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Jean Swan Gordon

Harvest Gold Gallery is please to announce that we are showing some of Jean Swan Gordon’s newly framed work. On consignment from the late Mrs. Gordon’s children, these large florals capture the vibrant and chaotic nature of living flora.

            Born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, Gordon graduated from Smith College in 1942. Due to her husband’s military career, she and her family moved all around the world before settling in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Gordon summered in East Boothbay, Maine, and that is where her love of gardening and painting came together.

            Initially, Gordon worked only in pen and pencil and created brilliant line portraits and landscapes. In order to raise extra funds for her daughter’s cancer treatments, Gordon began to paint floral bouquets on the side. Quickly, however, Gordon fell in love with the intricacies of flowers. “As with people,” Gordon wrote, “no two are the same. They can move around like people, and there’s something challenging about that. That’s why I try to convey in my work the vigor, energy, and variety of flowers at various stages of growth and development.”

            Gordon’s bouquets are unique in the art world because of their lack of traditional staging. Field flowers mix and mingle with the blooms of Gordon’s garden, and reflect the passing of the seasons. Lupin and buttercups in the early summer; dahlias, echinacea, and chrysanthemums in the fall. She starts each painting by taking ink directly onto plain white paper. She then adds in layers upon layers of watercolors which, under her masterful hand, capture the velvety nature of petals, the light that bounces through a glass vase, and so much more. The negative space between all the leaves and flowers is as stunning as the bouquets themselves.

            The light and joy that Jean Swan Gordon’s work can bring to a room is unlike any other. For Gordon, it is “the beauty, individuality, and energy of flowers that counts the most” towards creating a stunning piece.