has talent, but I suspect that Two Coats readers might like to know more about Bonnie Flood, a painter who used to own two art galleries but now says she supports herself through teaching and painting. "Art has been a main thread throughout my life." she writes on her website. "It wove through years of clothing design, interior design and resulted in the development of oil painting. When I started painting, it became a deep passion..." In her workshops, students work from still lifes and photographs as they learn compositional strategies, canvas preparation, color mixing, and methods for applying paint with a palette knife.
The idea of Mixing colors and creating a painting was so fascinating to me. I love patterns of reflected light, subtle nuances of color and I am always looking for new ways to express my perceptions and feelings. I grew up in a small Amish town in Indiana. Sometimes I find myself drawn back to the barns, farm animals, and hay bales. Painting them takes me back home. The colors of the farmland in the Spring, the smell of fresh hay, all bring about the desire to paint them.
I have traveled throughout Europe painting a totally different scene, vineyards and small villages, but there is no place like home. I have studied in Taos, Santa Fe, Scottsdale, and Europe. I have been influenced by many great teachers, but I am still in awe of the great masters. As in design work, I enjoy all styles of painting; still life with brilliant colors, flowers with a palette knife, and mixed media. My paintings hang in many collectors’ homes as well as corporate offices. I have won many awards for my work, which I am very grateful for....My desire is to touch the hearts of those that see my work, to influence and encourage those that love to paint as much as myself.
Flood doesn't mention where she went to art school, so I suspect she doesn't have a BFA but probably studied with independent teachers instead. Here are a few images of her paintings, which may not be challenging intellectually, but they display a good grasp of color and some lively paint handling.

 Bonnie Flood, Colors, 24 x 36 inches.

 Bonnie Flood, Waterfront, 16 x 20 inches.

 Bonnie Flood, Roses and Oranges, 24 x 36 inches.

 Bonnie Flood, Green Apples, 24 x 36 inches.

Bonnie Flood, Floral Still Life 2, 16 x 20 inches.

Watch an interview with Bonnie Flood here.

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