Abstract Painting and Inspiration


Painting and Inspiration

This abstract painting  is named “A Bouquet of Roses in Sunlight” after Wallace Steven’s poem. I created my seagrass inspired watery image first and then found this poem that resonated. I was thinking about how wonderful the blue skies are when we are out in the field doing seagrass restoration. I see all these amazing patterns and shapes the seagrass meadows make. The meandering shapes of the green blades form wonderful clusters of vegetation on the surface of the water. Then the blue skies reflect that light. I return and revisit these memories of being out in nature and that sunlight. 

Yes seagrass is an ocean plant that has flowers. Here on the  east coast the flowers are tiny and are well a little gray-black. I did take a bit of creative license and kept adding reds, yellows, pinks and dark greens allowing the painting to take form. The name came after. 

I randomly stumbled on Wallace Steven’s poem “A Bouquet of Roses in Sunlight”- I couldn’t believe all the colors he was writing “Pink yellows, orange, whites…“It reminded me of a painting I just finished in the studio.  It resonated with me. This idea of how our senses of things change. “It is like a flow of meanings with no speech”

A Bouquet of Roses in Sunlight



Say that it is a crude effect, black reds,

Pink yellows, orange whites, too much as they are

To be anything else in the sunlight of the room,


Too much as they are to be changed by metaphor,

Too actual, things that in being real

Make any imaginings of them lesser things.


And yet this effect is a consequence of the way

We feel and, therefore, is not real, except

In our sense of it, our sense of the fertilest red,


Of yellow as first color and of white,

In which the sense lies still, as a man lies,

Enormous, in a completing of his truth


Our sense of these things changes and they change,

Not as in metaphor, but in our sense

Of them. So sense exceeds all metaphor.


It exceeds the heavy changes of the light.

It is like a flow of meanings with no speech

And of as many meanings as of men.


We are two that use these roses as we are,

In seeing them.

This is what makes them seem

So far beyond the rhetorician’s touch,


Wallace Stevens

Image: A Bouquet of Roses in Sunlight

Oil on Canvas, 24″x 48″, 2024

If interested in this piece please email me at nedret@nedretandre.com

For more paintings like this one, click to Oils 

Or for smaller originals please check out my Art Shop

More on Wallace Stevens can be found here:

Poetry Foundation