By Barbara Falconer Newhall
The fine artist wannabe in me asserts that, as a rule of thumb, flowers are just too nice, too darned pretty to be the subject of Real Art.
Real Art needs grit. It needs to be problematic. It needs tension. Something has to be askew. But flowers, by their very nature, fail the tension test. They never seem troubled to me, or even ruffled.
Whenever I find myself face-to-face with a flower, be it a hot house orchid or a forget-me-not growing in the crack in the pavement by our mailbox, I am beguiled by its perfection. By its completeness.
I can’t take my eyes off the thing.
There is something about a forsythia blossom, a four o’clock in bloom or a morning glory, that reckons on being looked at. Just as fragrance is meant to be breathed, and texture fingered, so is a flower meant to capture the eye. A bee’s eye. A hummingbird’s eye. Your eyes and mine.
So, indulge me please. Here’s yet another post about flowers (from the 2013 Bouquets to Art exhibition at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco) and their attendant leaves and twigs and seed pods . . . I can’t help myself. I’ll probably be doing another flower post before long. Stay with me.
Earlier photos from the de Young show are at “Where Poppies Dance and Cactuses Are Petit Fours,” “It’s Art — But Is It a Bouquet?” and “A Final Toss of the Bouquet.”
PS: My son gets married soon. To celebrate, there will be family from all over the country, great food, a first-rate photographer . . . and I’m pretty sure, flowers.