Now isn't this the most innocent, unassuming, walk right past it & never give it a second look, kind of potted plant? You couldn't be more wrong:) When I first bought this plant about 15 years ago, it had 1 little stalk and was in a 4' pot. What you're looking at in this picture is not the plant at all, but the flowers that grow after a winter dormancy. When they open, the flower is a gorgeous burgundy almost calla shaped bloom-that smells like the most rancid rotting whatever that you could ever imagine thing, which is why it also goes by the name "corpse lily". You don't water it all winter, the bulbs form in bone dry soil. After they're cut off (as soon as they smell) then the plant grows, and grows, and grows. Much like an artist, give us the right tools, the right mindset, cultivate our style, and we grow. Yep, we may produce some stinky stuff in the process, but can thrive if we take care of our needs, learn, and grow. A growth that can actually be measured daily, as the flowers can be! If you want to learn more about the plant, it's at The Flying Pig right now for entertainment as it was wintered there, and you can see more photos of it here. And for even more history and to find out why it's called the plant that only a mother could love, go here and be amused:) It is spring after all, time for some plant knowledge!
Even though spring is almost here, it's not nearly far enough along for this peony bloom, not to mention that I've never seen one colored quite this this. But it's a good example of how things change. If this bloom were an artist (and that's how I'll refer to it from this point on) you can see that it's changed, some may say for the better, some may not agree. But this artist has changed her style a bit, enough to still be recognizable as that artist, but has learned new things, new techniques, has morphed into whatever she is today, and who knows what she'll be tomorrow, but still has & always will have, the same roots, same essence that makes her what she is, it's just that today her work looks a little different, mediums have changed, skill levels increased, and different tools used to make her work look like it does today, instead of that plain peony that her art used to be-now it glows a bit, and has a little more confidence, but humble enough to always remember where she came from and not let go of everything, see that touch of original color left? That's needed to remember who she is, was, and will be. Still with me? There's a point to this, really! If you click on over to my friend Debi's blog, The Junkin' YaYa , you'll see that she does a biweekly feature of an artist, and this week it's me! She had a computer crash and lost the images that I had sent her, so she chose the ones that you'll see on her blog instead. It's all pieces that I had done 6 or 7 years ago, how things have changed! If anyone had told me back then that today I'd be painting or making jewelry, I'd have laughed in their face, seriously. But you know what-I am doing those things! Most of us look back at our older work, say a quick "blech", and quickly get away from it. But you know what? This is where I started, this is what my art was built on, so in all honesty it would be foolish for me to not look at these as a measurement of sorts. If I'd have chosen to stay stamping, fine, but I didn't. But I also wouldn't have learned anything new if I hadn't figured out how to do those pieces first and then move on, step by step, inch by inch, and sometimes even a step or so backwards. I've often heard artists say that they're embarrassed by their older work, or can't believe they used to do______fill in the blank with whatever, but we all had to start somewhere. And this was my somewhere! So where did YOU start? I'd really like to know! To end this post , one day last week, we went over to the Flying Pig for a cup of coffee, and as we're sll sitting there talking, we noticed that we were each wearing a different pair of Solmate Socks. It's a line of socks that has mismatched pairs, which is just too much fun! They say "Life is too short for matching socks", and I have to agree!