Flowers For Function

Anemones by Raoul Dufy

Anemones by Raoul Dufy

Fauvism, it is the period of time in art history I adore most. The Fauvists, 'wild beasts' in French, cared most about expressing emotion through color. They were interested in capturing the essence of their subject rather than the real thing. Their work, fresh air for the soul. I say, if you need more oxygen, you might look to those Fauvists who painted flowers, you will find a profound sense of being alive in their work.

I could spend hours with this art and never grow bored. I am madly in love with the flowers of Raoul Dufy, Fauvist painter and textile artist who knew how to share beauty, joy spilling over from his work into my heart. Much of what he created was done with generous intention, he said, "What I wish to show when I paint is the way I see things with my eyes and my heart." This abundant offering certainly holds true for me. His extraordinary expression of flowers, thankfully, found way to functional things that brought more beauty into every day life, like textiles. If you cannot have fresh flowers in your presence, please wear them on your dress, hang them in your windows or arrange them as cushions tossed on the sofa. If the patterns are like the work of Raoul Dufy, they will matter in your daily life. These functional things, like real flowers, will be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant place.

Floral painting by Raoul Dufy 1931

Floral painting by Raoul Dufy 1931

From FLOWER FARMER, a collection of short flower stories emanating from the bud.

True Colors of Flowers

I set a bouquet of pink tulips on the dresser at the top of my stair on Sunday, it is a place I pass by often. I watched them each day as they came into their true colors. Going from sleek green bud, to fresh full pink blossom, to the final crisp crimson end.

As one day led to another the tulips would open further, reaching up, the next day out, only to stop for an entire day in their glorious state of prime. They then began to change dramatically, to shrivel into abstraction by weeks end. What remained of the bouquet by that time was crumpled and fragile, the color seeming to slip overnight from fresh and bright to deep and rich. By Saturday, the tulip bouquet was dying but elegant, truly extraordinary in every way.

This lovely end stage, when flowers get patina around the edges, is the one I feel is most beautiful. In this place you can see the absolute essence of a flower, the structure on which everything depends, bare bones, really. Tulips in their final days are comfortable, quiet and still. They are no longer stretching out toward the sunny window, nor needing to, the whole of this total transformation, an honorable thing like art. I thought for a moment how I too would like to come to my end like this, to come into my own true colors, into my essence to a place of being quiet and still. Captivating and beautiful not because I am new but because I am old and like a work of art. Thinking of this does make me feel sad but when I look at the bouquet of tulips as they sit alone on the dresser taking up all of my attention, I love knowing their whole history, fresh new bud to bloom, back to bud again into a new kind of beauty, they make me smile.

From FLOWER FARMER, a collection of short flower stories emanating from the bud.

Prairie Flowers

Prairie flowers are flowers that open the heart. The connection they have to the earth and the sky is quite different than flowers in the garden. They belong to the native spaces they call home.

prairie girl.jpg

If you are seeking these merry flowers you will find them popping up where butterflies flutter about and cottontails run free. Prairie flowers welcome all to their wild playground; the tiny brown warblers that build nests on their foliage at sunrise to the fur critters who bore holes next to their hairy roots late at night. They are ok with the many companions sharing their wild plot not caring if the their fellow flowers are are tall, short, orange or blue. Prairie flowers depend on this mad mix of earthly diversity. They are just that way.

From FLOWER FARMER, a collection of short flower stories emanating from the bud.


Rhythms & Seasons

Like the seasons provoking change in the natural world, creativity often carries a similar rhythm. There is a time of incubation, a time of doing the work, a time of birth & letting go and a time of rest.

For some who are always moving through the cycle of creativity - a time of rest and enjoying what has already been created can be restorative. So can time spent enjoying the absolute brilliance of other creators near and far. For creative souls, a time of rest is a season to cherish.

Journal notes on BEING CREATIVE!

