High Drama with Abigail McCallum

Abigail McCallum is a ballerina turned painter and while she is relatively new to the art world (6 years in!) her massive paintings are definitely one to watch. The dying blooms in these paintings are cropped so elegantly and in such a raw way I feel like I am personally involved in the flower.

I asked Abigail, why flowers and why the closely cropped composition. Of her work, she says, “I think painting for me is about transforming the subject matter. I see an infinite amount of ways to make a painting in this way. Flowers have become a vehicle for me to imagine other worlds…the idea that in our world as it gets down to the infinitesimal level, we find more information and more questions…I think this is why I am interested in closing in on the subject. With the compositions, I am drawn to the way a painting moves, like a piece of music and a dance.  I am looking for drama in the light and the forms.  I also want it to reference something that is tied to reality, tied to human experience, to what we see in the world. It must be something that is tangible. It has mass, form, shadow, and shade.  I want that to be there, the realism of what we see but that this is always tied to a level of abstraction”.

Abigail definitely embraces the drama of these dying petals. The colors and strokes so much evoke an idea of flowing fabric, folded and thrown about carelessly. Light, playing off dark, playing off light, and all I can see is feminine flower dancers tossing their skirts about gracefully. Can satin and silk skirts be in style so I can pretend to be a flower?


For more of Abigail’s work, check out her website and Instagram. She is also currently being represented by Hang Art in San Francisco.

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