Lilacs and crabapple blossoms

Several years ago on a visit to New York, I saw a painting by Serge Hollerbach at the American Watercolor Society Annual Show. His work stuck out in my mind because it was so different from most of the watercolours in the show. I don’t remember exactly what the painting looked like but the subject was figures, the colours were muted, the shapes were flat and there was no attempt at realism. It was a refreshing sight. Recently I found a few of his books online and they just arrived on my doorstep. I am enjoying The “How To” of Sketching, a slim but very informative little handbook about sketching people. And I’ve also started reading a larger hardcover Composing in Acrylics. My favourite quote so far in the book is this one:

All my experience as an artist, from student days to the present, tells me that the fear of doing the wrong thing… is the most repressive, inhibiting feeling an artist at any level can have. Yet we have all had it, or still have it from time to time. The fear of creating something ridiculous and ugly makes us timid. But if we want to create, we have to get rid of inhibitions.” Serge Hollerbach, from Composing in Acrylics.

As for the lilacs and crabapple blossoms, they were a gift from a friend who loves lilacs as much as I do.

35 Comments on “Lilacs and crabapple blossoms”

  1. Carol King says:

    this is spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayne Jacques says:

    Thank you for sharing.
    His people are similar to Olivier Suire Verley.
    He works in oil. Olivier Suire Verley, artiste peintre (

    Wayne John Jacques, AIA
    Jefferson Group Architecture, Inc.
    700 School Street Unit 2
    Pawtucket, RI 02860
    p 401-365-1177 f 401-721-2238


    • Hi Wayne. I had a look at Olivier Suire Verley. I can certainly see the resemblance to Hollerbach’s work. Lots of dark shapes and drama. Wonderful work! I’m so glad you shared it.


  3. lois says:

    Spectacular is the word! This would be so great as a BIG print. How could you not look at it and smile?!


  4. Robyn Mixon says:

    So beautiful; no definite lines on the vase but it reads perfectly.


  5. Elaine Robinson says:

    Shari you are so generous with your art and ideas. This painting is gorgeous. Thank you for the intro to Hollerbach.


  6. Excellent quotation — so true and so well expressed. And your sketch… now that’s what I’d call exuberance! And luscious and full of life.


  7. Chris Rusk says:

    Great lilacs and crabapple blossoms – so far, thankfully, my allergies are keeping at bay!

    S.H.’s quote is timely – courage is everything.

    Many thanks 🙂


    • Chris, do you suffer from spring allergies? I don’t, but apparently it’s a terrible year for those who do. So much pollen it’s covered all my outdoor chairs with greenish dust. Thanks for writing, and glad you like the quote.


  8. beth says:

    I love this one, bursting with beauty


  9. Sharon Monson says:

    Just one word – WOW!


  10. Bernadette says:

    Such a great quote! Some have stopped trying for fear they will look ridiculous……so sad!
    Your painting is exquisite! The acrylic has such depth and beauty. It’s good to switch media…I’m learning from you!
    Recently bought gouache paints after seeing your recent works.I’ve never used gouache.I’m ready to try your newest online course sketching skies!
    Thanks much for such great inspirational daily posts and encouragement.


    • Thank so much Bernadette. I realize my post was not clear. I was reading about acrylics but I painted in watercolour! Glad you liked the quote. It seems that many people could relate!


  11. Joanna says:

    Shari, this is such a lovely painting! And thank you for sharing the work/words of Serge Hollerbach. I’ll investigate further!


  12. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear friend Shari,
    Very beautiful and pleasant sketch.
    Very well done.


  13. Mary says:

    Bold and beautiful – such inspiration you give us! Thanks.


  14. Lizanne G says:

    Absolutely gorgeous Shari!!! This should be a print! Love the quote!

    Could you please share which colors were used? Thank you!!


  15. Suzanne says:

    Hi Shari 💐 Thank you. Your post today fit in just right. Thank you for sharing your discovery and reading, thank you sharing this he-got-that-right quote, and thank you for being our fearless artist every day. ❤️


  16. Sharon Monson says:

    Shari just a question? I’m a little confused about the medium you used for this painting. Watercolor, acrylic or gouache? Thanks.


  17. mcammeehan says:

    love the quote, I have a habit of being tenacious about my work, now it’s time for me to get rid of the inhibitions! love the lilacs and crabapple blossoms are my favourite


  18. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    A beautiful painting and a quote with so much meaning for us all! Thank you for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s