Archive for Wildflower Illustrations

Happy (9th) Anniversary

Happy 9th Anniversary . . .

Lichen Spring
(NYC 03 2019)

March 22 on the calendar marks another year, nine (9!) years, of Wildflowers of the West Village.

Happy Anniversary . . .

The weather today, cold, wet, under a white lid of sky, matches the scene in 2010 when this monthly, sometimes more often adventure in urban botanicals began.

The blog format was a fresh, relevant way to spread one’s written words and images in 2010. Social media had yet to spread its petals in full. Outdoor writing from the perspective of sport had by then through two books established my published, authorial voice, a voice that enjoys harmony.

Wildflowers, such a part of the setting of fishing and birding, have always been in my sight, perceived by scent, and a favorite subject of line drawings. Wildflowers hold a diaspora of fascinations with the added advantage of statis for the visual artist. Fish and birds are difficult to capture. Plants, fixed, quiescent, make much more agreeable sitters for the still life sketch and the photograh.

The impact of one blog, one post to that blog, would be just like a snowflake stuck on a window if not for the incredible archival capability of this online internet format. The weight of nine years, some 165 posts, gives one the feeling some good natural fieldwork has been done. There may even be a book in there!

The year now sees the first snowdrops and croci have appeared along the Hudson. The first dafodils have already been sighted. Bright and dry, or white and damp, the sky and air of Manhattan again the freshest of the year. Again the pastel colors emerge to season the brown, white, and blue palate of the cold leafless months. Again another year of Wildflowers of the West Village.

Sprung!
(NYC 03 2019)

— rPs 03 22 2019

Postscript: Revisit the post that started it all by following this link:
https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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Holiday Rosettes

Holiday Rosettes . . .

Dandelion, Taraxacum
(NYC 12 2018)

The artful symmetry of plants has compelled my lifelong interest in botany. When the winter season begins damp and mild, as this year’s has, one of the most attractive plant patterns may be seen: the basal rosette.

Plantain, Plantago
(NYC 12 2018)

The fundamental base of the plantain, burdock, and dandelion appear like giant green snowflakes on the moist lawns of Manhattan. The designs are artful, not unlike the rose windows of festive houses of worship.

Burdock, Arctium
(NYC 12 2018)

– rPs 12 30 2018

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Presidential

Presidential . . .

Portrait of February
(NYC 02 2018)

President’s Day is celebrated within this week of February when wildflowers in full prime-time bloom remain more than a month distant.

But blooms can and do flower in unsuspecting places. Notable is the now unveiled official portrait of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II.

The politics of Fine Art have proven to be as newsworthy as the politics of American Politics given the reception to the portrait, painted by Kehinde Wiley, on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Long known for his inclusion of plants with symbolic connection to his sitters, the new portrait of the President is no exception. In Wiley’s own words:

“In choosing the composition and colors for this painting, I sought to create an allegorical index to President Obama’s life story — using key botanicals that reference his personal presence in the world. Jasmine from Hawaii. Chrysanthemums from Chicago. Blue African Lilies from Kenya.”

(Source: “Painting President Obama” by Kehinde Wiley)

“Excellent idea. Wonderful work.”

(Source: My own words)

I have studied History of Art since my freshman year at university. Portraiture has always fascinated me, from “A Portrait Attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger” – my senior essay – to personal study of masters of the genre: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Frans Hals, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as Amy Sherald, the painter who rendered First Lady Michelle Obama on canvas. Like them, Kehinde Wiley holds that same kind of artistic command, that distinctive manner that lets you, the viewer, know both who you are looking at and who painted the portrait. The inclusion of wildflowers just makes the finished work all the more compelling.

(Insert Image Here) *

— rPs 02 21 2018

* Postscript: I have not posted an image of the Kehinde Wiley presidential portrait here at WWV for reasons of ethics; copyright, specifically. You can see the work and read much more by following this link:

https://www.obama.org/updates/portrait-unveiling/?source=20180214_kehindewiley&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obamafound&utm_campaign=20180214_wiley&utm_content=2+-+On+Monday+we+unveiled+it+to+the+world

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Wintry Resistance

Wintry Resistance . . .

Goldenrod Over Ice
(NYC 01 17 2018)

Flanks, standing in review over the tidal river Hudson that breathes good cold air into the street grid fibers of Manhattan, the city even shaped like a lung where reside still a few scattered remnants of the previous growing season.

Flags, of a kind, wintry, resistant to the emphatic articesque change, stand beside the rise and fall flow of fractured ice.

Winter: Here, where the Wildflowers of the West Village remain.

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Balance and Grace in Spite of (NYC 01 2018)

– rPs 01 17 2018

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7 Yrs.

7 Yrs. . . .

Garden Top: “Where nature and the city intersect.”
(NYC 03 22 2017)

Happy 7th Anniversary, Wildflowers of the West Village.

– rPs 03 22 2017

Postscript: You can revisit the view that instilled an ever growing idea in March 2010: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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Slanted December Sunset Light

Slanted December Sunset Light . . .

Green Side of The Path (NYC 12 2015)

Green Side of the Path
(NYC 12 2015)

Why the sudden inclusion of Poetry to Wildflowers of the West Village? The answer can be traced back five years and some months to an “Ode to Onion Grass” that served my intent in art history, an extended appreciation of Albrecht Dürer.

Most of my poems shared at Wildflowers of the West Village have been subtitled “for insert historical figure’s name here.” Each strives to serve as a summation of sorts. Their existential whole, their individual presence, how has it remained felt in the accompaniment of my own one life? The poems answer.

How my educations, my ethics, my politics, my essential tastes in entertainment and recreation have been directed somewhat can be referenced by their keyword names in their broad honor.

Antecedents. Progenitors. Kin.

The cadence of my rhetoric,
Clear enough to my mind,
Best to share my best,
Universally, no gratuity.

A poem lives by readers, not sales. Sails in my sights have been those boats engaging the Hudson tidal stream. I see them when running the river paths. Running from something? No, on my feet, I am not. My pace may rather be equated to running for something, toward something, pushing for sustained strength, pausing, still, to watch a small town arrangement of wildflowers greet the west wind and the slanted December sunset light.

Green almost Loden bathed in Gold.

– rPs 12 09 2015

Postcript: “Green Side of the Path” photo starring Artemisia, Persicaria, Solanum, Malva, and Galinsoga.

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Bloomsday 2015

Bloomsday 2015 . . .

Catalpa speciosa (Bloomsday 2015)

Catalpa speciosa
(Bloomsday 2015)

“Under the upswelling tide he saw the writhing weeds lift languidly and sway reluctant arms, hising up their petticoats, in whispering water swaying and upturning coy silver fronds. Day by day: night by night: lifted, flooded and let fall. Lord, they are weary: and, whispered to, they sigh.”

– Excerpt from “Episode 3 – Proteus” of Ulysses by James Joyce

Re-Joyce. Today is Bloomsday.

– rPs 06 16 2015

Postscript: I again refer to my definitive narrative on the significance of Bloomsday to Wildflowers of the West Village: “Bloomsday” https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/06/16/bloomsday/

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