All the parts of the whole picture

About a year ago, I observed that, when I brought flowers in to the house, I often placed them against the backdrop of a favourite photo in a book

or against the landscape

of a print of a  loved painting.

Heuchera, Hebe  and Catmint

Heuchera, Hebe,  Catmint and  Yorkshire painting

Once I realised what I was doing,  I decided that the overall effect, of my relatively thoughtless juxtaposition of plant and paper, was pleasing. And I felt that  I could add another layer to my floral tableaux  by creating a digital image of them; one that made them seem as though  the real and the printed record were almost fully integrated.

So I began my   image making, recreating and rearranging the scenes before me. And, although the results are of variable quality, I have  great  fun messing about with flowers and photos and other people’s beautiful artwork.

An Impression of Clematis and Catnip

An Impression of Clematis and Catnip

Fragrant settings

Fragrant settings*

Today, I am finding this creative activity  beneficial as well as  fun. It is helping me to focus, to be mindful, to be at one with the  Serenity Prayer   ….. Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other….

or  to smile at its amusing Mother Goose version:-

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

The other day, I mentioned that my mother was unwell and needed a wheelchair. She is now in hospital, undergoing tests/scans, receiving physiotherapy treatment, and help with pain management. Yesterday, she was walking again with the aid of a walking frame and hospital staff. This is all happening thousands of kilometres from me but I know that  she is in good hands. When I spoke to her on the phone the other night, I could hear, in the background, laughter and kind voices encouraging her into wellness.

Everlasting Ivy

Everlasting Ivy*

Floral notes :

In Britain, the ivy is the last plant of the year to bloom and is in full bloom by early November. It is a welcome source of nectar as the colder days advance. It was once looked upon as a woman’s plant. In New Zealand ivy is  considered, by many, as a garden nuisance. Since I can’t seem to eradicate it, I have decided I may as well put it to use in my vases. And, if I ever take to drink, it will supposedly protect me from drunkenness.

Resources for this post:

The Floral Year by L J F Brimble, published by MacMillan& Co. Ltd 1949 and dedicated, amongst others, to Enid Blyton

The Garden Design Book by Anthony Paul and Yvonne Rees**

Tricia Guild’s Natural Flower Arranging by David Montgomery and Nonie Niesewand *

© silkannthreades

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81 thoughts on “All the parts of the whole picture

  1. Letizia

    What a lovely idea to superimpose nature and art to create new art: you really are so creative! I had such fun looking at your photographs.

    I wish your mother a smooth recovery. Hearing laughter and love through the telephone is always so reassuring – as it is to hear your own voice and love for her when she is on the phone to you, I’m sure.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your good wishes for my mother. Yesterday, the ward was full of the noise of physiotherapy! My mother is making good progress. She is now in a geriatric ward with a team of 10 hospital staff to support her return to well being. And, would you believe that all this care and attention is in a public hospital and free!. We live in good times. Thank you for enjoying my photographs 🙂

      Reply
  2. Juliet

    Oh dear, my comment disappeared. I said how I enjoy your creative response to the tableaux, and the Mother Good version of the Serenity Prayer, which made me smile. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Juliet

    I love your creative approach to putting together these tableaux. And thanks for the Mother Goose version of the Serenity Prayer, it made me smile.

    Reply
  4. Marylin Warner

    This is a touching post. It’s a vivid combination of fresh flowers posed in front of art, reminding me of current hopes and concerns about health, blended with current love and memories. I don’t know how to say that better…you have a lovely, very effective post here.

    Reply
  5. tiny lessons blog

    So beautiful! You are a creative artist and a good photographer too! I also love the “practical” version of the serenity prayer. I hope your mother will continue to improve with the good care and encouragement she’s getting. My 85 y.o. aunt has been in the hospital for the same reason for a couple of months now and she too is improving slowly but surely.

