Desiree Wollard: Feeling Florida-Fresh

Desiree Wollard is a solar-powered artist thriving in the hot Orlando sun. Her work is inspired by the roadside attraction and tropical flora and fauna that Floridians are so exposed to. Wollard’s watercolor, gouache and ink paintings are created with a crisp illustrative style that feels like home. Her moniker, “Peel and Vine,” hints at what sort of subject matter you’ll enjoy most while scrolling along her Instagram – fruits and veggies, flowers and plants. Her botanical illustrations are playfully-executed and charmingly aesthetic.

Wollard’s paintings feel delightfully reminiscent of Audubon’s style of botanical illustration – plain backgrounds give the well-detailed flora the attention they deserve. Check out her painting “Ruby Red Grapefruit” to see for yourself. In front of a quiet cream backdrop hangs a grapefruit and its related leaves and blossoms. The texture of its rind is carefully dappled on the burnt orange surface. Below this whole fruit is another grapefruit that’s sliced down the middle. Its crimson flesh is painted with meticulous detail to reveal the consummate design of the juicy inside. Wollard’s painting is delicious enough to bite right into.

Equally apt in floral illustrations, Wollard’s flowers are playful. Crisp detail lines and vibrant colors amount to a Florida feeling of tropical paradise. Her painting, “Pomegranate” is fresh and not overworked. Composed of just a few variations of red and green, it feels like a drive-by sketch that honors the fleeting beauty of Florida’s roadside attractions. With sketchy and imperfect outlines, this pomegranate is lightheartedly designed. Wollard’s stylistic approach is largely unanimous through her body of work. Her painting of Rhododendrons is similar to her pomegranates, with selective color choices and thin black lines. This floral illustration is rooted in purples and greens, with simplified shading and unrefined outlines. Wollard’s work is playfully and unpretentiously illustrated with Floridian-focus.


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