What is Beautiful?

Wild Flower Sampler, acrylic, 18" x 14"

Wild Flower Sampler, acrylic, 18″ x 14″

Beautiful Weeds, acrylic, 14" x 18"

Beautiful Weeds, acrylic, 14″ x 18″

May 13, 2013

I’ve found that people have very different ideas about what is beautiful.  I paint with a woman whose husband is a farmer.   When we got together to paint last week, I saw a large swath of delicate lavendar blossoms on their land and just had to paint it.  I called the painting “Beautiful Weeds'” because my friend’s husband regards the hen bite with the lavendar blossoms that appears about this time every year as a weed that must be gotten rid of.  As I drove nearer to their house I saw in another field bands of yellow flowers that I hope to paint this week, weather permitting, if they have not been poisoned out of existence by then.  I was told they too are regarded as weeds.

Then there is the ever present dandelion which has appeared in a couple of my paintings.  I wonder who first declared them weeds instead of wild flowers.  Sometimes it seems to me that anything that grows easily and will survive almost any extreme of weather is automatically classified as a weed.  Plants that are harder to grow and that die quickly if conditions aren’t just right are more valued and are called flowers.

Next week I’ll be participating in Stems Plein Air at the Overland Park, Kansas, Arboretum.  I’m hoping for lots of genuine flowers to paint, along with an absence of rain, wind, and cold weather.  I can dream, can’t I?



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