21 Mar 2012

2012 Bouquet de Arts – de Young Museum – San Francisco

As usual, the throngs of people wanting to see details up-close and take pictures made it tough to get through the show without injury or outburst. Some of the galleries are just too dark for viewing or cellphone pictures for that matter.  The image quality isn’t great, but you should get a good idea of the interpretation, materials, and construction.  Wish SFMOMA had a show like this!   Some favorites:

Literal, but so right. Finally, an analogue to one of my favorite paintings

The cat's expression is awkward, but still a stunning construction.


Detail of ti leaves - mastery of materials!


Lap Dog

Love the wire work and exuberance!

Love the creative use of materials for construction.


Near perfection.  Details, scale, colors, and construction were so right!

The long rose branches formed piers of support for the leaves.

More to come….


01 Sep 2010

San Francisco Bouquet de Art – More Photos

Recovered a few pictures taken from the San Francisco 2010 Bouquet de Art show– a phone update went awry and I lost these.  Apologies for the poor phone image quality.  I thought cameras weren’t allowed, so I didn’t bring  my camera that day.  For other pictures of the show, visit: http://floraphilia.net/?p=294 and here:  http://floraphilia.net/?p=306.

bouquet de art design

Tucked away in a very dark gallery, this dramatic design vibrated with movement and color.  It was an expansive 3-foot wide, exuberant design for a dim, subdued chamber.  I think perhaps the vessel was the art piece.

bouquet de art

If I recall correctly, the musician’s coat was made from layers of hand dyed-painted fabric.   Some designers took a more interpretive, complementary approach, while others took a literal approach in which they painted with flowers.

bouquet de art

Interesting interpretation of the dark painting in background, but I didn’t care for the fact that from behind, colored pins were visible, sloppily placed; the piece seemed rushed, unfinished.  It’s a work-in-the-round, did the designers not think we wouldn’t view it from all sides?

bouquet de art

Nice abstraction of the painting.  Several designers had used an unfinished grid in the form of a wave.

bouquet de art design

This piece, with lots of air and asymmetrical mass, is balanced in a very natural way. You don’t feel it’s contrived.  Also-nice textures and color restraint.

Texture detail of above.

bouquet de art

Inventive block forms!  Red floral tape creates an interesting line and color element that incorporates the block platform into the design.

bouquet de art design

Here you can see the sculpture correlate, the human scale, and the red line.  Love these kind of minimalist constructions.  Perfect complement for the sculpture.

09 Aug 2010

UC Davis Arboretum – Ruth Risdon Storer Garden Visit – A Few Summer Blooms

Sea Holly Eryngium planum and honey bee

[Sea Holly –  Eryngium planum and honey bee]

To some, it’s a weed, to others, it’s a stellar performer with many advantages in the yard and in the vase.  With its deep periwinkle color, dramatic form and interesting texture, sea holly can transform an average bouquet into a distinct one!  To punch-up bouquets, add it last so you can avoid the sharp bracts, and place them high so the star shape can crown the design.  You can also remove the bracts to emphasize a globe shape.  As for growing, they are very drought tolerant and attract lots of honey bees.

crinum hybrid

[Crinum hybrid]

Crinum lilies can seem delicate, but really they are sturdy sun lovers.

agaave artichoke bloom

[Artichoke agave – Agave parrasana ]

In bloom, the artichoke agave is like a two in one–  an artichoke and asparagus– artiparagus.   The dramatic five-foot bloom dominated the garden.  Perhaps, less obvious, but so inherent in its form is the spiral.

brazillian plume flower

[Fountain-like plume of Justicia carnea – Brazillian plume flower]

This plant will definitely be added to my yard “collection” as soon as I can get my hands on it!

Unfortunately, while a student at UC Davis, I only experienced about a quarter of the arboretum.  Everything was a blur as I rushed to class. Most exposure I had was cutting through the coastal redwoods, dodging waterfowl around Spafford Lake or stomping across the Mondavi foot bridge.  There’s so much I missed.  Some goals (when you let them) just completely absorb your life that way.

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28 Apr 2010

Bouquets de Art – A few more pictures from the 2010 show

Agave Boat:  yes, white lilies are clouds.

Like the creative use of fungi to rep the craggy mountains.

Giant allium (I think) transformed into paint splotches.  Also like the use of clear tubes to give the palette an interesting plane.  I think the floral correlate is actually more interesting than the painting!

So very well balanced and interesting Mitsumata branch.  More, images here: http://floraphilia.net/?p=294 and here: http://floraphilia.net/?p=837.

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25 Apr 2010

Bouquets de Art – San Francisco

Entryway Arrangement

I wonder when floral designers will become broadly respected and regarded more as artists.  Maybe because the trade is so locked into commercialism, it will never get the love, well, except from brides and floraphreaks.
Forgive the bad cellphone image quality in this post, just wanted to post a few pics from the 2010  Bouquets de Art exhibit at the de Young museum in San Francisco.
Large Composite Entryway Design[Large Composite Entryway Design]

Golden Gate Park was packed the day of the visit, and once inside the De Young, it was near impossible to get shots I wanted without being rude.  I opted to be polite and move on.  Generally, artists went for large-scale, full-on massive designs.  Architectural materials: anthurium, protea, amaryllis, and palm leaves showed up a lot and I wonder about the cost and sourcing of the materials.  When you’re trying to create a piece of art, I suppose the cost of your design should be of little concern.

Palm & Fiddleheads Design[Palm & Fiddleheads Design]
Detail of of pleated palm leaves
[Detail of layered palm leaves]

The cellphone camera couldn’t cope with the poor light issues in the image below but, I love the minimalism and constructivism too much to exclude it from the post.  Choosing hard, metallic materials to emulate the waves is most striking.  The painting correlate is by Arthur Dove, “Sea Gull Motive (Sea Thunder or The Wave).”  If interested in learning more about the painting, there’s a fascinating blog post about the vertical orientation of this painting at a blog called art fever: http://artfever.blogspot.com/2007/03/de-young-museum-installation-error.html

Design inspired by Arthur Dove painting in background
[Design inspired by Arthur Dove painting in background]

Below, rolled ti leaves at the base pick-up the billowing forms and provide a nice contrast in textures to the rock materials.

Detail of black and white design.[Detail of above design.  Rolled black ti leaves, lava rocks, and slate “container.”]

More from the exhibit here:  http://floraphilia.net/?p=837 and here: http://floraphilia.net/?p=306.

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20 Jun 2008

More Conservatory Images – Cattleya, Butterflies

Home early today… probably one of the most unsavory days at work ever. The only cure, when it’s 100 degrees outside, is to garden inside with images.




Monarch butterfly (I think) resting.


Zebra butterfly drinking.



And, a butterfly I cannot name:

Buckeye resting on the conservatory window:


Freaky, pollen-loaded, hibiscus anthers:


Leaving the conservatory, the glance backward:


19 Jun 2008

More Conservatory Flowers – Paphioledum Abstract

Part of a Paphioledum:


19 Jun 2008

Visit to San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers

Just a few images to post… The heat and lack of time (crowds needing their chance for pictures) forced me to rush. Here’s the “bat flower” (Tacca chantrieri):