Flora In Winter 2011
Interpretive Floral Designers in the Galleries
Barnyard Scene with Two Figures and a Cart, Egbert van der Poel
Mary Fletcher, Worcester Garden Club
I love this quiet painting and find it very appealing. The artist's use of soft colors and the play of light give a feeling of calmness, gentleness and peace. As earth tones have always resonated with me, I liked the idea of trying to work with a monochromatic color scheme. Arranging in multiple containers occurred to me right away and the challenge is to see whether this will come together to express the tranquility I feel when looking at this painting.
Portrait of My Daughters, Frank W. Benson
Susan B. Dewey, Worcester Garden Club, Osterville Garden Club
I have always loved this painting because it reminds me of my childhood. Until I was 10 years old, my family lived in a house on the Mount Hope Bay, and my three sisters and I spent a lot of time creating things out of natural materials (like painted shells, daisy chains, and seaside floral bouquets!) by the water. Also, the delicacy and immediacy of Benson's Impressionistic style and his mastery of color, light, and shadow make this a perfect choice for a floral design. With this horizontal design, I have tried to capture the emotional and physical connections between the three sisters, their whimsical femininity, and their carefree joy at being together on a beautiful seaside day.
Reine Lefebvre Holding a Nude Baby, Mary Cassatt
Robin Whitney, Worcester Garden Club
This painting expresses the pride and contentment that Reine feels toward the baby. It is a calm and beautiful depiction of motherhood—I hope this baby was always as calm and contented! The lovely curves of the woman's arms and the baby's bottom appealed to me as a designer. I hope to capture it too.
Without Pause, Enters, Touches, Passes, Arthur B. Davies
Tia Lotuff, Worcester Garden Club
I was inspired to choose the Arthur Davies painting Without Pause, Enters, Touches, Passes for several reasons. For one thing, when I was studying painting at art school, my favorite classes were figurative drawing. In addition, I found this painting lovely not just for the nudes themselves, but also for the very strong use of negative space. To me, it is almost as if there is another mysterious subject in the painting behind and around the serene, calm figures in the foreground.
Looking East from Denny Hill, Ralph Earl
Thelma H. Shoneman, Acton Garden Club
Designing with foliages is fascinating and a favorite of mine. At first glimpse of Looking East from Denny Hill, I saw an exciting opportunity to "paint a floral tapestry" of green tints, tones and textures. To capture the tapestry feeling, I selected foliages and flowers for shape, texture and color and organized them using design techniques of mounding, terracing and foliage manipulation. By using multiple containers, I was able to emphasize the geometric shapes in the painting as well as create depth, suggesting the masterful landscape in Earl's masterpiece.
Saint Anthony of Padua, Defendente Ferrari
Helen Cohen, Piscataqua Garden Club
I was particularly attracted to the soft symmetry of St. Anthony's robe and the use of line and light. The painting is full of grace—soothing and unconflicted.
Storage Jar (Amphora) with Geometric Designs, Cyprus
Lois Frampton and Deborah Dowson, The Garden Club of Harvard, Lincoln Garden Club
Our intention is to mirror the simplicity and elegance of this 2800 year-old Grecian jar by reflecting its essential geometric elements. We have used plant material appropriate to the climate on Cyprus.
Head of Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, Chinese
Beverly McClure, Floral Elegance
I was drawn to this Bodhisattva for the interesting shapes of the carved flowers, fern curls and braided hair. My intention though is to focus primarily on the urna or third eye. In Chinese culture it is known as the "mind's eye" or the part of your brain that connects the right hemisphere (the creative part of your brain) with the left hemisphere (the logical thinking part of your brain). It just so happens that this is also my personal goal as a floral designer. Wish me enlightenment!
Hand Warmer with European-and Chinese-style Nature Scenes, Chinese,
Mary Barbara Alexander and Danielle Alexander, Sherborn Garden Club
This piece embodies the very concept of Flora in Winter. The exquisite colors and all-over floral design captured my heart and imagination. Its practical use as a hand warmer places the piece in a wintry setting; yet while the burning coals inside produce a physical effect of warmth, the beautiful garden scenes produce a psychological effect of warmth. I think the piece is adorable. If it were mine, I would carry it around as a pocketbook.
Mr. and Mrs. James Dunlop, Sir Thomas Lawrence
Sally E. Jablonski, Herbert E. Berg Florist, Inc.
Sir Thomas Lawrence was the most popular English portrait painter of his time. I was drawn to this painting because of the facial expressions and the beautiful detail in the fashionable dress. I plan to create a floral arrangement with a lot of detail and texture, interpreting the masculine and feminine elements of the painting.
Portrait of Don Fr. Miguel Fernandez y Flores, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Joan Moreschi, Shrewsbury Garden Club, Herbert E. Berg Florist, Inc.
