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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Primroses and Chinese Vases

The winter has been particularly gray this year, day after day without any sunshine. Very depressing! A good remedy for the blah feelings you get from such gray, rainy spells is a trip to the local greenhouse and garden center. Colorful racks of seed packets fuel dreams of this spring and summers' garden. But the greenhouse is the real treat. Filled with warmth and light and table after table of glorious green, growing plants and colorful flowers. I chose two varities of primroses and some elegant chinese vases to put them in. They have brightened up my winowsill considerably and provided interesting subject matter for this watercolor sketch. The Impressionists, as a group, were very influenced by oriental art. In the 1854 after more than 200 years of isolation Japan begins to open trade ports for western ships. By the late 1800's, the time of the Impressionists, Japanese art was flowing into Europe, and the beautiful and elegant stylization and forms of orientl art began to inspire their paintings. I love oriental art, although I confess I don't have much "book knowledge" about it. I just know that whenever I see it, it strikes an aesthetic chord in me. So much to explore and so little time!!

Click here for a "primrose haiku"

Thy smiles I note, sweet early Flower,
That peeping from thy rustic bower
The festive news to earth dost bring,
A fragrant messenger of Spring.

from To A Primrose - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1 comment:

Kathleen Marie said...

I was just mentioning to Jeff that I wanted to visit Kyoto Japan. I had picked up some old National Geographics for some collage projects, and I realized that I had chosen the volumes with Asian articles in them. I guess, I too am drawn to the world of the Orient. Some day, I'll get to experience a Japanese Garden... maybe even get a chance to capture some sketches while visiting. This is a wonderful watercolor Jan, and the poetry really adds to the experience. :)