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David Herzig

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Herzig American Artist Magazine article      Toledo Magazine article

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David Herzig is certainly one of the best artists of floral images working today as evidenced by these magnificent examples, each now on display in the high-ceiling east gallery here at Saper Galleries. 

For more detail on the artist click here for a three-page bio in PDF format. 

Enjoy the several new watercolors that David just brought to us!

Roy Saper, framing manager Jennifer Cuthbert, artist David Herzig in the east gallery
Roy Saper,
                  Jennifer, David Herzig

Amaryllis Blooms and Bud III
Amaryllis Blooms and Bud III
Original watercolor
Image size:
29 1/2 x 41 1/2"
Framed size: 35 x 47"
Sorry sold for $3,800 in white-washed ash frame


Cyclamen
Cyclamen  <New!
Three original graphite drawings
Image size: 13" square each

Framed size: 48 x 18 1/2"
  $1,800 in metal frame, each floated on linen
Cluster
                  of Red Amaryllis
Cluster of Red Amaryllis  <New!
Original watercolor
Image size: 30 x 22 1/2"
Framed size: 35 x 27"
  $2,200 in white-washed ash frame


Orange
                  Amaryllis
Orange Amaryllis  <New!
Original watercolor
Image size: 22 1/2 x 15"
Framed size: 26 x 19"
  $850 in white-washed ash frame

Yellow Trout
                  Lily
Yellow Trout Lily  <New!
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 1/2"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
 
$380 in white-washed ash frame

Single
                  Rubrum Lily
Stargazer Lily
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 1/2"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
 
Sorry, sold for $380 framed



Herzigs on display
                  today
Display of original David Herzig watercolors on display in the east gallery.

Stargazer Lily
Single Rubrum Lily  <New!
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 5/8"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
 
$380 in white-washed ash frame

Progressive Bloom
Progressive Bloom  <New!
(Pink Amaryllis in Five Stages)
Five original watercolors
Image size: 15 x 11" each panel
Framed size: 18 x 60"
$1,500 in white-washed ash frame

First panel
                    detail        Detail
                    five
Two detail images from five panel progressive set of watercolors

Pink Waterlily
Pink Water lily
Original watercolor
Image size: 15 x 22"
Framed size: 26 x 32"
Sorry, sold for $1,100 in blond maple frame

Blooms and bud
  Amaryllis and Bud
Original watercolor
Image size: 20 x 15"
Framed size: 24 x 19"
Sorry, sold for $850 in white-washed ash frame

Minerva in three stages
  Minerva Amaryllis in Three Stages
Three original watercolors
Image size: 9 x 7 1/4" each
Framed size: 18 x 34"
Sorry, sold for $750 in maple frame

Mixed
                  Daylilies with Peony Leaves
Mixed Day lilies with Peony Leaves
Original watercolor
Image size: 16 3/4 x 22 1/2"
Framed size: 24 x 30"
Sorry, sold for $1,500 in solid cherry frame


Lily
                  Afloat
Lily Afloat
Original watercolor
Image size: 22 x 30"
Framed size: 32 x 40"
$3,600 framed
Red Poppy
Red Poppy
Original screenprint
Image size: 24 x 24"; Paper size: 26 x 26"
Framed size: 33 x 33"
$700 framed

(Also available $450 unframed)
Lotus
Lotus
Original screen print
Image size: 22 x 22"
Paper size: 26 x 26"
  $450 unframed
(Also framed 32 x 32" for $700)

Sunflowers
Sunflowers
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 5/8"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
Sorry, sold for $380 framed

Stargazer
Stargazer
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 5/8"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
Sorry, sold for $380 framed

Parrot
                  Tulip
Pink Parrot Tulip
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 5/8"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
Sorry, sold for $380 framed

Amaryllis
                  Bloom
Amaryllis Bloom
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/4 x 7 5/8"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
Sorry, sold for $380 framed

