Behind the Blooms: The Making of Breath of Life

05 March, 2024 3 min read

Jeannette Sirois Art
As a coloured pencil artist, I aim to create drawings that showcase the beauty, wonder, and connection we share with the natural world. My latest work, Breath of Life, is a diptych that depicts life-sized peonies drawn with meticulous attention to detail and vibrant colours that evoke a sense of wonder and tranquillity.

From Concept to Reality

Early concept sketch of 'Breath of Life'

The inspiration for this project came from a visit to a local garden store. Jeannette was captivated by the intricate layers and hues of the peonies on display.

Breath of Life began with a drawing, a simple yet powerful blueprint for what would become a life-sized celebration of nature. In the concept sketches, we see the genesis of her vision—clusters of peonies rendered in loose, confident strokes. These initial marks are the seeds from which the full bloom of the diptych would grow.

The Artist at Work

Jeannette Sirois working on 'Breath of Life'

Photographs of me at my easel reveal a world where art and reality coexist. The coloured pencils in my hands are more than tools—they are instruments that channel the vibrancy of life. I am seen coaxing the essence of the peonies onto the cotton panels, each touch a deliberate, each layer a deeper dive into the floral landscape I'm bringing to life.

Detail in Depth

Detail of 'Breath of Life' showing the intricate texture of the petals

As the artwork progresses, it transforms from a sketch and begins to take shape. Close-up images of the work-in-progress highlight the artist's mastery of their medium. There is a distinct sense of delicacy and depth in the artwork. The variation in texture, from the velvety smoothness of the petals to the almost tactile quality of the leaves, demonstrates the artist's ability to capture the essence of their subjects with precision and care. Their meticulous technique and hours of dedication to each portion of the drawing reaffirmed their commitment to their craft. The coloured pencils, which they wielded with precision, breathed life into the petals and leaves, infusing them with a spectrum of colours that boast a profound depth.

A Tapestry of Textures

Close-up of the peony petals, illustrating the texture

It's in the details that Breath of Life truly sings. The textures of the petals are captured with such realism, one could almost feel the silkiness under their fingertips. The lush reds and soft pinks are not merely seen but felt, creating a sensory experience that transcends the visual.

Jeannette Sirois adding final touches to 'Breath of Life'

It's in the intricate details that Breath of Life truly shines. The texture of the petals is rendered so realistically that one can almost feel the silkiness under their fingertips. The lush reds and soft pinks in the painting are not just seen but also felt, creating a sensory experience that goes beyond the visual.

The final images of the studio show Breath of Life in its last stages of completion. The existing blank panels are now filled with vibrant colours and life. It's a testament to the 850 hours the artist dedicated to this piece, patiently layering, blending, and perfecting it, resulting in an extraordinary diptych.

Invitation to Viewers

Final painting

I have created something exceptional with Breath of Life. I've poured myself into this, it will stand as a testament to my vision and dedication as an artist.

I would like to think, for a collector, Breath of Life offers an opportunity to own a piece that is both an artistic triumph and an invitation to reflect. It's a timeless composition and would fit seamlessly into any prominent collection. Whether to anchor a collection or to stand as a solitary statement, my goal is to create art that not only brings beauty into the world but also fosters a sense of wonder and appreciation.


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