Posts Tagged Wildflower Art

Cinco de Mayo and the Mayapple

Cinco de Mayo and the Mayapple . . .

Mayapple (NYC, 2015)

(NYC, 2015)

Cinco de Mayo seems a good time to celebrate the consummate wildflower of May: Podophyllum peltatum, the Mayapple.

Shaded, wooded areas are the best places to seek out the Mayapple. Perennial colonies, each borne on a rhizome, now display the distinctive palmate leaves supported by stems bearing a single bud beneath, which will bloom white and mature into a fruit that always appears like a little treasure in the woodland.

Another regular now in flower is the Virginia Bluebell, Mertensia virginica. Shaded hillsides and groves in Manhattan’s Central Park become carpeted by this variety at this time of year. Specimens found in the parks and neighborhoods of the west side of the island are less dense, yet display just as intense a range of pink buds blending into true blue bell blossoms. The view is gorgeous, yet short lived, this being an ephemeral plant brief of life cycle.

Virginia Bluebell (NYC, 2015)

Virginia Bluebell, NYC

NYC Wildflower Week is fast approaching and the city is in full bloom. Uncut park lawns are dressed in many, often immigrant, wildflowers: the purples of Red Deadnettle and Viola, the yellows of Dandelion and Lesser Celandine, the white of Garlic Mustard. Photo examples of these standard bloomers may be found throughout Wildflowers of the West Village.

Disfrutar de las flores!

“You Wanted Color”
pencils on paper
(04 2015)

– rPs 05 05 2015

Leave a Comment

Taxicabs and The Easter Egg Effect

Taxicabs and The Easter Egg Effect . . .

Snow Drop on Sunday

Snow Drop on Sunday

Wildflower City Firsts With Full Effect

A colony of dandelions as yellow as taxicabs scattered themselves on a browned hillside. Taxicabs, ironic in the color meets Latin cadence of Taraxacum, the official. Taraxacum Taxicabs.

And groundsel, another daisy Asteraceae and an active commuter, stood firm and flush in full yellow bloom.

Taraxacum Two-Step NYC (01 2015)

Taraxacum Two-Step
NYC (01 2015)

Bright, warmer than the season’s usual early winter face: January on a Sunday afternoon remained mild.

Groundsel Epiphany NYC (01 2015)

Groundsel Epiphany
NYC (01 2015)

A foot of snow covered the scene one week later. A sky grey like actual polished lead hung the air heavy with damp deep cold riding a wind that scoured.

Two and a half months of brown, white, and blue with an emphasis on the white has taken another form in the sustained full sun of March. A very few Galanthus nivalis have appeared. Cautious egg white snowdrop heads shaped like ornamental streetlamps peer from leaf litter soaked with snow melt. Puddles in undeveloped areas, lots and parks, have formed shallow ponds of perhaps a quarter acre in surface area up to one foot in depth.

And on Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter just days away, egg yolk yellow spoke an internal smile set in eyes of palest purple: the croci, feral for the most part in fact. City spots here and there overnight decorated with wild plant life: a park corner, a tree pit, grassy curbsides. The random and sparse spread produced The Easter Egg Effect in my own wildflower city hikes set on random and at the speed of meditation.

Croci Afternoon NYC (03 2015)

Croci Afternoon
NYC (03 2015)

Spring has arrived in the western side of Manhattan.

– rPs 03 31 2015

Postscript: The Easter Egg Effect, The High Line edition –

Leave a Comment

floral works of the West Village

floral works of the West Village . . .

The artist Marcus Fletcher stands before his "Sunflower #2" and "White Orchid" at Grounded, 28 Jane Street, New York City. (photo taken 06 11 2011)

Café culture has always been one of my “favorites” in the social networking sense of the word. The bohemian coffee shop with wood or concrete floors, a worn bookcase stocked with paperbacks, eclectic music on the sound system, and a few potted plants placed in various corners has always welcomed me, inspired me, and in many ways served as my public living and reading room.

The advent of laptops and personal digital devices has largely replaced actual social interaction with virtual communication. A café is now often a sterile, or at least standardized, space filled with wired people interacting with no one in the immediate room, yet there are some traditional aspects that still thrive: poetry readings, for example, and art openings.

So it was in early June when I noticed an attractive postcard announcement placed at the counter of my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, Grounded organic coffee and tea house, located at 28 Jane Street in the West Village. The card read:

Marcus Fletcher floral works

The green stem and golden petals of a sunflower still life hit me like a shot of espresso. I sat down with my drink, contemplated the reproduction of Mr. Fletcher’s painting, and began to think of myself in the third person for a moment. The coincidence of artistic subject matter, flowers, to be displayed in the favorite coffee shop of a neighbor, me, who has a writing project in progress, one devoted to wildflowers of the West Village, created one of those incandescent moments some call inspiration.

The event was added to my “must see” list and I attended the opening on June 11th. There I introduced myself to Marcus. He is friendly, relaxed, and fluent in the art of cafe conversation. He was born in Cincinnati, teaches the Spanish language when he is not painting.  As for his artistic philosophy, his creative perspective, I think it is best to let his Artist’s Statement for the floral works show speak:

“These pieces came about while working on some abstract pieces and looking at an iris that I painted in 2008. So, I wanted to do a series of them as a study/challenge and a change in subject matter. Working on these flowers has given me a contrast to the abstract pieces that I’m working on currently. However, I also feel that they also lend a needed patient approach to abstract work. And I feel that because of that patience, I’m achieving more balance and a little more movement in them (the abstract pieces) if I didn’t have the flowers to view as a contrast.”

Fletcher’s floral works series offers a moving take on the still life. His compositions rest on a base of flat color that contrasts with the nuanced depths of the flower form. The blooms themselves are no mere stiff and still portraits; he often paints stem and petal from odd angles – the rear, for example – sometimes with foreshortened perspective. These subtleties combine to create innovative images from a traditional subject; a new view that can be called Art with a capital A.

Grounded co-owner, Jen Greenberg, and her partner, Mark, can be credited for fostering a fine venue for organic tea, coffee, and sustainable local culture. Their ninety-minute seating policy, designed in part to dissuade virtual office workers, keeps things happening in the actual world. Come by, have a cup, and take a look.

Front and back view of Grounded coffee house's announcement for floral works by Marcus Fletcher. (photo taken 07 26 2011)

Artist inquiries:

Grounded and Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company:

– rPs 07 26 2011

Leave a Comment