For many years now, Carolina Alotus has been painting close-up pictures of flowers. The stamens and pistils in her paintings seem so real you almost believe the pollen will come off if you touch them.
Born in 1970 in Malmö in Sweden, Alotus is mostly known for her flower paintings and not many people know that she also has a passion for painting abstracts. During the last couple of years, she has been focusing more and more on this type of painting, and she now exhibits both styles side by side.
As the two styles of painting are completely different this makes for an interesting combination.
Her two styles may not be as far apart as they at first appear, however. Certainly, Alotus sees abstraction in her flowers.
"Look closely at a flower, really closely, and you'll discover a new world that consists of stamen, pistils, pollen and petals, a whole universe in every blossom," she says. "From the flower a seed is born, bursting with the power of life, ready to grow, stretching towards the sun and creating a perfect piece of art - a new flower; which in turn produces new seeds, linked to the chain of eternity and life force. Mother nature gives us this surplus of vibrant, living, colourful creations of art, filled with life, pure outlines and fantastic shapes."
When painting flowers Alotus tries to transmit the feelings of reverence and humility she experiences when faced with "these perfect art works". For her abstracts, she also starts with a feeling or a colour combination she has visualized in her head.
"Usually a painting will go through several stages until it ends up looking nothing like it did in the beginning," she says. "I paint in several layers. It's not always easy to know when I'm done with an abstract painting. It's important to be vigilant, to stop and reflect, and to go with your gut feeling."
When she paints she tries not to think too much. Instead she lets her intuition guide her.
"I find that the creative force inside me flows freely when I shut off the mind chatter and paint with my heart," she says. "I don't consciously put symbolism into my paintings, nor do I name them. I may see one thing in a picture, while someone else sees something entirely different. Both interpretations are equally correct."
In fact, Alotus feels her abstracts don't need to be interpreted at all. "Go with your gut feeling and allow yourself to be swept away by the colours and the brush strokes," she suggests. "The colours have a life of their own."
Alotus moved to Cyprus in 1990 where she still lives. She has exhibited successfully in Europe and beyond.
To view Carolina's gallery please click here