Amaryllis Blooms
                  and buds
Amaryllis Blooms and Buds
Original watercolor
Image size: 30 x 41"
Framed size: 35 x 46"
Sorry, sold for $3,800 framed

Three
                  Parrot Tulips
Three Red Parrot Tulips
Original watercolor
Image size: 30 x 41"
Framed size: 35 x 46"
Sorry, sold for $3,800 framed

Batik
                  Iris Study
Iris Batik Study
Original watercolor
Image size: 11 1/8 x 7 1/2"
Framed size: 20 x 16"
 
Sorry, sold for $440 framed

Batik Iris
Iris Batik
Original watercolor
Image size: 19 3/4 x 18"
Framed size: 26 x 24"
Sorry, sold for $850


Rubrum
                  Lilies
Rubrim Lilies
Original watercolor
Image size: 24 x 24"
Framed size: 33 x 33"
Sorry, sold for $1,100 framed

Rubrum
                  Lilies detail
Rubrum Lilies
Detail of original watercolor
show at the left

Cyclamen
Cyclamen
Three original graphite drawings
Image sizes: 6 1/2" each
Framed size: 15 x 29"
Sorry, sold for $450 framed

Side by Side
  Side by Side
Original watercolor of two lotus lilies
Image size: 30 x 22"
Framed size: 40 x 32"
Sorry, sold for $2,800 framed

A Passion for Peonies

American Artist 

March 25, 2001

Ohio artist David Herzig likens peonies, "with their sensuality and heavy fragrance," to voluptuous women.  This comparison only begins to explain the artist's love affair with the flower he's been painting for more than a decade.  Although it's clearly his favorite, he doesn't commit himself only to the peony.  Herzig's works are resplendent with tulips, irises, lilies, rhododendron, apple blossoms, and any other petaled pretty that captures his gaze.  He is continually fascinated with his subject, which for him invokes important childhood memories, a connectedness to the natural world, and even a kind of transcendence.

During warmer months, the artist can usually be found jumping in and out of bushes at one of three places (the local arboretum, botanical gardens, or his own backyard) studying the foliage and looking for a unique angle.  At times he even stands in the center of a bush to achieve a fresh perspective.  "I try to set the stage by taking an unusual viewpoint," he explains; "one that creates a sense of drama and heightens the viewer's awareness of the flower's presence."  He uses a surprising composition, strong design, or dramatic lighting to capture the viewer's attention.

Numerous field studies become the basis for his over-sized works.  "I do field studies as reference material for use in the dead of winter," he says, "when I have forgotten the intense color of a rubrum lily or the shape of a delphinium leaf." Herzig sets up shop with little more than a folding table, chair, and umbrella to shade his work.  These small watercolors, which he completes on 300-lb Arches paper, often become finished paintings ranging in size from 7" x 8" to 22" x 30".  "I don't do much sketching on the paper before I begin a painting -- just a line here and there for spatial arrangement and to make sure I get everything where I want it," he notes.  Although he prefers to work from life, the artist sometimes uses photographs as compositional aids.

Herzig employs few tools; not much more than his 1" flat sable and a couple of rounds.  Indoors, he typically works wet-in-wet and mixes many colors in puddles.  "I try to get color to flow naturally and look like organic forms without actually painting through and spelling it out," he comments.

Working exclusively in transparent watercolor, Herzig believes the addition of pastels, inks, and opaque white compromises the integrity of the medium.  Using a limited palette, he applies numerous layers to each work and can spend up to 20 hours on a single piece.  "I love the push and pull of the work," he says.  "What I'm doing is my way of working in sculpture, molding the forms of the flowers."

This sense of three-dimensionality is a distinctive quality in Herzig's work.  In Peony Garden, the artist developed the effect by first getting down on the ground at eye level with the blossoms.  "I wanted to immerse myself in the color and fragrance of the peony garden," he explains. In designing the composition, Herzig allowed certain parts of the plant to float out of the picture plane, which invites the viewer into the form's three-dimensional presence.  The addition of red also helped to establish the composition and mold the forms with a greater sense of depth.  "I used it not only to frame the focal point but also to literally point the viewer to it," the artist says.