    Reply
  6. lizzierosejewellery

    I know how hard it is to be thousands of miles away from family, especially parents at times such as these. Wishing your mother a comfortable stay while she is in hospital, so good that you heard a friendly atmosphere as you called her, it makes all the difference to one’s health. Take care, Cath

    Reply
  7. lagottocattleya

    Your idea of putting flowers together with a fitting background and making them “integrate” is a lovely one. As you now take pictures of them and make them into blog entries, others also get the chance to enjoy your creative idea! There is something of olden days about your pictures, something that brings my grandmother and her rooms and her world alive again.

    Very, very beautiful.

    Reply
  8. Sheryl

    Great pictures! I love the effect created by putting the flowers in front of the pictures.

    I hope you mother is feeling better soon. It’s so difficult to be far from loved ones when when they are ill.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your good wishes for my mother.
      I am sure your 100 year old magazines will have something about flower arranging and artwork or, perhaps, collage work. Usually, if I can think of something ‘new’ to do, I found out that it isn’t ‘new’ at all 😀

      Reply
  9. YellowCable

    Now that you mentioned about you put pictures behind real flowers, I also observed that your pictures always have subtle quality of well blend into the background. That is real nice idea.

    I am glad to hear your mother is doing better.

    Oh, it is better not to depend on the ivy to protect you from getting drunk. Just not taking the drink 🙂

    Reply
  10. KerryCan

    A complicated and interesting post–so many things going on. The flower art is fascinating. I’m happy to hear your mom is having some improvement–must be so hard to be far away . . .

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh dear, you caught me out 😉 I do so love layers and complexities and levels of meaning. Every good chocolate has layers and textures and complexities of flavour….am I right? It does make life so interesting.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your good wishes 🙂
      My goodness, Ellen Cameron’s photos/art are beautiful. I particularly like photo number 4 in the equine colour gallery. Maybe some cloning done on that piece….not sure.
      I think my skills are not up to cloning yet ;). I wondered, for a moment, if I should call my technique ‘flower-bombing’, especially since a number of my pieces ‘bombed out’, as the saying goes!
      Ivy is a lovely name. I think, as a name, Ivy means fidelity or faithfulness, so entirely appropriate for your beloved dog.

      Reply
      1. womanseyeview

        Good eye…she actually talked to us about that piece – the horse is from one photo, the sky from another and the two riders in the golden field yet another…it is printed on wood and the effect is amazing. I love your ‘fragrant settings’ and ‘ clematis and catnip’ photos.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh that’s exciting to know and I am feeling quite impressed with my ‘good eye’ 😀 ! Even so, I would not have guessed that artwork was made up of three photos and printed on wood.
          One of the lovely aspects of ‘fragrant settings’ is that my real roses in that image are delightfully fragrant. They are miniature roses and I love them.

  11. mixedupmeme

    Hoping your mother is doing well. It is so hard when you are not near the ones you love and they need care. We are fortunate to have communications that let us speak to them. A voice can be so encouraging.
    The pictures are lovely. Your flowers give you so much enjoyment. Thanks for sharing with us……who have no green thumb. 😦

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is hard to be far away but we have to trust that others are just as good, if not better than we are, at providing the care and support that is required. And we are lucky to have all kinds of instant communication; speaking like an ancient one….I remember the days when we didn’t have a telephone in the house….yes really! I didn’t imagine back then that, one day, I would be able to share my flowers and ideas further than my own backyard.

      Reply
  12. knitnrun4sanity

    I am ashamed to say that I am not sure that I have ever seen an ivy flower. I shall be busy looking now! You always teach me something new. Thank you. xx So glad to hear the positive news about your Mum. I hope things continue.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t seen an ivy flower ; it doesn’t get a chance in our neighbourhood. So, if you do see an ivy flower, take a photo for me 🙂 Yes, we hope there is more positive news for my Mum.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Strangely, it was a semi-thoughtlessness that began the whole adventure! Sometimes it pays not to think too hard; a difficult idea for the over-thinker in me 🙂

      Reply
  13. lensandpensbysally

    You’ve discovered a way to observe your own behavior, which is such a gift to yourself. Wonderful post–I especially like “Fragrant Settings,” each seems made for each other. English Ivy is an invasive here, and I manage to keep it controlled as I eliminate it. But it does serve as a ground cover, so I keep it in one spot.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      “Fragrant Settings” is perhaps my favourite image. I am sure it is my camera which is helping me to observe myself and my surroundings with a clearer eye 🙂 I think you would agree that a camera is a powerful tool in that respect. Interesting that ivy is considered invasive in your environment too. It does seem to have its uses though.

