WHETHER YOU OBSERVE HER artwork or engage in a conversation with internationally renowned artist Deborah Bigeleisen, you are acutely aware of her depth and passion for her craft. She is a true artiste whose body of work illuminates a gift for being in touch with her soul as an artist as well as a knack for keeping her brand fresh and relevant.
“Flowers are my brand,” she says, noting that in college she had to take nature studies every semester. “It was drummed into my creative practice from day one. I always gravitated to the floral genre.”
Bigeleisen was a pioneer in establishing a global textile print design company, where she served as creative director for almost two decades. The role was the perfect match for her skill set, talent and interest in nature. “Nature was a major theme for prints in both apparel and home furnishings. Flowers and nature are in my DNA,” says Bigeleisen, who works with designers, architects and private clients to incorporate the perennially popular genre in interiors in a modern way.
She naturally gravitated to the genre when she started her painting career. Although Bigeleisen did not have a formal fine art education, she quickly fine-tuned her innate talent through art classes and master artist workshops. “I discovered a voice inside that I never knew I had,” she says.
When a gallery owner asked her to paint white roses, the first three paintings she delivered sold in 10 days. A spark went off in her head and she thought, “Wow, Deb, you are onto something special!”
“My identity was born in the white rose,” Bigeleisen says, noting that she has created over 460 paintings with at least half of them stemming from the rose in one form or another, whether her vision is representational or nonobjective. Her technique is rooted in the practices of the Dutch master artists, and her vision in the principles of fractals, where she discovered that nature repeats itself through multiple phenomena. “Looking into the depth of a flower beyond what the naked eye can see, there is an explosion of boundless inspiration,” she muses. Her trademarks are her powerful compositions created with her exceptional use of color, precise and fluid brushwork, and the magical way she captures light.
Occasionally mentioned alongside Georgia O’Keeffe, because they are both identified with painting flowers, Bigeleisen’s work swirls with originality, bringing her unique vision to the subject. Bigeleisen is no ordinary petal pusher. She creates very large, seductive and almost voyeuristic representational images, as well as abstracted, nonobjective visions that play with the viewer’s imagination and emotions. This myriad of complexities adds to the distinctiveness of her work.
“My focus is on the organization of the space, the contrast of light and shadow to sculpt the forms, and the brushwork to capture the energy and spirit. My subject is no longer simply a flower; it is a dynamical system existing in a chaotic universe filled with energy, turbulence, mystery and beauty.
My newest work embodies the pure definition of kaleidoscope—a complex, colorful and shifting pattern—where I combine realism, surrealism and abstract expressionism,” she notes.
in 2016, when she took a year off from painting her signature work. “I spotted a painting by a color-field artist at Art Miami whose work reminded me of American abstract expressionist painter Paul Jenkins. I love the organic movement in his work. It really appeals to my senses,” she says. Turning her studio upside down, she switched from painting in oils to acrylics. “I started using bigger brushes and painting on a flat surface, which paved the way to creative freedom and a totally fresh and new vision.”
Bigeleisen’s paintings grace private and corporate collections worldwide. Her work is represented by fine art dealers in Aspen; Greenwich, Connecticut; Miami; Nantucket, Massachusetts; West Palm Beach; and Vero Beach, Florida. Her paintings have been widely published, included in national museum exhibitions and prominently on view at numerous international contemporary fine art fairs.
“Color is my specialty,” notes the artist. Bigeleisen works with trade professionals and homeowners through the creative spectrum. She is also available for custom commission work.
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Coastal Design Magazine, Modern Luxury Chicago, Playboy.com, RD.com, Charleston Style & Design and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.