Monday, May 24, 2010

Bouquets to Art - 2010 Part I

DSC06390 Charles Demuth

It's hard to believe that it's been over a month now since the Bouquets to Art Exhibit at the M. H. De Young Museum in San Francisco. Since I had a very busy travel schedule, I have not taken the time to go through my photos until now. Tracy and I participated in the student competition held during the Gala Night. I will post about that later because I'm hoping that Tracy's photos came out better than mine.

After the competition, Tracy and I did get a chance to tour the galleries and see the fabulous floral interpretations of the permanent art collection at the museum.

Our first stop was at urban painter Charles Demuth's "From the Garden of the Chateau" (top photo). We both gasped at the boldness of the arrangement. Neither of us could recollect a Bouquets to Art entry that was as daringly two-dimensional and presented to be viewed from above.

DSC06391 Indigo V Dianne Barret

We admired how Diane Barret of Indigo V perfectly echoed the Precisionism style of the painting. The hala and New Zealand flax leaves plus the sparing use of hydrangea blossoms fit the bill exactly.

Josette Brose-Eichar of Lavender used white phaleonopsis and dendrobium orchids to depict the billowing stacks smoke on the steam ships of the harbor scene. I like the use black ti leaves served to represent the dark elements of this painting and thought the frothy foam of carnations against the blue-green hen and chicks succulents was unique.

DSC06394 Lavender - Josette Brose-Eichar

When I first saw this painting in the many years ago, I didn't know what to make of it because of its two-dimensional, naive quality. Now I appreciate its depth more each time I visit it and I always look forward to seeing what floral art has been paired with it during Bouquets to art. This year, I like the soft touch of replication it's been given. The amaryllis with the deep orange throats marvelously depict the glow of the sky and the peachy calla lilies represent the nude beautifully.

DSC06399 amaryllis calla jasmine

Laurelle Hartley Thom accomplished what she set out to do when she interpreted Albert Bierstadt's landscape painting.

DSC06400 Albert Bierstadt - Laurelle Hartley Thom

"It has been said that in California Spring 'Bierstadt offered a war-torn nation images of a landscape unbloodied and full of promise.' I have tried to capture the pastoral serenity and simple beauty of the sun shining brightly on the valley replete with wildflowers and majestic oaks."
- Laurelle Hartley Thom, Lafayette, CA

Martin Johns Heade's "Orchid and Hummingbird" is my mother's favorite painting at the De Young Museum. I think it reminds her of the best aspects of her seven years in Indonesia.

DSC06693 Martin Johnson Heade

I commend Carolyn Russel and Wanda Nash of Orchard Nursery & Florist for recreating the jewelbox feeling of this small painting and also for finding the exact same cattleya orchid (George King's "serendipity') as in the painting.

DSC06406 Orchard Nursery & Florist

There is always at least one work that creates an indelible memory of the show. Last year it was the birch-bark dress with the red anthurium shoes and this year it has got to be the "Bust of the Lone Horse". This surprising entry by Talin Tascian of Fleur de Vie was designed to accompany Virgil Williams' "Knight's Valley from the Slopes of Mount St. Helena. It was beautifully executed using reversed leaves, bear grass, and berzillia berries and I dearly hope this entry was intended to be tongue in cheek.

DSC06412 Fleur de Vie Virgil Williams St Helena

The flowers spilling out of the box are an apt reflection of Joseph Decker's oil painting "Upset". The lime green satin ribbon was also perfectly draped in an artfully casual fashion.

DSC06416 Joseph Decker Upset Bouquets to Art 2010

I can't say I ever noticed this ceramic work of art before Amy Kee chose to interpret it for Bouquets to Art. Her floral interpretation depicting a giant tea cup was quite understated from afar...

DSC06419 Amy Kee Floral Design

... but a look inside allows you to do more than just read the tea leaves. A striking combination of purple odontoglossum orchids and bright green geranium leaves were floating in a swirl of white calla lilies.

DSC06418 Amy Kee tea cup contents

Stephanie Foster of Church Street Florist creatively represented the swan's wing by using protea petals and phaleonopsis orchids.

DSC06420 Stephanie Foster Church Street Florist

April Abbott of April Flowers in Mill Valley did a convincing job of describing what the windswept scene of this painting looked like beyond the bowl of berries.

DSC06421 April Abbott - April Flowers

That's all for today, more next time.


graceonline said...

Gorgeous. I had no idea this occurred at the de Young. I must bookmark and plan to go next year! An aside: I wonder if any of these artists used organic flowers?

Unknown said...

