Showers and Flowers

May 1, 2015

Welcome Spring! 

According to grandma and the internet,…(so you know it must be true)...satin pillowcases are better for your lovely little head; less pulling of the hair and skin. The rain is purple because it reminds me of such a cool song.  I miss the 80's sometimes!  The whimsical Victorian-esque print on the pillow reverse shows just how much fun I can have doodling.  When I create, anything and anybody is potential inspiration...including my goofy cats.  Both of these designs are available in my shop

With the spring rain come’s glorious flowers!  This next image is of a faux suede calendar.  The print was created using a floral I painted a few years ago.  As you can see, I'm all about easy cut & sew projects.  Creating the calendar design turned out to be a greater challenge than I imagined.  It wasn’t until I finished that I realized I used the 2014 calendar year and not the 2015!  I did fix it, but I had to laugh at myself for that goof.  Designing is a very detailed business and even the most obvious flaws can be overlooked.  Proof, proof, take a break…and proof again…

 

The inspiration for this still life floral was 17th century Dutch paintings.  I had the pleasure of recently viewing some with a friend at a floral art exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.  (Ooh...did you know if you show them your rail pass, admission to special exhibits is half price?! :-))  Glorious still life paintings grew in popularity in the 1600’s, but relatively few now exist in museums around the world.  The details and symbolism in those masterpieces…usually rendered in oil…were far beyond my acrylic painting skills.  And to think they likely painted by candle light!  Masters of this art form included Jan van KesselRachel RuyschJan Davidsz. de Heem and so many others.  

 

Floral still lifes were often representational of wealth or told religious stories through the depicted objects.  For example, flowers symbolized how the nature of life was fleeting.  Butterflies might be associated with resurrection.  Different flowers had different meanings.  I did not include them in my painting, but perhaps the most coveted flower of the era was the exotic tulip brought from Turkey.  

Tulips spoke of wealth. 

They were so expensive and extravagant; one might only afford a single flower.  Popularity of tulips was such that by the 1630’s, the purchase and sale of tulip bulbs futures led to tulipmania.  This speculation and trading of futures worked much the same as our market of commodities exchange does today.  The market crashed and prices plummeted leaving many in financial ruin.  Fortunately, with the prices at a more affordable level, tulips have remained popular. 

 

Flash forward to 2015 and flower lovers may still visit the stunning tulip fields in Holland.  Field after field of glorious color are enjoyed year after year in places like the world famous Keukenhof gardens or the flower farms in the province of Flevoland.  Flowers bloom from mid March to mid May, with peak blooms in mid April.  This is also typically considered a shoulder season for European air travel, which can save on tickets…when booked well in advance.  Should you miss peak tulip season, no worries because other flowers are in bloom and of course there is always the yummy Dutch cheese, chocolate, gorgeous delftware, and friendly people!  A great way to experience it all is with a rail pass or taking a river cruise.  I had the pleasure of living in The Netherlands and working with Dutch folks and to this day credit them for being some of the friendliest in the world.  Should you ever have the pleasure of a journey there and meet new friends, it is good etiquette to bring your hostess a lovely bouquet.  Who knows...it just might be good etiquette anywhere.

 Happy 2015!

May your year ahead bloom with happiness wherever life takes you!  All the above designs are available now in my shop as fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper.  Thank you for visiting!  xo

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