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  • Flora in Winter 2009

    Interpretive Floral Designers in the Galleries


    Bracelet with the Personification of a Charis (Grace), Eastern Mediterranean
    Andrea N. Driscoll, Independent
    I wanted to be challenged by a dimensional work of art, having interpreted several paintings in past Flora events. This stunning bracelet caught my attention, with its figurative and design aspects in gold. While it has subtle granulation and leaf motif, its weight is not at all subtle, which makes me think it was worn by a noble woman. Its design is almost the precursor to the modern watch face and band.

    Kneeling Abbot, Flemish
    Michele Creamer/Sandra Tosches, Greenleaf Garden Club of Milford
    Considering the turbulence in the world today, this work of art reflects our own prayer for peace and security. The cloak protects us while the staff steadies our resolve.

    Standing Buddha, Indian
    Joan R. Moreschi, Shrewsbury Garden Club
    Through history, tributes were always brought to Buddha. My intent is to pay tribute to Buddha with exotic flowers and bright colors, reminiscent of the original finish of this Buddha.

    Outer Robe for an Akahime (Red Princess) Role in a Japanese Kabuki Theater Performance, Japanese
    Kae Collins, Independent
    This is my fourth interpretation for Flora in Winter, and each year when I receive the list of artworks to choose from there has been debate and careful consideration as to which piece to select. There was no doubt this year. The kimono fired my imagination the moment I saw it! The bold color of the robe and graceful flowing lines of the bird had me daydreaming of branches and flowers and forms from the moment I saw it, and I intend to bring forth that vision for all of you to see.

    Warrior, Tang Dynasty
    Sally Patrick, Acton Garden Club
    The Chinese warrior's uniform is filled with decorative patterns and curling lines that are floral in nature. His posture is powerful and deserves a strong forceful design that can mimic his implied strength. He may have originally held a weapon to reinforce his stance. His mouth is open and he shouts at us to “HALT”. The terracotta lends wonderful warm pink tones to the sculpture which invites a lush interpretation.

    Child's Mummy Case, Egyptian, Roman Period
    Kathy Michie, Worcester Garden Club
    I believe that my choice of artwork had initially been influenced by my fascination with horizontal flower arrangements. This Child's Mummy Case is not only horizontal itself, but centered on the front is a painting of Isis with her wings spread, repeating this same horizontal line. She was a beloved and worshipped Egyptian goddess. But why was Isis such a common design on mummy cases? Apparently with her wings she had enfolded her dead brother and husband, Osiris, and brought him back to life (belief in life after death), after having bound his broken body pieces back together (rite of embalming or the first Egyptian mummy). There were my answers.

    Grave Monument-Young Girl Holding a Jewel Box, East Greek
    Elaine A. Parisi, Lexington Field and Garden Club
    The treasures carried in the jewel box are held in a protective manner by the maiden. The textural quality of the container mirrors the form of the marble sculpture, while the flora responds to the overall spirit of the stately young girl.

    Lady Warwick and Her Son, John Singer Sargent
    Susan B. Dewey, Worcester Garden Club, Osterville Garden Club
    This wonderful portrait by John Singer Sargent is a natural choice for a Flora in Winter design because Sargent was such a master of line, texture, and refined, yet vivid expression, which are also important elements for a successful floral design. The glimmering colors and flow of Lady Warwick's elegant gown, the curve and luminous beauty of her regal head and shoulders, the fragile, tenuous beauty of the young boy—I have tried to capture all of these elements in a sumptuous cascade of flowers and foliage.

    Electra Receiving the Ashes of her Brother, Orestes, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar
    Brandy Scheibner, Independent
    I was drawn to this painting because of the dramatic use of colors and the emotional story behind it. I wanted to capture Electra's feelings of sadness so I chose to use the calla lilies for her silhouette because of their feminine characteristics. The curly willow represents her arms embracing the urn that she believes at that time contains her brother's ashes. She discovers later that this is not indeed the case.

    Chess Players, James Northcote
    Sally E. Jablonski, Independent
    I was to drawn to interpret this painting because my father is an avid chess player. My intent is to portray the tension between the players with dramatic black and white arrangements on the chess board, as a tribute to my father.

    Storm At Sea, Willem van de Velde the Younger
    Mary Fletcher, Worcester Garden Club
    The anger and coldness of the sea comes through in this gloomy painting, evoking feelings of despair, and the lack of warm color creates a mood of bleakness and futility. The challenge to create an inspired arrangement from this stormy painting intrigued me as it is a change from my past attempts.