      Reply
  14. Just Add Attitude

    I am sorry to hear your Mum is in hospital but encouraging to hear that she is being very well looked after. Your floral arrangements are lovely. BTW I love the Mother Goose version of the Serenity Prayer, I hadn’t heard it before. 😉

    Reply
  15. Mike Howe

    Lovely post, I do hope your Mother gets well soon. You’re quite right about ivy in the UK, it’s an incredibly important nectar source for insects late in the year. I let it grow pretty much untouched because of this. Love your creativity too 🙂

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I am guessing it is introduced though that link doesn’t make it clear whether it is or isn’t. Ivy cuttings and oxalis weeds must not be placed in our city council compost bins; that’s how much those items are hated.

  16. Tracy Rhynas

    The Serenity Prayer I knew, the Mother Goose version I did not! That made me laugh 🙂 I am glad to hear your mother is in good hands, it is not easy to be so far away from loved ones, even with all our modern technologies to help.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The Mother Goose version was new to me too! I do love the Serenity Prayer but it’s good to have a light hearted approach to the issue as well. Yes, you also know how it is to be far away from loved ones.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Yes, I was very amused by all the laughter I could hear in the background of our conversation. My brother and sister are with her so she is well cared for.

      Reply
  17. utesmile

    I like Ivy and want it to grow well inmy little patch, well it does, but it never blooms. Protect from drunkeness…. so you have it before you go out drinking then?????
    Good to hear the news from your mum. Mine just is the opposite, she has more and more trouble with her legs and wants to give up. We talk daily and I am like a happiness councellor. Sometimes hard!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t seen the ivy bloom either. But, then, I was always pulling it out or cutting it back so I guess it didn’t have a chance to flower. I think ivy stopping one from getting drunk may be an old wives’ tale…apparently a drinking cup made from ivy wood was a sure way to keep you sober….well…….;)
      I think I could easily hire you to be my happiness counsellor. Your mother must appreciate your daily chats; she will be missing your father.

      Reply
      1. utesmile

        I bet that ivy drink tastes so disgusting, you have no option but being sober…..
        Yes we all miss my dad, but in November in Germany are all these sad and depressing Sundays and she has been invited to 2 memorial services where they will remember my dad. It is lovely that they do that but also sad at the same time.
        Happiness councellor is a good title, I like it! my mum always said even as a child I always cheered her up….. haha my nature…. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I can imagine the sadness, with the heaviness and the gloom of the approaching winter as well as the memorials. Your warmth and sunny nature will shine through to her as it does to us 🙂

  18. ordinarygood

    I imagine you are really feeling the distance from your Mum and family right now. If she can see your blog the beauty you post will be very encouraging to her too. Go gently. Sending positive vibes:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks for the positive vibes! Very welcome. When Mum is feeling stronger there may be a way for her to see the blog, perhaps through a laptop at the hospital. Normally she is a dedicated reader of my posts. Here’s hoping she will be home again soon :).

      Reply
  19. Clanmother

    What a wonderful post to read today, of all days. Claude Monet would, I am certain, approve! There is such comfort to know that your mother is in good hands. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” Claude Monet

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes! and I smiled so much when I saw your posts on Monet. I saw it was his birthday ( a note in our newspaper) and I was expecting to see a Happy Birthday from you. I was delighted with your lovely photos and words in his honour. You have seen his famous garden; ah, what a joy that must have been.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Very true! I have been wasting energy on loathing it. It is loved by insects and can be tamed. And when it grows on fences, taggers have a hard time carrying out their signature work. 🙂

      Reply

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