Mother’s Day was initially called the “Second Sunday of May” in 1908. One woman decided that mothers should be celebrated and “honored for the sacrifices they made for their children”. Anna Jarvis spent several years campaigning for this, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it official.
Anna gained early financial support for her idea from retailer John Wanamaker and the first official celebration was at Wanamaker’s Dept. Store in Philadelphia. He cleverly saw the potential. According to a recent Forbes article, 19 billion dollars will be spent this year, but at the top of the list (after cards) are flowers, 85% of women will receive them!
Exactly a century later, Mother’s Day is now celebrated throughout the world. Since it is spring, the day is synonymous with flowers. For me, that relates to the varied and individual ways that artists interpret the natural beauty of flowers, their shapes and colors.
I recently met Vermont based artist Deborah Falls. Deborah has created a process using dyes to paint on silk, “to capture and portray the sense of beauty and wonder” that she experiences in her garden.
The Emerging Bee Balm
Nancy Woodward has developed another individualized approach to capturing what she sees in nature. She combines traditional photography methods to create an image and then uses the digital darkroom to “alter the color palettes and bring new realms in to view."
Artist Christine Triebert uses an unusual technique in her Cameraless Series. I have admired her work at the Architectural Digest Home Show for several years and we recently spoke about her botanical images, photographs made without a camera. These minimal black and white Shadowgraphs are created by capturing the shadows of the objects on paper negatives in the darkroom.
a grouping exhibited (and my poor photograph) at the AD Show
Painter Kerri Rosenthal, with her spirited approach to color, is recognized for her pop-art inspired Flower Bomb Series, filled with fun colors and combinations. As I wrote in a previous post, Kerri’s work comes from deep within, she has an innate sense of color and appeals to her clients’ desire for work that makes them smile.
Spring in My Step, from the Flower Bomb Series
A group of Tulips Pure, 12" square paintings, just completed for an installation at Nest Inspired Home in Rye, NY
Sunflowers don’t bloom in the Northeast until summer, but are now available in markets most of the year. Regardless of the time of year, it always feels warm when you bring in these happy flowers, with their bright yellow petals contrasted against the dark center and green leaf. Michael E. Anderson, uses traditional large format photography techiniques to capture the flower’s detailed form in black and white. Even without color, the image expresses the flower’s form and beauty, making a statement as a single flower,
or as a pair, even more striking when hung sideways
Wendy Shalen is an artist who works in many mediums and adds to her watercolor series, “Working Women” each summer. The colorful paintings capture the “hard-working women gardeners in Martha’s Vineyard who each summer plant, harvest and collect spectacular flowers which they use to create gorgeous bouquets.” Wendy’s expressive work captures these women, their work ethic and the beauty of the flowers.
Vineyard Flower Girls and Vineyard Flower Girl lll
Anne Raymond is another artist influenced by nature, who expresses herself in abstraction. The Flare Series, is a group of paintings on paper with vibrant color and composition. These prints, or monotypes, are one of a kind. When I first saw these, I loved the bold combination of fuchsia, orange & red softened with a bit of white...a strong composition, with a feminine feel.
These two paintings from the Flare Series look great placed in the just opened chic design studio, Get A Room, in Armonk, NY. Interior designer Laura Michaels, created the white shop to be a background for the colorful art and beautiful mix of home accessories and furnishings.
Anna Jarvis initially, “conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge.” I think she chose early spring as it is a beautiful time of year, flowers are blooming and life begins anew.
I hope you enjoy Mother’s Day!