Flower Farmer

Warm sunny days are finally here! They are the kind of days we desire all year long. With the summer solstice upon us and a signaling for the end of Spring, it truly is a time to be grateful. There is abundance everywhere!

On the farm things are growing like crazy, especially the flowers. Many of the perennials and annuals are in bloom or are preparing to bloom. The strawberries are ripe and the wild black raspberries are well on their way. It is all good. Along with the fresh new everything, the budding, blossoming and ripening - I am also morphing, not just on the edges but changing from the roots this time, my creative studio ready to launch an exciting new direction, a venture connected to the earth and all that I love.

FLOWER FARMER, is an exciting one year adventure into documenting my personal and passionate view of flowers which I hope will be shared. Within the content you will find soul inspiring words, luscious photographs and fresh new works of flower art to delight the mind and the eye - taking you deeper into new perspectives on beauty emanating from the bud. And though the creative expression in this new endeavor is deeply personal - there is a wholesomeness in it for everyone. It's mindful content sharing a universal connection to all of our stories, yours and mine, offering up glimpses of the transcendent meaning grounded in the beauty blooming in our own backyard.

It all begins innocently at my farm table.

From FLOWER FARMER, a collection of short flower stories emanating from the bud.

The Truth About Drawing

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits.

I am always surprised by the number of people who say they cannot draw. They feel because they do not draw they are not artistic or creative. Let me change your mind about this false notion which holds so many back from the power of their own creativity.

The truth is, everyone is creative and drawing, like many forms of art, is an acquired skill. Some learn drawing faster and easier than others, but everybody learns drawing through practice. A regular drawing practice can have significant impact on your creativity and ability to express yourself.

You can choose to draw in many ways like doodling, sketching with a sketchbook and pencil out in nature, with pen and ink. If you draw the things you love then you will never grow tired of drawing and will only want to do more of it. Use a pencil, a gel pen, a marker, a piece of charcoal or pastel, whatever tool it is that makes you happy. Draw on white paper with color or on black paper with white but do draw, it will open up your life.

Journal notes on BEING CREATIVE!

Master As Muse

You know you have seen something extraordinary when it captures your heart in such a way that the emotion remains for hours and even days after the experience. A feeling similar to the euphoria you might feel when falling in love for the first time. This is what occurs when I am in the presence of the original work of the artist master, Marc Chagall.

Once seen (as the opportunity so graciously presented itself recently) the love and beauty of his work continues to internally inspire my perception of the world around me. As an artist, I see it as my responsibility to respond in some way. I must create, do and express something from this emotion - this is the wondrous power of the muse. Such a muse acts as a potent catalyst for creativity.

It is a gift to find a heart-centered creative person who has made art, music, acting, writing or some form of creative expression that touches you so deeply, heart touching heart. More importantly, if you have not found this muse of the past or present - I encourage you to look and keep looking until you do because such a relationship has the capacity to change your life and your work.

Marc Chagall was a Belorussian-born French artist whose work generally was based on emotional association and imagination. An early modernist, Chagall created works in nearly every artistic medium, including sets for plays and ballets, biblical etchings, and stained-glass windows. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. We students of art and especially of the imagination and color have much to learn from artists like Marc Chagall.

"If I create from the heart nearly everything works. If from the head, almost nothing."   ~Marc Chagall


To help children learn about the artist masters, art history and perhaps find a muse that will inspire their creativity, there is a wonderful new book just published - that is a must have, "A child's Introduction to Art, The World's Greatest Paintings and Sculptures", by Heather Alexander, illustrated by Meredith Hamilton.

This inspiring book provides a excellent summary of the world's greatest artists in a language a child can understand. I especially love that it does not overly explain every detail but instead, provides the most essential facts. Also, the book covers some of the basic elements of art like color and perspective, all very important for art learning. Inside the front cover a child will find a surprise pocket containing five masterpiece paintings to color. This is one art book I highly recommend for all of my art students.

Journal notes on BEING CREATIVE!