Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hummingbird Medicine

Last week I was in a very special botanical garden in Berkley,
There are acres and acres of plants from all over the world where humming birds feed and rare beautiful plants thrive. The magic of the hummingbirds was what caught my attention the moment that I entered the sanctuary. I had several encounters with them as they flew in front of me with their magenta iridescent feathers and beautiful song. 

I took as many pictures of them as I could because I had never seen so many and so close!
It was a rare and special gift.

The picture above was combined with a silk piece that was part of a sculptural installation that included text. In the midday California sun, the shadows of the rose bushes came through the printed material and made the most beautiful patterns. I added overlays of these amazing textiles.

I have learned that there approximately 300 species of Hummingbirds in the Americas. I have also learned that they can move in many different directions and have the ability to fly backwards. 

The Chinese characters on this marble piece are in the Chinese herbal garden. While the garden was mostly dormant, it was still beautiful. There are approximately 100 herbs growing that are used in Chinese medicine. Each herb had a plaque that includes descriptions, categories, functions and healing properties.
There was just one lonely pear hanging from this beautiful tree in close proximity to the Chinese herbal garden. 
The red flowers in each corner of the picture are from the Quince bush.

The hummingbird below, came to me as I was about to leave the gardens, I photographed it a few times as it went back and forth between flowers for nectar and a high branch of an Olive tree.

Hummingbird medicine reminds us to taste the sweetness of life as it feeds on nectar. This medicine reminds us to walk in joy, courage and to enjoy the beauty of life. It also reminds us to continue to expand and stay in the world of flowers and scent. 

Hummingbirds fly by moving their wings with the geometry of the figure eight or the symbol of infinity. They can travels for hundreds of miles without stopping to eat.

Hummingbird medicine is also symbolic of resurrection,  opening of the heart and perfect timing. 

The picture below was combined with one of the beautiful succulent plants that grows everywhere in Berkley. 

Several of these pictures where added to my shop!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Tale of Amaryllis

Once upon a time in a land far far away there was delicate nymph with a very sensitive and gentle heart who loved to pick wild flowers growing along the mountainsides. One afternoon she came upon a handsome shepard named Alteo. Upon meeting him, this beautiful nymph immediately fell in love.
Alteo was clear that he would only love a girl who would bring him a new flower, as he was not much interested in love and cared only for flowers. 

The young nymph named Amaryllis was so desperate for his love to be returned, she visited the Oracle of Delphi for advice. She was told to take a golden arrow from the temple and to pierce her heart on the doorstep of Alteo's abode for thirty nights.

Despite her cries for her beloved each evening, he did not pay her any attention. Each night she pierced her heart with an arrow and on the thirtieth visit, a crimson flower sprung forth from the blood that flowed from her heart. 
Alteo finally took notice of this young nymph and the gorgeous new flower that emerged  from her very essence and he fell in love with her. 
This is how the Amaryllis flower got its name.

The photographs that I took of the flowers were layered with different elements of lace, and above the swans from the pond before Sagaponack Main beach.

In the language of flowers this lovely plant symbolizes radiant beauty, determination and fervent love.
It is also known as Hippeastrum. It is grown in the Caribbean, and South America.
It is called by other names, 'Knight Star', 'Naked Lady',  'Christmas Lily' and 'Belladonna'.
It grows in white, salmon pink, orange, and stripes of various colors. 

The elegant painting below of Amaryllis was painted by John William Godward in 1903. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Magic of the Day

This week, I learned a new technique in Photoshop to overlay one picture on top of another, today as I was experimenting these beautiful pictures magically appeared by 'accident'.

The peony is from my garden that I photographed last Spring in one of my grandmother's vases, and the gouache botanical painting I inherited from my mother. It is a perfect fit.

The cherry blossoms below were photographed in bloom two years ago and this little moth came to my kitchen window last summer. 

The lotus flower below was photographed last sumer as it was opening at the beginning of the day.

Below is the same lotus flower opening with overlays of a sunset at Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton, 
the same little moth, my grandmother's shawl and Chinese ceramic design motifs.

Magic often appears in the most mysterious ways. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Inspiration for the New Year

As I work on my new perfume, I have been gathering little bits of inspiration that bring me joy.
Yesterday I listened to French accordion music composed by Yann Tiersen as I gathered my 'perfume medicine'  and dove into another new palette of scents. In addition to Fir, the botanicals that I am working with right now are Vetiver, Helichrysum and Lemon. 
Each perfume tells a rich story and within each tale, images, colors, nuances and geometry are revealed. The name of the perfume that I am working on now is 'Mariposa', in Spanish, this means 'butterfly'. I am so curious about butterflies now, especially the Blue Morpho. My grandmother Isabelle often wore the wing of a Morpho around her neck in a beautifully encased glass tear dropped necklace. I was recently gifted two beautiful pieces with Morpho butterfly wings and so I am very interested in how they transmute light, their life cycles and their symbolic meanings.

In this collage, the orange and white seal is a character for 'happiness' from a Chinese chop, the blooming scarlet Amaryllis is stunning, the tulips  graced my office this past month, the bathing beauty was a card design that I created many moons ago, the butterfly one of my watercolors, the peony is from my garden last Spring, the Chinese motifs from a book of ancient ceramic designs, the spruce cone from a walk in the woods, the botanical painting belonged to my mother, and the crochet shawl made by my Argentine grandmother Rita.

The photograph below is of a Black Swallowtail butterfly that I took last summer, over a picture my grandmother's shawl. I love how the two different elements tell a new story when they come together.

So pretty.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Nature of Pine

Today I took a new path in the woods among pine trees that wrap around two magical ponds.
I fell in love with the soft light that was shimmering through the pine needles. 
All week I have been deep in the energy of transformation and rest. The kind of restoration that allows your body to melt into the energy of Winter hibernation. 
I have also been anointing myself with the oils of Lemon, Eucalyptus, Fir and Pine. 
My intention is to allow the various oils to work their medicine through Acupuncture points and take deep long rests to integrate the applications. 
Pine oil is effective in dispelling cold from the Lungs and opening the chest. It is great to use when there is chronic fatigue, wheezing, shallow breathing or an over all sense of tightness in the chest. It can also help us with energetic boundaries and in processing the feelings of remorse. 


Because it is a needle oil, it fortifies the Kidneys when a Yang deficiency is present. 
There is a relationship in Chinese medicine in which the Kidneys grasp the Lung Qi. Strong Kidney Qi will be able to anchor the Lungs which bring Qi into the body from the outside world. As the Lungs are the only organ system that has a connection to the inside and outside of the body, they are vulnerable and in need of constant attention in the Winter months. Mountain Pine oil also helps to transform wind-cold damp bi in the joints. It is excellent for sore and painful joints in proper dilatation. 10-15 drops in a warm soak eases tension and muscle aches. 
Pine oil is therefore a very good remedy for nourishing the Metal element. Please note that there are many different types of Pine oils. The oils of Pine are also anti microbial, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory in nature. They are also very potent disinfectants. 

The oils of Pine are also anti microbial, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory in nature. They also very potent disinfectants. 
In the language of flowers and plants there are many meanings that are ascribed to Pines, my favorite one is 'hope'. 
As I was walking through the woods filled with Pine trees I did find myself feeling hopeful and part of nature's unpredictable perfect web. 

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

Maya Angelou

These images are of Pitch and White pines found on my walk at Two Holes of Water in the Northwest woods of East Hampton.