OMG! I've never seen such luscious interpretations before! I'm astounded by the beauty and the work that went into each of them. The swan's wing...I don't have words to describe how it made me feel. Thank you, thank you for sharing!

Kala said...

Wow, looks like quite an impressive show.

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

This is incredible! Just exquisite!

margie said...

oh my, these are fabulous.

Relyn Lawson said...

Oh, I love Bouquets to Art! I'm so glad you are posting about it again. And, thrilled that you participated this year. I can't wait to see those photos. The swan was pretty impressive, but I think the best by far was the first one. It was surprising and beautiful and utterly unique. Plus, I love that piece of art the most of all the ones on offering in this post.

Ruth said...

I am groaning when I see each arrangement, and I'm sure Don is wondering why.

I love the orchid clouds and ti leaves. The elements are strong and soft at the same time.

LOVE the Bierstadt-Thom landscape interpretation, and the idea of healing behind the painting.

LOVE the birdcage for the orchid! So innovative, man!

As fabulous as the horse is, and intricate, and creative, I'm not crazy about it, or maybe I just don't understand how it interprets the piece (and why it's tongue in cheek)?

Upset is fun. It feels like a classier version of the kitchy barrels tipped over on lawns with petunias or impatiens spilling out. :)

The teacup is AWESOME. Reminds me of the tea whose blossom expands with hot water. So lovely.

I like the windswept one, very clever.

But my absolute favorite, it just sends me! is the swan's wing. My groan was the deepest on this one, with great visual and textural pleasure.

In person these must be just incredible. Thank you for documenting them so well.

I'll look at the next installment in a bit. (Doing the ruthie method today: a little work, a little blogging, a little creating, on and off like that all weekend. The best! :)

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kathryn Grace,
Bouquets to Art is definitely worth noting in your calendar. Ordinarily it's held in March but this year it was postponed until April.

You ask an excellent question about organic flowers. I frequently ask vendors at the SF Flower mart to carry organic, sustainable, or fair-trade flowers and they tell me that there is no demand for it. I will continue to ask them.

Trader Joe's and Safeway both carry the sustainable Veriflora flowers and I'm pretty sure that Costco carries locally-grown flowers.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Susan,
I'm glad you enjoyed these creations; I have many more coming. The swan's wing is definitely unique; the protea petals have just the right touch of plushness don't they?

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kala,
This show has been impressive since the first one thirty-one years ago. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Dear Mumsy,
I agree. San Francisco is blessed to have so many talented floral artists here.

Marilyn Miller said...

Wow, the arrangements in both posts are amazing. It would be difficult to choose a favorite, but have a love of tea that teacup is intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear margie,
They are fabulous;I wish you could take in their fragrance.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
Both Tracy and I loved that first arrangement by Diane Barret because we hadn't seen anything like this before and it matched the spirit of the painting so well. I also loved the upset chocolate box in this set because it would be so fun to display this on my dining room table. Sadly, I failed to take a photo of the artist tag so I don't know who created it.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
I love the idea of you piquing the curiosity of the World's Most Interesting Man.

I am in agreement with most of your observations.

The horse is definitely memorable but also not my favorite. I commend it for the craftsmanship and great mechanics but I don't think it matches the spirit of the painting. It thought it was tongue-in-cheek guessing that the artist chose to create an iconic bust of a horse, similar to a bust of Beethoven or Nefertiti.

I am also very impressed with the swan's wing also, especially with the inspired choice of materials, but it is not my favorite. There is no doubt that the arrangement matches the painting beautifully, both in its carriage and attitude, but I prefer the creations that also will stand on their own. I feel that this arrangement absolutely must be shown together with the painting or it will loose its power. The phaleonopsis and ti leaf arrangement, on the other hand, is still very strong as a stand-alone arrangement. This is just a personal preference. I'm sure there are many who would disagree with me because the swan piece created quite a buzz.

I positively love your feedback, Ruthie. With your comments, I feel like we have walked these halls side by side. Thank you for including Dutchbaby in your busy weekend.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Marilyn,
I agree it's difficult to choose a favorite but I understand why you are partial to the teacup. Thanks for viewing both posts.

Sherri said...


Love the Tea cup and I think you said they used tea leaves? Fun!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear P&C,
Oh no, I'm afraid I misled you with that sentence. I only meant to refer to reading tea leaves as in fortune telling in Asia. It would have been a punny idea to use ti leaves for this arrangement though :)

madretz said...

LOL! I just about wrote:

"I really need to pay attention more next time because I didn't see any of these pieces!"

Well, I just realized this was from last years exhibit! At least now I'm aware and will never miss it again.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear madretz,
Your comment made me smile :-D Thank you!

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