First Hibiscus of Summer, detail view
“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval
“In nature nothing exists alone.” – Rachel Carson
Plants and flowers are a form of communication between humanity and the Earth, if we pay attention. The paintings in this series present portraits of individual plants as both unique messages from the Earth and examinations of natural order and growth. As a contemplative mirror for our relationships with ourselves and others, plant forms evoke harmony, elegance, and strategies for survival through cooperation. These paintings challenge us to explore the spiritual dimension of our time on Earth and invite consideration of the human impact on the natural world, as we recognize we are fundamentally one with the Earth.
I look at plants everywhere I go, keeping my eyes peeled for a refreshing spot of green or lush burst of color. When I imagine a person or place, plants and especially flowers flood my memory in association, embodying the emotional connections I feel. Using plant forms as a language in my imagination, these portraits of individual plants in situ further examine the natural order that created them, their patterns of growth and response to light, and my spiritual relationship with others, with myself, and with the Earth.
Pink Rose of Assisi, 2018, 12″x12″x1.5″, oil on canvas
Standing before the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy, I couldn’t take my eyes off the perfect sweet pink roses growing on the pathway outside. All of Assisi felt permeated with Saint Francis’s deep love and reverence for nature, and this rose felt like a direct communication of that vitality. Exploring the organic geometric arrangement of its tender petals into a coherent whole, I felt transported by its simple elegance and richly complex beauty.
Early Morning Jimson Weed, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canavs
Visting my family earlier this summer, my father woke me to come see the Jimson weed growing in his garden, which seemed to glow in the early morning sunlight. I was intensely grateful for this delicate white flower that greeted him with such magic each day and brought him such joy, and I too felt enchanted by its luminous purity and captivating forms.
West Park Iris, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas
During a walk around the neighborhood where I grew up, I was stopped in my tracks by the decadent petals of this purple iris, which seemed to unfurl with a secret wisdom about living unabashedly. The audacity of the iris, with its ornate, fanciful ruffles and vivid color, felt like a celebration of living freely, openly, and unapologetically as ourselves, just as we were made – and enjoying every moment of it.
First Hibiscus of Summer, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas
Some of my favorite memories from childhood are visiting my family in Hawaii, where I had experiences of deep emotional resonance in the nearly overwhelming natural landscape teeming with gorgeous new sights and perfumed air. I was always enthralled by the hibiscus blooms, each one seemingly more joyful and impossibly beautiful than the next. In New York, I am keenly aware of the first bloom I see each summer, as it transports me back to those cherished times and instantly reconnects me with my loved ones.
Remembrance Poppy, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas
When I was young, I begged my mother to let me plant a poppy in her garden. I spent weeks imagining its exotic shape and red-orange color, but I was not prepared for the extravagant, massive bloom that would burst open in the summer heat. I was stunned that anything in the world could be so bold, vibrant, and complex… just like my mother.
As a symbol of remembrance and respect, especially of those lost and injured in war, this poppy is also the newest addition to my Charitable Giving initiative, with 25% of the sale price of the original painting and prints donated to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust.
Canterbury Art Show
August 31-September 3, 2018
Meet-the-Artists Reception & Preview – Friday, August 31, 7-9pm
Open 10am-6pm Saturday and Monday (9/1 and 9/3) and 12-6pm Sunday (9/2)
Tickets $10 (valid for all days of the show) / Preview and Meet the Artists Reception $50 in advance, $60 at the door. (Purchasing information)
7 Lincoln Avenue
Rumson, NJ 07760 (map)
For more information, please visit Canterbury Art Show