Despite his intimacy with his subject matter, Herzig began painting flowers relatively recently.  "My interest in the garden as a painting subject crept up on me slowly and by surprise," he says.  In fact, he had no real interest in gardens until he and his wife purchased their first house.  Until that point, he had only really known two particular flowers: the peony that his father mowed over every year when the bush simply got in the way of cutting the grass and the water lily that he paddled by on the Michigan lakes he visited in the summer.  The discovery of a peony bush on his new property conjured memories from his childhood and inspired him to "paint these images as though I had known them all my life," he says.  "I also began to reflect on just how much of an impact these two flowers must have had on me.

"The flower as a subject for serious exploration is often overlooked with barely a passing glance," continues Herzig, who finds it to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration, "pregnant with power and meaning."  He believes the challenge of the artist is to cause the viewer to see more clearly.  "I attempt to make my subject new again, as though it is being seen for the first time," the artist describes.  "My subject is especially challenging because we are inundated with floral imagery of every kind, executed with varying degrees of skill, and splashed on everything from teacups to lawn furniture.  We use flowers for decoration rather than seeing them for the expressive forms that they are."

Clearly, his attraction goes deeper than a passing infatuation.  "My friends and family will sometimes say, 'Not another flower!'  But I tell them to leave me alone -- I'm having a ball!" the artist says.  After painting flowers for 10 years, Herzig is inspired by them now more than ever.  "How can you exhaust yourself on plant material?" he asks. "You can't.  There's no end to the subject.  For me, the flower form is worthy of center stage."  And so it is.  Under his Rubenesque touch, even the common peony stirs our passions.

Jeanette Wenig Drake is a writer, artist, and assistant professor of communication at the University of Findlay in Ohio.


TOLEDO MAGAZINE (Excerpted text below)

Botanical illustrations -- where art meets science
By Tahree Lane    BLADE STAFF WRITER
February 18, 2013

Botanical illustration depicts the form, color, and details of plants. It was practiced in ancient India, China, and Egypt where images of plants were carved into pharaohs’ tombs, says Robin Jess, executive director of the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York.

Botanical art, expected to be beautiful and technically accurate, is riding a wave of popularity, says Ms. Jess, largely among women artists in the United States, England, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea. Concern for the environment and a passion for gardening are fueling the trend.

For hundreds of years, the medium was watercolor. These days, graphite, colored pencil, pastels, pen and ink, and oil paints are used.

In David Herzig’s living room, water lilies and peachy-gold bearded iris adorn the walls, singing with dramatic colors and larger-than-life size. “It’s more about getting you engulfed in a scene,” says Mr. Herzig, who paints at his kitchen table, overlooking a small ravine in Monclova Township.

One of his most popular subjects is a four-part sequential unfolding of the majestic amaryllis, a huge bulb with a fast-growing stalk. “I like to say it’s like painting a moving target,” says Mr. Herzig. He tries to stagger the blooming of 35 amaryllis bulbs for winter painting. His paintings offer more dimension than meets the eye. “I’m trying to depict these things in the round, in a sculptural way.”

He studied sculpture and painting at Siena Heights University, but after graduation, gravitated to the watercolors he’d done at Start High School. He owned the Ottawa Gallery in Sylvania from 1988 to 1996, leaving it to paint full time. He did landscapes, and as a homeowner tending to flowers was captivated by plump peonies.

He renders orchids, oriental lilies, cyclamen, and “whatever I find in the garden, whatever I stumble across that catches my fancy. It has to strike me as being graceful and bold.”

In 2001, he exhibited at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, which owns 30,000 books dating to the 1400s and 30,000 original paintings, mostly 20th-century watercolors. The Hunt, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, purchased his pure-white single bearded iris on a deep green background. “It was more of a loose representation than a strict botanical study.”

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