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.
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.
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.
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 *
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.
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 🙂
That is wonderful news indeed!
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.
It’s okay. I did receive your first comment 🙂
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.
Thank you 🙂 I love the Serenity Prayer but I am always ready for a bit of levity. Mother Goose usually has plenty to offer!
Awesome compositions with the backdrops.
Thank you 🙂
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.
Thank you Marilyn. Your appreciation of my post is so welcome and so encouraging.
I am an ivy lover; however, I keep the plant from taking over. Your flower arrangements are gorgeous! Well wishes for your dear Mum.
Blessings ~ Wendy
Thank you for your well wishes 🙂 Yes, the trick with enjoying ivy seems to relate to our keeping it under control.
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.
Thank you. I appreciate the encouraging news of your aunt. It’s good to keep positive and hopeful if we can.
Your creativity is wonderful.
Thank you 🙂
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
Thank you Cath. It is hard but I am glad that, at least, I can phone each day to have a wee chat.
I’m glad for you too, to put your mind at rest.
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.
Thank you. It’s sweet to think that my pictures remind you of your grandmother’s rooms. Do you have any photos of them?
Not only are the flowers beautiful, but your photography is excellent. Great work, Gallivanta.
Thank you the compliments 🙂
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.
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 😀
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 🙂
I think I will take your advice and stay away from drink! I rarely drink anyway so that won’t be difficult.
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 . . .
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.
What beautiful juxtapositioning of the live flowers with the art – just lovely…yesterday I sat through a fascinating presentation by an artist who uses photoshop (a computer application) to clone different backgrounds into her photos of horses : http://ellencameron.com/gallery_col/gallery_col.html
I have a soft spot for Ivy and even called my beloved dog that name! Good wishes for the health of your mother.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😦
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.
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.
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.
I have been looking….
I had never thought do do this and the effect is quite beautiful! Kudos~
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 🙂
beautiful – I knew you were an artist…
🙂 Some things in the house need to be beautiful. I am just taking some photos of all the unfinished, messy things around the house!
I wouldn’t have to look for those ones…
I so much enjoy your photos of flowers. My best wishes for your mother’s recovery, Annie
Thank you Annie 🙂 I am enjoying your winter images too.
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.
“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.
What a beautiful idea. To position floral against picture….I love it! I hope your mom is well soon. I will keep her in my thoughts.
Thank you Joanne; all good thoughts are so very welcome.
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. 😉
Me neither; it’s a ‘honk’ (hoot) and very wise at the same time. I think my mother, with her kindergarten teaching background, would love it too.
I love the ivy! What a fun pastime you have 🙂
Thank you! It is a way to pass some time; better than washing the dishes 😉
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 🙂
I am pleased to know that I have my ivy information correct. Mr L J F Brimble has not led me astray. Unfortunately, it is not looked upon kindly by our Department of Conservation….. http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/threats-and-impacts/weeds/common-weeds-in-new-zealand/ivy/…….but I am certainly not able to throw that much weedkiller around in an effort to kill it .
I can’t work out whether or not ivy is native to NZ or introduced? If it’s the latter then I can understand the problem. If not I can’t?
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.
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.
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.
Glad to hear your mum is in good hands and that she is in a happy environment. Hope she gets stronger!
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.
that is good news, and I love the photographs they have a dreamy relaxing quality 🙂
Thank you 🙂
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!
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.
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…. 🙂
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 🙂
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:-)
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 :).
Or a Smart Phone linking to your blog. Hoping for good news about your Mum soon.
Yes, my sister’s phone might be good enough for that. 🙂
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
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.
I love ivy, and have planted different sorts in different places… better than lawn, it only needs clipping once or twice a year !!!
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. 🙂