That’s what I thought when I saw this article on David Michael Smith‘s Florilegium paintings in the February issue of American Art Collector.
I knew it would happen sooner or later, the word was too good and I was just letting in languish… and it wasn’t like I had coined it or anything. And I know his beautiful work is very different than mine, it’s figure driven and plays on the early portraits of the nobility ..but still.
I first came across the word florilegium (which is Latin for a collection of flowers, and usually refers to a literary collection) in a fashion mag in 2008 or 2009? I remember thinking, “Wow! How did I not know about this?”, a world that so perfectly described what I was doing with my mixed media assemblage paintings based on the secret meaning of flowers?! That’s when I started referring to these pieces as my Florilegia.
It’s been a long time since I conceived of these layered pieces with their Illuminated glass slides embedded in the canvas and I’ve become very attached to them and I’m so committed to the idea of showing them “en masse” that I won’t sell them without retaining exhibition rights.
They’re intense though and really deserve to have my entire studio turned over to their creation. I need to let each piece evolve, making sure the materials I’ve collected are appropriate to the concept. I try out different combinations, I rework surfaces, I layer, I make a big cluttered mess and I generally work on a number at a time.
This is all coming up for me now as my studio is filled with rotating projects all jostling for priority, my teacup birds, my portraits of neighbors at work, my environmentally themed marine paintings, and some that I’m not even ready to talk about yet.
Mature Elegance was just purchased by a lovely couple celebrating their wedding anniversary (they already own Happy Marriage). I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather have this painting but I was still sad to take it off of my wall when the time came. When I examine this a little closer, it’s not about the loss of this painting – it comes from the deep need to make more of them!