Rose Nest & Wasp Petals

Our brains are designed to pick up patterns and spot similarities (and differences), it’s like a game, survival magic. It’s this skill that helps us decode which red berry to eat, to avoid black and yellow striped wasps, snakes and tigers and how to trust a loving face.

An artist’s eye naturally seeks out these visual parallels and harmonies but also thrills with their added dissonance, the basis of a visual metaphor. The juxtaposition of this David Austin rose, Spirit of Freedom, that I planted outside my studio and the wasp’s nest I’d collected within turns the wasp’s nest into a flower and the rose into a mysterious and potentially precarious cave.

I wish there was a great story about how I risked life and limb to collect the nest which is larger than my head. Truth be told, I was in a San Jose antique shop searching for floral frames when I spotted this nest hanging on the wall. The vendor’s mother had harvested it herself from Oregon. I keep it like a flower in a vase where I can simple stare a it in awe.

Marie Cameron Rose Nest & Wasp Petals  front 2012

I love how forms in nature repeat themselves.

Marie Cameron Rose Nest  & Wasp Petals side 2012

The rose outside my studio bears a striking resemblance to the wasp’s nest inside.

Marie Cameron Rose Nest & Wasp Petals detail 2012

The visual analogies are endless.

  1. Observed your astute observation.

    The lovely, delicate, intricate forms of the rose petals in various stages of bloom are a true artist/gardener’s delight in their many facets.

    Your description of your inspiration, so well defined, well related. Thanks.

  2. Marie H says:

    I love how the two almost transparent petals of the rose in the first photo stick up in the back leading me to believe they are wings of an insect. Perhaps a wasp?

    I do like the juxtaposition of the rose and the wasp nest.

  3. They really are the shadow side of each other — holy! Love how intricate these are, how defined and yet how fragile. It’s almost impossible to think a rose could grow like this, and that wasps can weave like that. My mind hurts…I can see the endless inspiration for you, in the world of nature.

  4. mariecameron says:

    Marie, I see your petal – wing reference. I love when our minds are open to suggestions!

  5. mariecameron says:

    I just read that mature paper wasps feed on nectar, I don’t know what I had imagined them eating, trees? They require nectar from flowers where it’s easily accessible too like dill and fennel. Knowing this, I can almost imagine the paper wasps wistfully creating a painstaking monument to the rose whose nectar will always remain just out of reach.

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