Friday, December 31, 2010

Anthurium Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Nature often repeats her patterns and shapes, especially when they are successful. No doubt you have seen the spiral in the nautilus shell (often used as a visual to explain the mathematical terms of the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence). That spiral shape is also found in many plants, such as in the branches of an agave, the petals on the head of an artichoke, fruitlets of a pineapple, and in pine cones.

Ripples, twists, fractals, branching and more … we see recurring Nature’s patterns everywhere from the cracked dry earth to the veining in leaves to the billows of cloud patches, the scales on a snake, soap bubbles, honeycomb, and the staggered rows of kernels on corn cobs. Under water, over water, even water: the repetition of shapes, lines, and textures are everywhere. We are fascinated, as well as comforted by their beautiful design.

In what may be becoming my New Years' Eve tradition, I now would like to introduce you to another intentionally erotic artwork… if this is not your kind of thing, please just stop reading and go do something more interesting.

The concept, of course, is about the beauty and function in Nature’s repeating patterns.

pastel on black Firenze-brand paper
9” x 25”
$1800 + $20 shipping (6.75% sales tax to Texas destinations)

The idea for this pastel painting titled “Anthurium” was birthed back in 2007 in Florence, Italy. I did a commissioned pencil drawing for an Italian flower vendor who opened shop every day (but Sunday) in the piazza closest to my rented flat.

One day he asked me if I could do a drawing from a photograph and when I responded with a shrug, “Perché no?”, he pulled out a small, dark photo of himself, posing in shorts with an almost body builder physique. He seemed quite pleased to see the surprise in my face. It had never occurred to me that he would want me to do a drawing of him.

At the time, I had not yet created many images of a figure in an environment. Despite my very long days at the Angel Academy of Arts, I came home each night and worked really hard to create a drawing that I wanted to sign. The reference photo was horrible, so I immediately decided to create my own design around the figure. I came up with a border reminiscent of the shape of Florence’s famous Duomo and drew flowers around my friend’s image.

When I was nearing completion, I took the drawing over to show him and he actually made me remove one of the flowers I had chosen for its compositional value, and he said to me with a straight face, “THIS is my favorite flower.” I looked at the flower he pointed to, looked back at his expression, and thought, “You have got to be kidding me!”

I never could tell if he was or not, but I finished the drawing with his beloved anthuriums and he seemed genuinely delighted with it. Some ideas hang inside my head for years before they manifest themselves. I hope this one makes you smile.

I wish you a colorful and joyful 2011, full of ups more than downs and an honest appreciation of Nature’s offerings. Thank you for reading my blog and cruising along with this artistic journey.

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