Stop and Smell the Roses
So I just finished a series of paintings I’ve been wanting to tackle for a couple of years. Literally. JUST. Finished. Just installed the show. YAAAY! Now I’m hoping I will follow my own advice and stop and smell the roses for a while. This body of work is a series of floral paintings that explores the idea of floriography. The what huh? Maybe you’ve used floriography yourself and didn’t even know it.
Floriography is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers that was popularized during the Victorian Era. It became fashionable to send flower arrangements using this language. For instance, we all know roses are symbolic of love. But the color of the rose can also have different meanings. Red for passion, pink or yellow for friendship, etc. Back in the day, flowers presented in a certain fashion could communicate what could not be spoken aloud, whether the message was positive or negative. A lot of this language grew out of religious, symbolic or practical uses for flowers and plants.
Working professionally for nearly a decade with plants has allowed me to observe more closely the unique attributes, uses, needs and “language” of flowers, herbs and plants. It may sound corny, but I’m convinced that plants have their own personalities and individual needs. What’s good for Rubeckia would make Gardenias struggle. I can’t grow Petunias to save my life. We just don’t get along for some reason. Perhaps it’s because their special meaning is “your presence soothes me” HAHA! What also interests me about this subject is the beauty of flowers alone.
When’s the last time you saw a flower and just stared at it? I mean really stare at the thing and all the different parts and colors that make it up? I think sometimes we are in such a hurry to get from one place to the next that we don’t stop to smell the roses.Or look at ’em. Really look closely at the beauty around us. There’s a part of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 that has always kind of stuck with me. ‘I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly,” she said. “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass!’ So this is what I was thinking about while creating these paintings, along with how I could push, pull, stretch and embellish particular bits of flower parts.
Anyway, these paintings are at the IAMA Coffeehouse until November 30th. I hope you can come and take a look. If not, prints will be available after the show ends on Fine Art America. Either way, I hope you take the time to stop and smell the roses 🙂