top of page

Why Paint Orchids?

Christine Knize's love affair with orchids dates back to her thirty-year residence in Miami, widely regarded as the orchid capital of the world. Nestled in this tropical paradise, with its consistently warm temperatures and mild winters, orchids thrived year-round in outdoor settings. It was impossible not to notice the abundance of orchids gracefully adorning the trees wherever one ventured. The city also played host to numerous annual orchid shows that drew Orchidaceae enthusiasts from across the globe. Dealers from far-flung corners of the world, including the Orient, South America, and Hawaii, converged at events like the Redland Orchid Show, Tamiami Orchid Show, and Fairchild Orchid Show to display and sell their orchid seedlings, plugs, and mature plants. These shows were bustling with excited attendees, eager to purchase orchids while towing their orchid-laden wagons and ready cash.

Christine's Miami property was no exception to this orchid haven. Her sprawling acre in Pinecrest was a veritable sanctuary for mature orchid specimens nestled amid the palm trees and surrounding her magnificent waterfall and pond. Here, she embarked on a journey of learning, delving into the intricacies of orchid care, their diverse names and the myriad types and hybrids that graced her property. Orchids, as she discovered, were relatively easy to cultivate once their unique needs were understood: never over water, provide regular fertilization, and ensure they bask in partial morning sun, for the most part.

Many enthusiasts and experts alike would argue that there is no flower more captivating than the regal Cattleyas, that boast blooms spanning almost eight inches in circumference, enduring for several weeks and offering the ultimate reward.  Phalaenopsis, affectionately known as the "Moth" Orchid, has become the orchid ambassador, readily available in supermarkets and other retail outlets.  Vandas, their root systems hanging from hooks, thrive solely on air and water, eschewing traditional potting mediums.  Cymbidiums, on the other hand, thrive in soil, often producing up to 30 blooms on a single spike.  Oncidiums, charmingly referred to as the "dancing lady" orchid, exhibit stunning, showy sprays.  Dendrobiums cling to rocks or tree bark, and have approximately 1800 different species. Paphiopedilums, known as the "Venus Slipper" orchid, sport a unique pouch and hail from Southeast Asia. Zygopetalums captivate with their exquisite purple, green, and brown blooms, exuding a long-lasting fragrance. And these are just a few of the diverse orchid species.


When Christine relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, she didn't leave her passion for orchids behind. Recognizing Jacksonville's considerably lower temperatures during the winter months, sometimes even dipping below freezing, she took the logical step of building a heated  Greenhouse on her property. This provided a controlled environment akin to the lush, tropical setting she once had, ensuring the well-being of her prized orchids.

For Christine, painting orchids felt like second nature. She was enamored with their vibrant colors, sensual details, and striking patterns. To her discerning eye, these jewel-like flowers possessed distinct personalities that begged to be captured on canvas. She embarked on a unique approach, painting them head-on on extra-large canvases, with an unwavering dedication to detail. In her artistic vision, nothing else took precedence, except perhaps for an occasional scattering of leaves, or sometimes not even that. Her technique harkened back to the old European Masters, utilizing oil paint and multiple translucent glazes. This meticulous approach resulted in super photo-realistic paintings, some of which took months to complete. Christine's practice was to work on three to four paintings simultaneously, allowing each layer of glaze to dry properly between applications.

The ultimate satisfaction for Christine lies in the smiles that her beautiful orchid paintings bring to people's faces, as they marvel at the exquisite realism and timeless beauty of these floral portraits.

Garden with Ground Orchids
bottom of page