On Spring. And Flowers.

"A Spritely Dance: Daffodils," by Dawn Boyer. 14 x 11 oil on canvas.

A Sprite­ly Dance: Daf­fodils,” by Dawn Boy­er. OIl on can­vas, 14 x 11 inch­es.

My last post was about see­ing beau­ty in the mun­dane. This res­onates par­tic­u­lar­ly for me late­ly, but in an oppo­site way. It’s spring! My favorite time of year! I feel the surge of new life, and I want to bounce from thing to thing. But instead, I make myself slow down. I look. I notice. I look again.

It has to do with flow­ers, you see.

Here’s a fun lit­tle aside: Geor­gia O’Keeffe had her stu­dents stick their faces into flow­ers and look at them up close so they could see dif­fer­ent­ly. I delight­ed in dis­cov­er­ing this, because I’ve done it for a long time, long before I knew any­thing of O’Keeffe and her stu­dents.

Some of my artist friends seem a bit per­plexed by my obses­sion with flow­ers. That’s OK. I don’t always get why they paint fig­ures, either. We all have our “pull” that we must fol­low. Mine is to get up close in gar­dens and try to under­stand the mys­tery of those del­i­cate and fleet­ing, yet oh-so-strong and com­mand­ing blooms that make a STATEMENT!

In the spring, that state­ment is par­tic­u­lar­ly intrigu­ing, almost a com­bi­na­tion of child’s play and hard-earned wis­dom. Life and death. Grace and humil­i­ty and unself­con­scious danc­ing and show-and-tell and secret-keep­ing that draws me in and nev­er leaves me dis­ap­point­ed. “Hi!” Those blooms seem to say. “We’re here! So glad to see you again! You didn’t think that bad win­ter would seri­ous­ly keep us down, did you?”

And then … with­out even a poof … they curl back into them­selves and are gone.

It’s not about them as flow­ers.  I think it’s the ten­sion, the jux­ta­po­si­tion of oppos­ing forces that fas­ci­nate me so. The clash of col­or and shape, shad­ow and light, move­ment and still­ness, yet the har­mo­ny of bend­ing to the rules of the uni­verse that weaves it all togeth­er. How can I pos­si­bly cap­ture this? Well, I can’t, of course. But I can search for a way to express its impact on me. I can wake up and notice what those flow­ers are try­ing to say, or, more accu­rate­ly, what I imag­ine they might be try­ing to say. I can rel­ish in the expe­ri­ence of show­ing you some­thing you and I both might nev­er have seen before.

And then I’ll look again and find some­thing new. And try to express that as well.

By |2017-03-02T20:20:58+00:00June 5th, 2014|Musings on Painting|0 Comments

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