I know there are details to noodle out for this blog, but life goes on outside.
Today my garden club had an extraordinary speaker give a program on arranging flowers in glass containers. Claire Won Kang is a major personality and talent in the world of flower arrangements. She designs and teaches at the New York Botanical Garden which pretty much says it all, but gives no hint to the delightful and hilarious delivery she brings with her buckets of flowers and stunning arrangements. Her presentation was so rich with details of her creative perspective. She has a background and degree in fine art, but chose to paint with flowers and she emphasized that our experience, education, interests combine to influence our work. That is so true and I started thinking about the many inspirations we pull from-- the memorable observation of a child, a walk in the woods, a favorite vintage textile. It all filters through into our work and our daydreams, sometimes in ways we can't see right away.
Claire Won Kang also talked about the importance of teaching and sharing secrets. "If you don't share it, you have to hide it and that isn't healthy for anyone." She had several tips for flower arranging that were simple but brilliant. For instance, she recommends using a dark green chenille stem to bundle up and secure a bouquet at the neck then stick the ends up into the bunch with the foliage. It doesn't show at all that way and the softness of the chenille stem doesn't damage the flower stem. So clever. But my favorite pearl of wisdom was her comment about a scruffy little flower she was trying to squeeze into an elegant bouquet of roses. "This is a troublemaker, this flower. These other flowers don't want it next to them. But it must be included because it makes the others interesting and gives everyone something to think about. It needs to be here and it is beautiful. Make room!" It was indeed, the surprise addition that made it all work together. Perfect!