The Language of Flowers
" Oh, could we hear those whispering roses sweet,
Three beauties bending till their petals meet,
And blushing, mingling their sweet fragrance there
In language yet unknown to mortal ear ..."
Epic of Ishtar and Gilgamesh
I have a passion for flowers. Its funny to realise it has sort of snuck up on me and revealed itself through my artwork.
I look at my artwork and nearly all of them have flower themes running through them. I know when I am working they are a natural, spontaneous expression of an inner flowering. A flowering of communication with unseen, subtle worlds. And one that is pulling me more deeply into the language of flowers.
I do find flowers are mysterious, expressive and beautiful in their individuality. Combined in a bunch of flowers they can tell a story, share a sentiment and allow us to marvel in natures array of colours, shapes and smells.
This bunch of flowers in the photo of me here tells a story. They were delivered to me while I was at one of my stockists. I was told by the florist who hand delivered them to me they were from an admirer of my work. She said she took her inspiration to create the bouquet from my artwork in this shot. This painting is called the 'Moon Rising'. I just LOVE the creativity in that! And I later found out who my secret admirer was... my biggest admirer ever... my gorgeous husband.
Themes of Flowers in my Artwork
In my artwork I don't try and paint a certain type of flower. They are much more abstract and I call them my 'Cosmic Flowers'. For me they are flowers that naturally burst alive from the vast unseen of the cosmos into the body of my piece. A lot of my 'Goddesses' have a flowering sense of headdress or flowering crown which to me represents the flowering of levels of mind. Its through the 'practice' of connecting in presence, opening to the pure masculine, that these 'Cosmic Flowers' are born.
Roses and Product Presentation
In my product photography recently I had this strong sense to use different colour roses for displaying each of the lines 'Talisman Range' the 'For Him' and 'Greeting Cards'. The colours were a natural choice of Orange, Red and Pink respectively. The meanings of which I have since discovered are just perfect to match the essence of the 'product line' with the meaning of the flower and its colour.
Orange Rose - Orange roses evoke energy. That certainly fits the 'Talisman Range' which are designed to invoke an energetic quality of Beauty and Meaning. Orange roses are a contemporary rose that have a subtle meaning of a love emerging from friendship. Other meanings associated with the orange rose are any enthusiastic message of love, gratitude and friendship.
Red Rose - Of course we all connect the red rose with romantic Love and passionate affection. Its deeper meaning and one that really resonates with me is that they are communicating Unconscious Beauty. I feel that makes it a perfect expression of my 'For Him' range. A goddess gift for a man, for any man that Loves was the intention of this line. Not just for a romantic love, although includes it - and now I know the deeper meaning of the red rose... I know its a perfect fit.
Pink Rose - Pink roses are known to represent grace and elegance. Expressing gratitude and thankfulness. What could be better to sit alongside my 'Greeting Card' Range! This range has evolved from wanting to send out a bit more beauty into the world and to encourage Sharing the Love. Through sending a heartfelt written message by snail mail in a gorgeous card to someone who you care for, has touched you or you just want to express your heart with. Other meanings associated with pink roses are appreciation, happiness, admiration and gentleness. Ah yes... we all love to know these things...
Each of my images has just one rose.
A single rose of any colour represents
Simplicity, Gratitude and Devotion.
The Rose and the Goddess.
This really is such a huge subject steeped in mythology, symbolism of many cultures, spiritual traditions, expression of devotion and folklore throughout the centuries. So Im just sharing a very small piece into the association through history of the rose and the goddesses.
The rose has a very deep and meaningful connection with the Goddess Isis. In Her role of She of Ten Thousand Names she is connected to many other Goddesses, taking on their attributes, both in and outside of Ancient Egypt. Which could be why the rose was clearly sacred to a number of Goddesses. Goddesses who are also deeply associated with the rose include the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite identified by the ancient Greeks and by the Romans with the Goddess of Love, Venus.
"Just as the rose consists of many petals held together, so the person who attains to the unfoldment of the soul begins to show many different qualities. The qualities emit fragrance in the form of a spiritual personality. The rose has a beautiful structure, and the personality which proves the unfoldment of the soul has also a fine structure, in manner, in dealing with others, in speech, in action. The atmosphere of a spiritual being pervades the air like the perfume of a rose."
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Rose, Art and Numerology
In that powerful creative explosion of art of the renaissance period; which incidentally is also known to have been a peak time of devotion to the Black Mother, the Black Madonna and anciently known as Isis - a rose with eight petals was a message of rebirth and renewal. In alchemical texts and art, a rose with seven petals was a symbol of inclusion, universal understanding and order.
Christians in Medieval times identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ. Then the rose later also became associated with the Virgin Mary. In Freemasonry three roses depicted are symbolic of a guiding principle – Love, Life and Light. So the rose also has a powerful association with numerology in art and symbolic expression of universal themes.
In Western Culture the rose has long been recognised as the western equivalent of the eastern lotus as a symbol of the unfolding of higher consciousness.
So now I am realising my love of flowers and how that comes through in my work. There is a big project inspired by my artwork that I will be working on throughout this year that involves lots of flowers, creative floristry and powerful imagery. Can't share more about that right now.... its a secret... shhh... but do keep coming back as I will share about the project as it starts.