I have friends from many cultures, so this is my way of saying happy celebration of your particular day, whether it be Easter, Passover, Sinhala and Tamil, Spring Solstice, or other day special to you. I don't consider myself a flower artist, but every spring I can't resist painting from live flowers when the sun shines, the earth warms, and the air fills with the sweet perfumes of spring. Holly's Irises grow on my patio, a gift from my friend, Holly, at a very difficult time in my life when my husband, Gary, was dying from cancer. I had a newly poured concrete pad and bare dirt. First my friend, Pam, gave me some Primroses that I planted. Then Holly gave me bulbs that she had saved from her garden. These irises are from some famous old gardens in Willow Glen that no longer exist. The owners sold the property for homes and moved to the coast to grow more irises. These gifts were the beginnings of a very lovely oasis outside my dining room.
Creating this piece was pure fun. I washed in the colors and let them dry, then I used negative and positive layering. I had had a frame for a number years that is long and narrow and I had never quite figured out how I might use it -- a wide panoramic landscape, tall trees, flowers? As I decided to paint the irises, I realized they could be the perfect match. I will feature this piece at my Silicon Valley Open Studios (link to the right) on May 9 and 10.
Yesterday Bob and I were treated to wonderful spring vistas on country roads as we took our cycling academy class through Gilroy and Morgan Hill country areas. I especially love the yellow-orange California poppies mingled with purple flowers along the roads and hillsides. Friend Pat has promised to collect some seeds from her native poppies. Years ago her dad gathered some poppie seeds in the wild and planted them. When Pat moved to San Jose she planted some of the seeds from Dad's plants. So I will have beautiful poppies with a worthy historic geneology.