written by Janet Harrold
The thing that I like most about Cedar Grove Gardens is the amount of talent that the staff portrays. As if being a florist isn’t talent enough, most of the team here exceeds the creativity and talent needed to be an exceptional florist and their combined years of experience is what really makes Cedar Grove Gardens the floral experience that it is today. I hope that you enjoy today’s interview with the multi talented Mitchell Karas. “The Marsh”
How long have you worked for Cedar Grove Gardens?
I’ve worked at Cedar Grove Gardens for nearly 20 years now, during peak times it can often geta bit hectic but I try never to lose sight of the wonder that it is.
How long have you been a florist?
For over thirty years now. It’s a funny story as I accidentally fell into floral design, but it couldn’t have been more perfect and suited for me as I’ve always had a fascination and love for nature. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with flowers, endlessly beautiful and fascinating. I find such joy when I see their colors and when I discover how to manipulate them.
Where do you get your floral inspiration for your paintings?
I’m fortunate to work at a garden center. I can always take a pause and stroll outside where I am immediately drawn into a world of inspiration, color and overwhelmed with the beauty of nature and all of it’s many fragrances.
Do you paint from life? “Roses”
Actually, not as often as I would like to. It is my goal and challenge at the end of the day to translate what i’ve retained in my mind onto the canvas at my South Boston studio, to capture the beauty of the flowers and how they make me feel relaxed and in awe.
In closing Mitchell, tell me about yourself as an artist and who has inspired you.
I have been inspired and influenced by all of the great artists- from the German Expressionists to Hans Hoffman. My subject matter is usually inspired by nature or by my memories and observations. Of course flowers inspire me but I am also moved by the ocean and by Cape Cod marshes and the seashore.I love the process of building layers of paint and then scratching or scraping to reveal some past history. Using a variety of media and styles, my painting becomes a vehicle to express bursts of joy, loneliness, sadness or calm. “Sunflowers”
“Mitchell paints primarily in oil. Often, there are random splashes of paint or chaotic swipes of his brush. In his abstract work, he starts painting a subject with a sense of order then it quickly dissolves into total mayhem. In his landscapes, there is the same haphazard style, but usually the end result is the work that conveys total isolation, calmness and serenity.
His paintings are inspired by his love of the natural world. He feels that they are a metaphor for his continual struggle to find harmony and balance amidst the restless intensity of life.
Mitchell exhibits his work at his studio in South Boston; in the South End; and in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. His work can be seen in numerous restaurants and retail venues. He currently resides in the South End of Boston and he summers in Provincetown.”