Still life with Shadows
"I created this moody floral print during a time of deep, personal reflection in my life. Along that journey, the darkness and shadows were revealed not as places to be avoided, but as places that harbored unexpectedly beautiful moments of their own. Ultimately, the darkness directed me to the light, and to the triumphant, climactic moment in which the bud bursts into full bloom and the heart breaks ... open."
These are powerful, grown up flowers that, while beautiful and elegant, also depict the full range of human experience and emotion.
The title of this original floral print design references the tradition of still life painting, specifically during the 17th century in the Netherlands, when the Old Masters used exaggerated contrast to direct our attention to the subject of a painting. In this way, they employed areas of intense shadow, just as much as bright highlight, to lead us to the essence, and the real meaning, within the frame. This provides a metaphor for the way we live: happiness is framed by - and accentuated by - sadness, love by loss, life by death …
And so, the central flower in this bouquet launches itself triumphantly out of the darkness. Wild foliage wriggles loose from the rigid, repeating pattern. The balance achieved between these contrasting elements is what makes the design work, both figuratively and formally.
From the start, this was meant to be an optimistic piece, with the focus on the intensely lit central flower. But the shadows were just as important. I wanted to symbolize a triumphant moment, a bursting out of darkness and difficulty. But I didn’t want the shadows to be dark or unpleasant, or depressing. I wanted them to be beautiful too.