Wordless Wednesday: A Rose Tattoo in my Honor

Roses to represent Auntie Annie.
A succulent tattoo designed by the tattoo artist for another client.
I do love a studio, don’t you?
My eldest niece and Alice (the tattoo artist) at Anatomy Tattoo. (She specializes in floral tattoo work.)
The unfinished piece—I had to leave before it was done but I am sure you get the idea.

Garden Grief: Transitions


When we write we are always on the lookout for smooth transitions from one space on the page to another. We look for these movements in the writing of others, we look for these spaces in films, and we hear them in music. Transitions are all around us everyday and transitions are a way of life whether we like it or not.

PNCA: Pacific Northwest College of Art.
This process appears over and over again throughout our lives: when we design our gardens, when we move across the country for a new job, or as in my current case, when we design our hopes and dreams into achievable goals.
I’ve been moving more and more into re-designing my life again and I am looking at how to better transit in the days ahead to where I need to go.
Floral Still (2012), Teresa Christiansen.

For me, I find that the space I return to again and again when I am in this frame of mind is the world of art. In it, I am able to find the peace and the calm I need to look deeper into my own grief. I am a happy person and art give me hope.

Enchanted Modernist (from the Botanical series), 2011, Kavin Buck.

Since losing my garden is something I’m still grappling with, I have found that looking at works of floral art, or anything connected to the natural world in an artificial art gallery way, is enough to calm me down and this has helped me with my most recent decisions.

Together Forever (2012), Rachael Allen.
As I walked around the galleries at the art school, this piece was my favorite that evening. The idea of the clay mud and sticks appealed to me and it made me dig down deeper into myself and recall a time when I was inspired by love.

Umatilla National Forest (2010), Melanie Potter.

Though not the best photo of this image, the forest being there surprised me a bit but I welcomed it. My lives overlapping on the walls of an art show made me feel the silence and warm sunshine on the bare shoulders I imagined having in my mind. Next summer I would be there.

It was nice to see artists returning to nature, and I know that this is always something that’s done since it’s between the city and the land that we find ourselves.

I’ll be transiting soon, past my walls, past my garden, and I will be content to find myself. This journey I’ve been on will be coming full-circle and and within I think that the message will finally be that I am whole now, that I know myself better than I’d imagined, and that from hand will spring that which I will harvest in the future.

When Gardeners Can’t Sleep I Prescribe This Book: Gardens in Art by Lucia Impelluso

Pumpkin, Bartolomeo Bimbi, c. 1711, Florence, Museo Botanico. (The rectangular stone at the bottom reads: Pumpkin grown in Pisa in the garden of His Royal Highness in the year 1711. It weighed 45 kilograms or about 100 pounds.)

Last night when I went to bed I wasn’t feeling well. In a hurried rush to get out the door next week—and back on the road to California—I have been doing far too much. Since reading complicated material is often very difficult when I feel unwell, I turn to imagery. Seed catalogs and garden magazines work most of the time, but I am often left with that icky I-can’t-afford-all-of-this taste in my mouth. In comparison, this art history book is the quiet calm that always soothes any little storm inside of me that I throw at it.

My steady bedside grab is called Gardens in Art by Lucia Impelluso. It’s part of a series of books put out by The J. Paul Getty Museum simply called: Guide to Imagery. I don’t think you have to be an art history expert to enjoy this book, but I am fairly certain it is a must if you love gardens. Following current curatorial style, the book is arranged thematically and it is not chronological. There are tons of paintings, and not too much text. The painting above was in the brief Still Lifes section.

Gardens in Art by Lucia Impelluso

The reason I picked this painting is that it was the work most emblazoned on my mind last night when I finally turned into a pumpkin myself. Still lifes are a favorite genre of mine to begin with, but this one really struck me because it reminded me so much of the photographs, come autumn, in so many magazines. This image resonates much more strongly with me than many of the others I’ve seen, both in books and museums domestically and abroad, and if you garden, I think you know what I mean. We’ve all wanted a painting like this of something from our own garden bounty writ large like a trophy. This painting could replace the huge mirror above my fireplace any day.

More about California next time…