In Anemone Tea I, which I’ve just listed on the website and will be taking into Gallery 24 this morning, I’ve paired one of the Steller’s Jays that hangs out around my studio with an antique blue flow Chen-Si teacup and anemones which signify forsaken love in the Victorian language of flowers.
I just listed Magnolia Tea II on the website and will be bringing it into Gallery 25 with a flock of other Birds and Teacups. In this painting, I tried to bring home some of the magic of spotting a white hummingbird in the wild to capture it in a domestic still life with this unusual, unpainted Limoges demitasse set and Magnolia Grandiflora bloom which represents nobility and perseverance in the Victorian language of flowers.
Oh my, sometimes I can paralyze myself with possibility!
I love how these antique, eggshell thin, hand-painted teacups marked Germany and Nippon photographed in the early morning light with their requisite bouquet of freshly cut poppies! I better just pick a bird or two and get on with it … Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird? The poppy speaks of oblivion in the Victorian language of flowers, I wonder how I will bring that into a Birds and Teacups piece?
I so love this project! Conceived as the first of many installation pieces to compliment my Florilegia series, this casket full of forget-me-nots combines my love of gardening, antiques and art. Rooted in of the Victorian language of flowers where the message of the forget-me-not is, not surprisingly, “remember me”. This early wicker casket is as much a basket as it is a coffin. I love the underlying sentiment of this piece, the unending desire to be loved, to be remembered.
So you may be wondering where exactly did I dig up a casket, and a wicker one at that? From another artist, of course, who had put it up for sale on Craig’s List. I hadn’t even known they existed before doing a little light research. They are known as Victorian mourning caskets and would be used for wakes and for transport as they were light and affordable and I must say, good looking.
Anyway, It’s been the elephant in the middle of my studio all year storing odds and ends waiting for the forget-me-nots to come into bloom. And now that they have my desire as a gardener to see my garden thrive has been in conflict with my drive as an artist to see vision realized while the weather has been ignoring both sides of me. But I did it! I got out my shovel and my boots and I lugged everything into the ravine behind my studio, all in the name of art. And why do all of this? There is such satisfaction in seeing an idea through, past the cluttered and private recesses of the mind and into the world where it can be shared in such a real and tangible way.