Posts Tagged ‘Flowers’

Each Day is a Celebration: Exhibition

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

On Thursday, October 8th, an exhibition of my paintings will open at the Art League Gallery at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. It will run through November 1st. The show will include the work I did while living in France, as well as before and since. All the information is below. I hope some of you will come to see it—and perhaps even make the opening reception that evening. 

Harrington Card final-frontLR

 

Harrington Card back

 

CakeChrysanth

Tessa

Orchard

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

For the first of October, a poem by Hilda Doolittle, and a painting of Saturday market pears and calendula (growing wild by the Languedoc vineyards and known locally as souci).

CalendulaWithPears

I saw the first pear
as it fell-
the honey-seeking, golden-banded,
the yellow swarm
was not more fleet than I,
(spare us from loveliness)
and I fell prostrate
crying:
you have flayed us
with your blossoms,
spare us the beauty
of fruit-trees.
The honey-seeking
paused not,
the air thundered their song,
and I alone was prostrate.
O rough-hewn
god of the orchard,
I bring you an offering–
do you, alone unbeautiful,
son of the god,
spare us from loveliness:
these fallen hazel-nuts,
stripped late of their green sheaths,
grapes, red-purple,
their berries
dripping with wine,
pomegranates already broken,
and shrunken figs
and quinces untouched,
I bring you as offering.

—H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

CakeAutLeavesAmelia

CakeOranges
Honora

Three zinnias from the Sunday street market

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

It’s the first of September, which signals, along with the late afternoon singing of cicadas, that, alas, the end of summer draws near. Here are a painting, and a rather melancholy poem, for the day. (There is a cartoon in my sketchbook to accompany the creation of this painting, which I will post eventually.)

ThreeZinniasPost

Fair Summer Droops
Fair summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore,
So fair a summer look for nevermore:
All good things vanish less than in a day,
Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay.
Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.

What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst,
Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed?
O trees, consume your sap in sorrow’s source,
Streams, turn to tears your tributary course.
Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.

—Thomas Nashe, from Summer’s Last Will and Testament

CakeBlackEyeSusan

Elizabeth

May Day/Carcassonne Part I

Friday, May 1st, 2015

An outing for the First of May.

5.1MayDayCarcassonnePart1

CakeLilyValley

Vera

CakeSun

Josiah

 

Today

Friday, March 20th, 2015

When we received this gift two weeks ago, it happened to be the first day that actually smelled like spring, despite the wind rattling the shutters and the fire burning in the fireplace. 

Here is a Billy Collins poem to go with the sketch (which is a detail from March 3rd’s post). Happy First Day of Spring, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.

3.3SpringBouquet

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

 
CakeWedding
Lynn and Donald

Primroses and Shellfish

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

3.3Primroses&Shellfish

The Sunflowers

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

A Hello to July, with a poem by Mary Oliver.

JulyHello

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young –
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don’t be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds –
each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

—Mary Oliver

The Lily of the Valley

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

For the first of May, a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906), who spent part of his brief but prolific life here in Washington, DC.

MayLilyValley

Sweetest of the flowers a-blooming
In the fragrant vernal days
Is the Lily of the Valley
With its soft, retiring ways.

Well, you chose this humble blossom
As the nurse’s emblem flower,
Who grows more like her ideal
Every day and every hour.

Like the Lily of the Valley
In her honesty and worth,
Ah, she blooms in truth and virtue
In the quiet nooks of earth.

Tho’ she stands erect in honor
When the heart of mankind bleeds,
Still she hides her own deserving
In the beauty of her deeds.

In the silence of the darkness
Where no eye may see and know,
There her footsteps shod with mercy,
And fleet kindness come and go.

Not amid the sounds of plaudits,
Nor before the garish day,
Does she shed her soul’s sweet perfume,
Does she take her gentle way.

But alike her ideal flower,
With its honey-laden breath,
Still her heart blooms forth its beauty
In the valley shades of death.

—Paul Laurence Dunbar

CakeLilyValleyMary

CakeBalloons2Josiah

 

Through Hills and Seas to the Universe

Friday, May 31st, 2013

I carved out some time on my birthday to sit in the garden, despite deadlines, mosquitoes and heat, to sit and sketch. It was quiet except for the chirping of birds (especially numerous in our tiny garden this spring) and the distant hum of air-conditioners along the alley. Even a short time spent among growing things is restorative. I share the sketch and this poem.

GardenMay2013

The trees put forth luxuriant foliage,
the spring begins to flow in a trickle.
I admire the seasonableness of nature
and am moved to think
That my life will come to its close.
So little time are we granted human form in the world.
My eyes wander
over the pictures of hills and seas.
At a single glance
I survey the whole universe.
He will never be happy,
whom such pleasures fail to please!

—Tao Ch’ien

CakeLilyValleySheila

CakeSunDorothy

A Wish

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Yesterday was the birthday of Irish playwright and poet John Millington Synge (1871-1909) and today the anniversary of my mother’s passing. To honor both the poet and the gardener, I post this poem and a new painting.

GoldenDaffodil

May seven tears in every week,
Touch the hollow of your cheek,
That I—signed with such a dew—
For the Lion’s share may sue
Of roses ever curled
Round the may-pole of the world.
Heavy riddles lie in this,
Sorrow’s sauce for every kiss.

—John Millington Synge

YCandleMom

CakeStrawberriesMonique