New Year Thoughts: Botanicals

Just before the holidays, I had a call from a curator for the Gallery at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts in Winslow inviting me to be part of their June 2012 exhibition – a three-person show tentatively titled “Botanicals.”

My first thought was uh oh, I want to do this, but no flowers to paint ahead of a late May deadline. Winter makes one’s flower obsession seem far away and long ago – no easy inspiration from the flowers themselves.

That’s an Alaska truth, but Washington will have flowers – bulbs aplenty by March and April. The title “Botanicals” makes me a little anxious. The other people – Jan Hurd and Kathleen McKeehan are really botanical artists – but I am not. The title intrigues me though, and I do love to observe and paint flowers, as the others must. I am curious what else we have in common.

I’d like to make new paintings to meet the “Botanicals” definition, so I need to set goals and build experimentation time into a schedule (remembering “Willpower”).

One winter in Anchorage, I visited my favorite flower shop every week and drew their blossoms. I sat on a little red stool at the level of flower-filled buckets – with just a pen and paper pad on my knee. Being there in the bustle of the flower shop helped my winter isolation and my drawing.

For my painter friend that Christmas, I combined the December images with quotes (I was reading non-stop about flowers and gardens in those days) to make a “winter garden” calendar.

I recently found those drawings, and while I get myself back to thinking about flowers, searching for ways to inspire the images I want to see – exploring possibilities and limits – I will post some of those images or parts of them.

Thinking about flowers in February – a good idea!

3 thoughts on “New Year Thoughts: Botanicals

  1. Are there still copies available of your “winter garden” calendar? We depend on geraniums and other bright flowers to cheer us up in the drab winter season. Congratulations on being invited to be part of the Bainbridge show….you’re the perfect artist for it.

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