Gardeners around town are excited to let their creative juices flow for the second annual Art N’ Bloom event.
This year participants were asked to choose a painting from the LaGrange Art Museum’s permanent collection to interpret through their own floral arrangements, inspired by last year’s Art N’ Bloom demonstration, where local Margo Shaw interpreted a painting into her own floral arrangement.
“We went around to different garden clubs and communities to see who wanted to select a painting to interpret,” said Judy Boggus, member of the Art N’ Bloom Committee. “This is the first year we’re doing this and we’re all excited about it.”
The guidelines for participants is to only use fresh materials in the arrangement — no dried or artificial materials, provide the plant materials used and arrangements can be accompanied by only one accessory.
Iris Garden Club members Diane Goldwire and Jay Funck partnered for their floral arrangement and chose to interpret a painting called “The Exit,” which shows the doorway of a worn down building with an exit sign above it.
“The first thought we had was we have to have some kind of frame since frame takes up most of the painting,” said Goldwire. “After the frame, you then see the other details. Then you think of the size of the container and space. Then the color of it to go along with the theme.”
Though the design, size and color of container that will hold the arrangement plays a big part, the flowers are to be the focus and the container should compliment the arrangement, not take away from it, said Goldwire.
Then came time to choose the flowers, which was a difficult decision to make according to the pair. They described the painting as a traditional painting, so they wanted use more neutral toned flowers.
“This time of year it’s hard to find these colors,” said Funck. “We kinda had to improvise.”
The idea did not come instantly, but after much thought, the pair chose to use earth-toned hosta, photinia and pittosporum.
“We picked hosta because the peeling look of the plant would give a good contrast like the peeling of the paint in the picture,” said Goldwire.
The flowers were stuck into an “oasis,” somewhat of a hardened sponge used to store water, to help keep the flowers alive in their containers through the weekend.
The pair said gardening was always a part of their lives growing up, which provoked their passion for flowers and gardening.
Pastels and greenery were not on the home front for everyone, however.
Linda Christian grew up in Florida around many few fruit trees where very few had flower gardens. As a former artist, she moved to LaGrange and joined the Talisman Garden Club 20 years ago, initially for social reasons, but began to develop a passion for flowering.
“Since I don’t paint anymore, coordinating flowers has become very relaxing to me,” said Christian.
She chose to interpret a painting by local artist Guthrie Killebrew that she calls “Stones,” which shows various sized and colored stones descending from the top left of the portrait.
“I like simplicity in paintings,” said Christian. “And this painting represents solitude.”
As an accessory to the arrangement she used a small iron statue of a man to represent solitude. She decided use various cacti in the arrangement along with aloe vera, baby toes and rainbow elephant bush.
Christian said it took her a week to decide what to use because she initially wanted to use flowers, but could not think of any that portrayed the portrait.
“Flowers are soft, so I couldn’t think of any that would be toned with the picture,” she said. “I decided to use cacti in the shape of a stone, the larger stones are to be the aloe vera in the back, down to the shorter cactus and the colors to represent pebble colors.”
Additional tweaks to the arrangement were made by Anne Huburdeau and Pat McCardle of the Talisman Garden Club.
Twenty people participated in the art interpretations and created 17 floral arrangements for the paintings.
“It was very successful and I look forward to more people next year,” said Boggus. “The ladies have had great enthusiasm and a fun time planning their work. We’ve been thrilled to have this this year.”
Boggus said the LaGrange Art Museum plans to make the interpretations through floral arrangements an annual event for Art N’ Bloom. The interpretations will be displayed at the museum located at 112 Lafayette Parkway through today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10. There will also be children’s floral artwork displayed throughout the museum.