Patrick Saunders did a lovely award winning painting of pink irises last year at Stems Plein Air, and I remember him commenting that irises are challenging to paint. I bought some beautiful purple irises this week, and they were so lovely in the vase on our dining table as they started to open that I decided to photograph them. Turns out irises are challenging to photograph as well. Their shape as they unfurl - there is so much going on with these little beauties as they open that I struggled to find a vantage point that I liked. I ended up photographing them from above, and then found that I liked them in black and white as much as in color, because the black and white treatment really highlights the contrast and textures going on in the flower, without the distraction of their intense, brilliant colors.
I really like irises. They are delicate and elegant, but yet strong. They make me think of my great grandmother Jesse Dooley. She loved irises and lilacs, calling them her country flowers.