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Sallie Thayer

My comments are less about the name and nature of the flowers presented and more about the qualities of "inversion" as an art form.

When Svetlana first approached me, I was somewhat taken aback because I had never thought of inversion as serious art form. For me it was simply a process by which I could, on the computer, show what the colours of a drawing would look like if they were inverted. Sometimes the process pleased me and at other times I was left feeling that the combination of colours in the “inverted” version simply were not that interesting.

At any rate, I have finally decided to make a serious contribution to this fascinating web site.

First is the Flame Lily in full bloom. I did this drawing originally in 2009 and had actually forgotten about it until I decided to draw the Glory or Flame Lily (the next flower down) and realized that the forms were similar to something else I had drawn. At first I searched for my drawing under the name of "Flame Lily" and found nothing. Finally I realized that the name "Glory Lily" reminded me of the word "Gloriosa". When I searched under that name, I found my drawing as well as the inverted copy.

You see what happens with the inversion technique. Somehow, I find this attempt at inversion to be the least interesting of the four samples given here. The original is so richly coloured that the inverted version seems boring by comparison. I guess that all these reds and greens and yellows can't help but turn into blues, purples and aquamarine.

Next, I want to show this drawing of the Flame Lily (Gloriosa). As stated above, this is my second attempt at drawing this flower. The older drawing shows an actual flower in full bloom while this drawing shows a very stylized flame lily in the process of blooming. I actually find the inverted form of this drawing to be more interesting to me than the inverted form of the flower in full bloom. I also really like the stylized version in its simplicity of design.

Next, let me show you a real beauty whether natural colours or inverted colours. This is Moraea villora. In this case, I would be hard pressed to choose which version I actually prefer..

Recently I came across a number of photographs of Romulea luteoflora. I was fascinated by the huge number of variations in a plant growing wild in the same general area of South Africa. I can easily understand variations when the plant grows in different locations spread far apart, but growing in the same area...! Anyway, I decided that this is the version I wanted to draw as it looked the most like the majority of the variations of Romulea luteoflora.

After I had finished the drawing, I decided to see what it would look like with the colours inverted. I really like the results -- almost better than the original. The blue and white flowers look, to me, so fresh and clean. So, I kept the result and will probably use it in the making of prints available for sale.

Finally, I have to say, in all honesty that I find I cannot easily accept inversion as a serious art form because for me, it is simply an afterthought -- a way of seeing what colours I can find hidden within a drawing when I invert those colours. This is easily done on a computer and totally unlike the process where an artist actually paints the inverted colours in the original work in an effort to sort of shock the viewer into seeing objects in a different way. Anyone who has been following my blog for a period of time will know that to me colours are more important than shape or form. I am attracted to any object originally because of how it is coloured. Even if the colours are various shades of grey and rich black, I can find them irresistible if they are used in a way that brings out their depth, richness, subtlety or intense beauty. This is why I enjoy “inverting” my drawings in order to observe the colours.