Artist draws on flower power to bring people together at free exhibition

A local artist is set to hold a free pop-up show of her new work and hopes the event will be a celebration of togetherness.  

Artist of 30 years Samantha Barnes is known for her fine art animal and still life work, as well as her greetings cards which sell in gift shops throughout the UK and at John Lewis and Waitrose. 

Now she has turned her talent to creating large scale floral paintings and hopes the power of flowers will lift people’s spirits. 

The Woodbridge based painter says she was inspired to capture the beauty of florals during lockdown periods and that she feels others were uplifted by the sight of flowers during that time too. 

And she may be right, as her latest paintings have been snapped up by her followers. 

Now, after a four-year absence from showing her artwork, Samantha says her planned exhibition Bloom & Brunch on May 20th, is a chance for people to return to socialising, be together and share in the uplifting power of nature and flowers. 

She said: “It’s been four years since I had a solo show and having turned 50, I decided it was time I did something a bit bigger, I wanted to make more of a statement on canvas. 

 “I’ve always wanted to paint flowers, but felt daunted by the sheer beauty of them, and how much there is to learn about each stem.  

“I did a course on painting abstract flowers, and I know that there is such a massive history to this discipline of painting and I am only just beginning. 

“But I started to paint these huge floral paintings – and at first simply put them on my website as work in progress for others to view – then requests to purchase came in which was just, wonderful. 

“Now, they will be shown in the backdrop of a beautiful garden which is just the perfect setting and I am so excited to see them all together.  

“I really want this show to be a lovely experience and for people to feel they can just pop in and look. 

“It’s been a tough time and we are getting a little braver at being out and about and I’d like to think this is the perfect experience to bring people together. Everyone is welcome. 

“Flowers became so important to me during the lockdowns. I took so much joy from seeing little wild blooms in jugs, or just jam jars around the house – they really lifted my spirits and I think that was the

case for so many of us. Flowers have the power to bring a smile and a bit of hope and so everyone is invited to come along and view the paintings, walk among the flowers and simply observe them, as they are.” 

The Bloom & Brunch show will be held on Friday May 20th at 44 Chapel Street, Central Woodbridge, 10am -3pm and will include food by The Modern Larder with a suggested donation of £6 and all food proceeds being donated to charities supporting Ukraine.  

To further boost the flower power theme Samantha has also invited local florist Emma Powell (@TheaLilyloves) to sell a selection of hand tied bouquets. 

“I can’t wait for this event and really hope people will feel they can come along and join in the joy of florals,” says Samantha. 

“It will be so lovey to celebrate being together. Selling online is great but I really miss the one-to-one feedback. 

“I am hoping this will be the start of other events which bring people together, such as workshops and small, interactive shows.” 

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