Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall.

All ya gotta do is call. If you're old enough or broad based enough to know the song I'm referring to then fine but this blog post really is about the seasons. Here in the northern hemisphere we're entering Spring but I can't forget readers in the southern hemisphere because they're starting Fall. So I've selected a project of mine that reflects the season no matter where you are. Impossible? No really, I've done it and you don't even have to get out of bed. Actually I'd prefer you get into bed. But first a word from our sponsor: Jean de Merry.

One winter I painted a flowering plum branch used in a print ad for Jean de Merry. They make furniture with an moderne/deco sort of vibe. Some how a flowering plumb branch seems to go with that. What doesn't it go with? Anyway, it was a fun photo shoot with a French stylist, yummy French catering, and a hunky model. So Christian Maroselli and Jean-Claude de Merry partners in Jean de Merry the company are the sponsors I'm referring to. Although, it's really just tongue in cheek because they had nothing to do with the real reason for this post, the four seasons bed.

One of the last projects I completed before leaving San Francisco was for an Episcopal priest who also happened to be a Chinese scholar. He was specifically interested in Chinese art history and had some beautiful scroll paintings among his treasures. It was kind of wonderful be able to examine his collection which might otherwise be in a museum but at a certain point it became a distraction from the commission he had in mind for me. A small daybed with a canopy had long since lost it's soft decorative feature and it was up to me to come up with a replacement. What I decided upon was a set of four images instead of just one so that the bed could change with the seasons.

The flowering plumb is for Winter, lotus for Spring, bamboo for Summer, and the pine symbolizes Fall. It's funny to think of but I wasn't so excited about the job when I took it. In the end I was rather happy with it. I think it's so pleasant to be able to lie down and gaze up at the paintings. I couldn't tell you the dynasty or school or whatever, they just beautiful images. I had to let all of that art history go because the images and the symbols just work.

The idea of symbolic imagery in painting reminds me of the beautiful chinoiserie in the HBO movie about Grey Gardens. Did you happen to catch it? When the music teacher realizes he must leave Grey Gardens you see a painted bird taking flight right next to him. And then there's a scene where Big Edie has been left all alone and she's on the phone trying to convince Little Edie to come back home. Meanwhile over her shoulder in the chinoiserie is a bird in a cage. Isn't that brilliant? Want some symbolic painting in your life? All ya gotta do is call and I'll be there. Yes I will.
Or just leave a comment, that'd be nice.


  1. i loved that grey gardens film, and the documentary as well. and the rufus wainright song. and the beautiful flowering paintings you did. nice post scott!

  2. Thanks Lynne! Yeah, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the movie. Having seen the doc I was skeptical that it could be improved upon but I loved seeing the (imagined) events leading up to the Beales decrepitude.


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