I have read that we, as humans, are in large part influenced by our experiences and surroundings. If this is truly the case, then there is no question that my romance with flowers began at an early age.
As a child, I remember my grandfather always having an enormous garden. The entire side yard, which was the size of an acre, always included several rows of flowers planted among a majority of vegetables.
Not only did he have this hand planted acre to maintain, he also managed a big rose garden that surrounded the whole house, plus an incredibly tall hedgerow of honeysuckle vines on the entire west side of his property.
The honeysuckles were my favorite. Every time I visited, I made a trip down to the hedgerow. As you drew closer to the vines, you could smell their sweet fragrance, and I loved tasting the little bits of nectar from the trumpet flowers.
It would be a long time before I would feel this sort of influence from flowers again in my life. Not until I began painting in college, and my watercolor teacher took us on a field trip to the local botanical garden.
Although I had lived in Wichita for quite sometime, I never knew about this Eden located in the heart of a bustling city. The site was incredible and filled to the brim with a multitude of colorful flower varieties. Those weeks spent on location, painting "en plein air", were sheer heaven.
It was also a time in my life where I was really starting to spread my wings, and come into my own as an artist. I spent hour after hour sitting among the flowers.... painting away, so you can image the connection I felt to these delicate treasures.
I continued using beautiful botancials as the main subject in my art for a number of years, until my interests lead me toward other inspirations from nature.
But while working in this Spring journal that love affair with mother nature's gems has begun to take hold of me and inspire my art once again.