The Whisper of Flowers

By Bea Wolff

Artist Ilsa Dattinger.

Ilsa Dattinger’s first one-woman show, “The Whisper of Flowers,” is now gracing the walls of the Artist’s Alley in the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center. Flowers spring to life through the canvases, highlighting the dynamic colors that compose them in nature and isolating each flower so that the viewer can pause to appreciate its form, substance and vibrancy.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Ilsa took the unfortunate circumstances of her childhood and turned them into opportunities to grow. Stricken with polio and forced to spend months in an iron lung, she learned from an early age how to notice the beauty that surrounded her and she captured its intricacies through art.

Some of the paintings, done in acrylic, are enhanced by the use of bits of glass that Ilsa created by first breaking the glass, and then filing the shards until they were smooth and placing them around the flowers, as if it putting together pieces of a puzzle. The result is a stunning contrast of texture, transparency and colors.

Only one painting has a human in it – a girl peaking through a world of flowers. It is shaped like a plate, which is not an unusual genre for Ilsa, who has also worked with porcelain. It is almost Victorian in feeling, as if bringing the delights of the past into our present.

“The Whispers of Flowers” is an excursion into the joy of nature, brought about by a passionate artist who deserves many more one-woman shows in the future.

Showing through October 1 at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, Artist’s Alley, 23400 Park Sorrento in Calabasas.