    St. Peter Freed from his Chains, Andrea Brustolon
    Thelma H. Shoneman, Acton Garden Club
    I am very interested in liturgical art so the subject of this stunning wooden sculpture caught my attention instantly. In the process of creating a design, I found the rhythm and balance of the interaction of the angel and St. Peter fascinating. The rich color tones of the wood called for a monochromatic design in my favorite color. Leaf manipulation and innovative design techniques came to mind to achieve the amazing contrast in textures. The challenge of incorporating the chain into the design clinched the decision. This work of art is most inspiring.

    The Conflagration, Albert Bierstadt
    Robin Whitney, Worcester Garden Club
    The contrast between the peaceful blue sky with fluffy clouds and the violence of the raging inferno of the building is intense. Is it a statement by Bierstadt about the conflict of Nature and Industrialism or just his interest as a luminist in the play of light and shadow?

    Portrait of a Lady, Follower of Jacopo Tintoretto
    Lois Frampton/Barbara Heim, The Garden Club of Harvard, Lincoln Garden Club
    The lady in the portrait, Veronica Franco, was a Venetian courtesan and poet. She wrote about embellishing herself and painting her face. Our arrangement uses the rich colors and sumptuous style that she would have favored.

    The Discovery of Honey by Bacchus, Piero di Cosimo
    Virginia Camille Orlando, Independent
    My painting is intriguing to me because of the importance of honey to human civilization. The mythological creatures are joyous upon the arrival of the honey bee, who brings the sweet nectar. The painting is structured and bold, yet has a soft, playful quality. I hope to translate the movement and feeling of the piece through contemporary floral design.

    The Virgin and Child, Bartolomeo Montagna
    Sarah Ribeiro, Worcester Garden Club
    The frame of The Virgin and Child is beautifully crafted and painted in a heavenly blue, creating an unusual art object. I thought it would be fun to make a vase to hold my floral design, using my skills as a potter, prompting the viewer to examine the frame. Frames can often be overlooked so my goal is to have the visitor look at and enjoy this magnificent frame as well as the artistic details of Montagna's painting. In the floral design, I hope to interpret the painting's rich tones and appealing balance. Third Floor

    Pharoah and His Host Lost in the Red Sea, Benjamin West
    Beverly McClure, Independent
    In choosing this work by Benjamin West, I hope to convey with flowers a sense of drama and chaos, the swirling movement of the sea and the metaphoric use of light and darkness.

    View on the Arno, Thomas Cole
    Ken Bositis, Independent
    I liked the way the painting has a three dimensional look. It has a lot of depth to it and draws your eyes from the foreground all the way beyond the river to the hills and the wide open sky.

    Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket, James Abbott McNeill Whistler
    Kim Cutler, Worcester Garden Club
    The poetic mystery of this painting has always intrigued me. The tallness of the canvas, its limited palette, and unfinished quality posed a challenge I could not refuse. The question is, are there living floral materials that can bring this painting to life and maintain the enigmatic quality of the original?

    Untitled, Ilya Bolotowsky, American, born Russian
    Deborah Coleman/Ruth Gorman/Jackie Potenzone, Hopkinton Garden Club
    This contemporary geometric abstract appealed to us because of its unequivocal human creativity. Unlike most art that interprets nature, this piece experiments with intellectual structure and primal primary colors. Nonetheless, conversely, nature can reflect art by combining a man-made structure with nature's best florals, in primary colors. We wanted to challenge the art with nature to show that man is just a part of nature, lest it doesn't always appear so.

    William Carpenter, Ralph Earl
    Helen Cohen, Piscataqua Garden Club
    The vibrant red color and clean hard lines attracted me to this charming provincial portrait of a 12 year old English schoolboy. The contrast of the hard edges and soft subject challenge me. My intent is to interpret that duality.
    Fourth Floor

    Nude, Marguerite Zorach, American
    Cathy Walsh, Independent
    zaf·tig or zof·tig adj. 1. Full-bosomed. 2. Having a full, shapely figure. (Yiddish zaftik, juicy, from Middle High German saftec, from saft, juice, from Old High German saf.) I have always had a connection to this painting—zaftig gals need to stick together!

    Urn with Figure with Bow-knot Headdress, Mexico
    Nancy A. Roberts, Independent
    Color, asymmetry, and movement are what I look for when I choose a piece. However, what I got is monochromatic, symmetrical and quite static. It is what I call the “procrastinator's choice”. I have no idea what I will do, but I do hope you will make the trip to the fourth floor to see it.