Friday, August 14, 2009

Flora, Madonna of the Roses

Flora, Madonna of the Roses - 18x36" - $2450.00

Back when I was a display/store/visual merchandiser... I designed a set of beautiful wood store fixtures for Levi Strauss & Co. - for a women's jeans concept store-within-a-store. The fixtures were wood and dyed gray. My designs were featured on the cover of Visual Merchandising and Store Design Magazine. Pretty cool! I then went on to design another set of fixtures for Levi's - this time, I went wild. [hang on, this will all make sense]

I had studied Charles Rennie Mackintosh- an architect from Scotland - who worked at the turn of the century [1900] - he was a pioneer in the Arts & Craft Movement and Art Nouveau - and the kind of architect who designed buildings, furniture, decorative items [linens, table-settings, everything!] - and he came way before Frank Lloyd Wright! Mackintosh's wife, Margaret MacDonald was an artist in her own right. I've always been in love with their aesthetic. The fixtures I designed for Levi's were made of wood - ash - and were dyed hot pink. They were based [very loosely] on Mackintosh's bedroom furniture - from his own home in Glasgow. His furniture, however, was white.

When I visited Scotland [I've been several times], I made a pilgrimage to Glasgow - all the requisite C.R.M. spots. When I visited his home, I was the only visitor in the house at the time. There were security cameras around, but I did touch the piece of furniture pictured above... and cried!

Both Charles and Margaret used stylized roses in their designs. I have this in a frame at home:

One of my favorite flowers are white roses. [I'm all about true love] - I have two aunts named Rose. I prefer rose gold. I had a dog named Rosie...I also am crazy about this painting of the Madonna of the Roses by William Aldolphe Bouguereau. So my newest piece, which I am calling "Flora - Madonna of the Roses," has the influence of both. My Flora has a rose-ringed halo, and she is behind a bower of red and pink roses! I tried to make her face sweet and slightly seductive...after all, red roses are the symbol of passion - and my series of icons really has nothing to do with religion - just my ideas!

Flora - that's the name of the woman who lived on the isle of Skye - the one who saved Bonnie Prince Charlie when he came to Scotland to seize the throne [it didn't work out, so he went over the sea to Skye]. The story is unrelated, but I do have Bonnie Prince Charlie's biography on my nightstand.

So when you see my next piece - you'll know where the influences came from...! I know it's a crappy picture... I'll post a better one on my site.!

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