I was drawn to this work because of its great use of limited colors. Knowing that blue is a very difficult natural flower color for this time of the year, I knew I chose a challenge. While Goya used his oils for expression, I used flowers.
An Old Woman Praying, Nicolaes Maes
Kae Collins, Sprout
What could be more fitting to represent a painting that is an allegory of the transience of life than an interpretation done in what is inherently a transitory medium?
The Dead Toreador, Édouard Manet Sarah Ribeiro, Worcester Garden Club
Choosing a painting to interpret for Flora in Winter is never easy. The painting I chose, The Dead Toreador, here on loan from the National Gallery, presented a new challenge so my interpretation may bring something different to Flora's traditional make-up. After selecting the painting I learned that the National Gallery prohibits the presence of water in the gallery. My initial plan to use fresh flowers had to be abandoned, and instead, I have chosen dried or dead plant material to reflect the lifeless bullfighter.
Marsyas / Marsyas, Roman,
Michele Landes, Southborough Gardeners
I have always loved the quality of stone—the texture, the depth, the dimension. I am also drawn to the lineal strength of these two figures. My goal is to meld the strength and line of the stone, the impact of color and the grace of the human form together in a floral design.
Allegory of Folly, Quentin Metsys
Jackie Potenzone and Katie White-Plyos, Hopkinton Garden Club
We admired this painting last year while doing Flora in Winter and thought how much fun it would be to do a floral creation of this painting. We feel fortunate to have been chosen to mimic this work of art. He is playful and mischievous. Although this painting does not have much color, tropical flowers will make a bold statement of his personality.
Nobleman Hunting on the Nile, Egyptian
Kim Cutler, Worcester Garden Club
Nobleman Hunting on the Nile depicts a wealthy man at leisure, hunting for birds and game from a small skiff. It came from the wall of a tomb in Sakkarra, Egypt and ensures that the man buried there would be able to hunt in the afterlife. I was attracted to this work by the elegant, naturalistic contours defining the nobleman and the animals in the relief. The rigid organization of the vegetation, hieroglyphics and smaller figures in graphic registers will play a part in my floral design.
Old Man Contemplating, Florentine
Andrea N. Driscoll, Sterling Garden Club
I try to alternate between paintings and three-dimensional works and this statue has always been appealing to me. The colors are still vivid despite its antiquity, and I can relate to the studious pose and obvious love of books. The figure's contemplative pose makes me wonder what he was thinking or planning. Was he trying to solve a problem, or was he reading to enrich his mind and spirit? I was drawn to the detail in his jacket, the curls in his beard, and his strong hands clasping the rolled paper.
The Virgin with Angels Adoring the Child, Attributed to Pastura
Kenneth J. Bositis, Bloomer's
I was drawn by the depth of the figures and the vivid colors of such an old painting. I was also intrigued that this religious painting was depicted outside in a pastoral setting unlike most of the other paintings in this gallery.
The Savage Family, Edward Savage
Kathy Michie, Worcester Garden Club
How could I resist The Savage Family? Each year when I am reviewing the artwork for Flora, there is something that grabs me and tells me this is the one—some inspiration such as a color or a form that clicks into the beginnings of an idea. This year I see in The Savage Family a wonderful, repetitive charm, some definite magic, and a whole bunch of badly proportioned people. These are the qualities I plan to have in my arrangement. (FYI: He became a much better painter later in his life as shown in the portrait in Gallery 21.)
Seated Buddha in Maravijaya, Thailand
Virginia Camille Orlando, Floral Elegance
I was drawn to the Seated Buddha in Maravijaya due to the Buddha's powerful message of enlightenment and peace. I hope to compliment this iconic statue of the Buddha calling the earth to witness through simple, contemporary floral design. I hope to make a strong connection with this iconic piece of art by using symbolic botanicals in my piece.
The Rhetoricians, Jan Steen
Cathy Walsh, Sprout
I could give you a lot of words about men talking, but I'll let the flowers speak for themselves!
Tripod Vessel, Costa Rica
Minal Akkad, Framingham Garden Club
I have been participating in Flora in Winter since its inception except for a couple of years and have arranged in different galleries. This time I wanted to select artwork in the Pre-Columbian gallery. I intend to capture the weight, color and mass of the vessel, using innovative plant material that would interpret strength and an overall sense of the primitive era.
Portrait of an Unknown Man, José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza
Sandra Tosches and Michele Creamer, Greenleaf Garden Club of Milford
The steady gaze of this unknown man drew us to the portrait. What was the look in his eyes: sadness, impatience, boredom? Yet, so focused on the viewer! This was the selection that intrigued us. Then reality! What would be the focus of the floral interpretation, as the portrait is colorless? After much thought, the geometric shapes and the curves, as well as the textures from the tunic and ruffles will dictate the choices. Most of all, it must be formal and controlled to match the man and his eyes.