Friday, January 16, 2009

Garden Dreams

"Day Lily" - Acrylic on Canvas-18"x18" - By Mary Maki Rae -Copyright-2009 c.

A Garden Muse with an Oriental Flavor - In her floral headpiece are: Echerevias, Day Lillies, and Origanum (the light green beauty, almost touching her right shoulder). Two Swallowtail Butterflies balance the Arrangment-!

Where does Inspiration come from-? -- A fascinating question-!
My initial inspiration is usually an actual Flower or Plant that I've grown or bought, or have been given by a Friend. But what to do in the Heart of Winter, when the skies in the Northwest are the Grayest of Grays, with just a few brilliant flashes of Sunshine-?

One Solution: Research your "Garden Dreams" of a Spring & Summer Garden - that hopefully will come soon. In doing so, I came upon an Exquisitely Inspiring book, entitled: "The Jewel Box Garden" By Thomas Hobbs. If you garden at all - you need this book. This man's innovative, visionary approach to Gardening will inspire plant lovers and Artists alike-!

Many of his plant choices seem at first like they would favor a Southern clime. But the truth is that they actually "thrive" here in the Northwest, under his careful watch-! (Many are brought inside to the greenhouse during colder seasons.)
He has found so many extraordinary colors and varieties of cactus-type and "Coleus" Plants, then like magic, combines them with other plants with such an artistic feeling, that I'am inspired to grow some myself this year-!

I'm always looking for "different" plant forms for my Paintings - this Book is a "treasure chest" of specimens - a few examples follow:

A Jewel Box of: Helleborus x orientalis

"Tilt a Whirl" (of the Coleus genus)

Mostly "Echeverias"

Origanun ("Barbara tingey")

"A Spiral Aloe" (Aloe polyphylla)

"String of Pearls" (Senecio rowleyanns)

THE BOOK: "The Jewel Box Garden" By Thomas Hobbs
Photography By David McDonald - Timber Press Inc. 2004
THE BOOK: "Shocking Beauty" By Thomas Hobbs
Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd. 1999 (They're Both Great - Check them out-!)

"In a dark time the eye begins to see". . . .

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Style & Seduction

"Marie-Antionette" 1783 - Elisabeth Vigee-LeBurn

A Delightful Catalog/Book published by The Metropolitian Museum of Arts Costume Institute.
Inspired by Jean-Francois de Bastide's erotic novella "La Petite Maison", the exhibition catalog/book entitled "Dangerous Liaisons", explores the idea that in 18th Century France, fashion and furniture were intended to attact, arouse, and ultimately, to seduce. (Has anything really changed-?)
This Catalog/Book presents a series of dramatic vignettes displayed in the Museum rooms, where equal prominence is given to fashions of the day, and the applied arts. It also contains 18th Century prints, drawings, and paintings documenting the insouciant, carefree, life of the ancien regime elite - which also served as inspiration for the vignettes. (a Babette's feast for the eyes-!)

"The Stolen Kiss" 1786-88 - Jean-Honore Frangonard

"Le Souper fin" (Dinner Party) 1783 - Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune

"Portrait with Harp" 1790 - Rose Adelaide Ducreux
(Music lessons always provided a "window of opportunity)
"The Declaration of Love" 1724 - Jean-Francois de Troy

The 18th Century interior, was a highly articulated landscape in which many diverse objects enhanced the pursuit of leisure. This design sophistication was regarded as uniquely Modern and French - a sensitivity to personal comfort and convenience that existed in no other place or time-!
THE BOOK: "Dangerous Liaisons": Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century"
By Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, Published By The Metropolitan Museum
of Arts Costume Institute, N.Y.

"What pleases the Eye enriches the Soul"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year !

"High Flyer" 12"x15" (Serigraph with Russian Textile) By Mary Maki Rae 2009
A New Year, A New Journey, And New Hope for a Peaceful World.
Wishing You & Your Family
All the Best Joys & Happiness-!