Fifi flowers is an American artist who has enchanted fans around the world with her creations – whimsical paintings and drawings of France – in particular Paris and Provence. Janine Marsh talks to Fifi Flowers about her muse, Paris and what inspires her so about the City of Light…
Fifi Flowers’ drawings and paintings of Paris ooze chic Parisian style but it is as if fairy dust has been sprinkled and made the images even more quirky and delicious.
The colours are vibrant, the outlines may only be a few lines but the images are instantly recognisable and create a fantasy and fantastic aura of Paris and all that is great and beautiful in the city of lights. From the Eiffel Tower to spring flowers in a window box on a smart Paris apartment, classy, long legged ladies leading adorable poodles, little cafés, pastel coloured shutters and narrow houses in Montmartre….
JM: When did you realise that Paris was your artistic muse?
FF: I have been enthralled with Paris since hearing about it… and the artists who created in that wonderful city. My 20th Century art history teacher enchanted us daily with stories about the artists’ life in Paris. It made me long to be in Paris and see the places they frequented and feel their vibe.
JM: Have you been to Paris?
FF: My college graduation gift from my mother was a trip to Paris (and few other European cities that will be written about in future novels I am working on). The longest part of our mother/daughter holiday was spent in Paris and I ADORED all 6 days! We planned absolutely nothing but our accommodation. We took Paris by storm and literally it rained everyday, but it was a magical experience. We roamed the streets, visited museums, took a day trip out to Versailles and dined in FABuLOUS little places that were YUMMY! When it came time to move on, I left a piece of my heart in the City of Lights and I’m hoping to return and capture it again.
JM: How often do you create – I read somewhere that you aim to do a drawing a day?
For a long time, I did try to paint or draw something everyday and share my creations on painting du jour blog aka FifiFlowers.com, but lately I have been in the mode of writing. Now, the works of art I create on my own are doodles or sketches alongside my written work. I find it easy to describe apartments, cafes, windows if I scribble them first and once I have my sketches I paint the scenes with words.
JM: Do you receive a lot of commissions?
I receive several commissions for commercial illustrations and personal paintings throughout the year. My busiest time of the year working with commissions is generally September until the end of November, that is the time when I’m called upon for holiday gifts. Custom paintings are such a personal gift and something to be treasured. I LOVE hearing from the recipients, knowing I added a little joy to their lives. Often, people send me photographs from their visit to Paris and I turn them into a painting or a drawing in my own style, a memory to savour forever…
JM: Is there a specific Paris landmark you like to paint?
FF: I would have to say the Eiffel Tower is the landmark that I paint the most. However, it is not my favourite thing to paint in Paris. I love to paint architecture… windows and balconies… views out of windows and views of windows. I don’t know what my obsession is with WINDOWS but it is obvious I have one by the eight book series I am creating that is called the Window Series and yes, each book has a significant window! The only possible answer I have as to WHY is that windows are a means of escape and books and art can be a GREAT escape, non?
Have you ever had any unusual requests for paintings?
Coincidentally, I recently received requests asking me to create tattoo art. Oui oui oui, people want Fifi Flowers art work permanently inked on their bodies. I would have to say that beats out any other requests I have had!
JM: Are the walls in your house covered with your lovely paintings?
Most of the artwork in my home is in fact painted by me, but not all of them are my compositions. I love paintings by French painters, mainly Henri Matisse, and owning the original paintings is out of the question so I have several reproduction paintings in my home
Fifi resides in the Los Angeles area of California… but part of her heart resides in Paris, France.